Book Review: The Shadows

I picked up The Shadows by Alex North with no hesitation because I loved, loved, loved Whisper Man. It begins promising, and it held my attention, but I’m sorry to report that I didn’t love it – but it’s for a very specific reason.

The Shadows tells the story of Paul Adams, who, after 25 years, has to return to his hometown to help his sick mother. He doesn’t want to go home because bad things happened when he was a kid – specifically a gruesome murder committed by Charlie Crabtree, one of Paul’s friends.

Of course, odd things start happening as soon as Paul returns, and his mother insists that something -or someone – is creeping around the house.

The story is full of suspense, and you’re definitely driven to find the answers to WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON.

Without giving away too much, I’ll tell you why I didn’t love The Shadows as much as Whisper Man: it uses lucid dreaming as a trope, and I’m not a fan of lucid dreaming.

I’ve read two other books that use lucid dreaming as a main feature – The Anatomy of Dreams and Behind Her Eyes – and it was a turn-off for me. So, this was the third and final book I ever want to read about lucid dreaming. If that’s a thing that intrigues you, then this book is for you! If it doesn’t bother you one way or another, then I recommend The Shadows for sure.

But if you’re like me and roll your eyes at the concept of lucid dreaming, then The Shadows will be a quick pass.

Book Review: The Whisper Man

Frank Carter, known as The Whisper Man, was a serial killer captured and imprisoned for luring children out of their homes by whispering to them through windows and doors. He became a legend in his small town and sowed fear into the hearts of Featherbank’s residents.

Fast forward to today: Tom Kennedy moves with his son, Jake, to Featherbank after the sudden death of his wife. A fresh start on a new life is just what they need. All seems to be moving along as planned until a young boy in Jake’s class disappears, reigniting old stories and unearthing buried fears about old Frank Carter’s crimes. Detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis are determined to find the missing child before it’s too late. 

Of course, then Jake starts acting funny, and then he starts hearing whispers… 

If you leave a door half-open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.
If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.
If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.
If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.

Atmospheric, tense, and utterly gripping, The Whisper Man was a fun ride. It wasn’t so creepy that I couldn’t read it at night (I’m looking at you, Winter People), but it so well-paced and anxiety-ridden that I really needed to finish it as soon as possible so I could rest my mind. Super fun! I’m really looking forward to Alex North’s next book, The Shadows