cover image In the Shadows

In the Shadows

Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo. Scholastic Press, $21.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-545-56144-0

Di Bartolo follows Lips Touch: Three Times—his acclaimed 2009 collaboration with his wife, Laini Taylor—with a project that gives him more scope for story. The creators are, in the main, handling separate narratives, with the possibility that some readers won’t recognize any connection until the end. Di Bartolo provides a horror-tinged adventure and White (Paranormalcy) a horror-tinged romance centering on Arthur, a mysterious young man who, in 1899, fetches up at the Johnson Boarding House with a heavy suitcase and heavier heart. He stays longer than planned, charmed by sisters Minnie and Cora Johnson. The arrival of two summer visitors precipitates a crisis that sends Arthur on a quest to lift the curse haunting him. Di Bartolo’s images are silent stills, occasionally suffering from a lack of pacing that dialogue would have provided. Likewise, the finely detailed, single-scene development of White’s text can be overshadowed by the instant impact of the pictures. For readers who can find their own balance between the two, it’s an intriguing, many-faceted tale. Ages 12–up. Agent: (for White) Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency; (for Di Bartolo) Jane Putch, Eyebait Management. (Apr.)