cover image Promise of Shadows

Promise of Shadows

Justina Ireland. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4424-4464-5

As in Ireland’s first novel, Vengeance Bound, her sophomore offering brings creatures from Greek mythology into the modern world. After failing her Harpy trials, Zephyr Mourning was looking forward to a low-key life in the Mortal Realm. Unfortunately, she accidentally killed a god, which landed her in Tartarus with an emotionless but oddly protective girl named Cass. The book moves along at a brisk clip once Zephyr’s childhood friend Tallon frees her and Cass from Tartarus, sweeping Zephyr toward confrontations with both the goddess Hera and her own reluctant destiny. Ireland’s foreshadowing is sometimes so heavy that the information feels stale by the time Zephyr realizes it, as when the truth of her parentage comes to light, but that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise solid book. Zephyr’s emotions, whether rage at a seer who holds back the whole truth or squirmy adolescent insecurity when she starts falling for Tallon, feel all the more real for her tendency to overreact, and the mythos Ireland creates strikes the right mix of familiarity and invention, and is well worth exploring. Ages 14–up. Agent: Elana Roth, Red Tree Literary. (Mar.)