The Shadowing: Hunted, by Adam Slater

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Publication date – September 13, 2011

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Once every century, the barrier between the human world and the demon realm begins to break down. Creatures gather, anxiously waiting to cross the divide, to bring death and destruction from their world to ours. This time is called The Shadowing.

Callum Scott has always known that there is a supernatural world out there—he’s seen ghosts for as long as he can remember. Lately, he’s had visions of children being brutally murdered by a terrifying creature. Then the visions start coming true, and Callum realizes that he’s being hunted, too.

Driven by a dark destiny, he must stand against the demons that threaten our world.

And The Shadowing is almost here…

Thoughts On the surface, this is a fairly standard ghost story involving a young teenager, one of many that you can find on the bookshelves today. Dig a little bit deeper and you’ll find a surprisingly disturbing tale, not just in regard to the supernatural but also the more brutal and tragic sides of mundane teenage life. From the image of a skinnless humanoid figure and bloody murders involving the removal of eyes, to violent bullying and a painful hidden family legacy, this book has a good deal to make teens and adults alike think hard.

The story itself is a fairly simple one, when you get right down to it, but it is still an interesting read, with some interesting takes on folklore and legends. His storytelling style is fairly smooth, though I often found myself picturing the characters as somewhat younger than they really were, due to the tone of the writing. It wasn’t quite a mesh, but was close enough that I can’t complain too loudly about it.

My only real complaint about this novel was the way some things were established without really being introduced first, so to speak, in such a way that it occasionally felt as though I must have blinked and missed a character’s name being mentioned. A perfect example of this is when Callum introduces his friend as a “translator”, somebody who can’t interact with the spirit world but who knows plenty about it. It sounds at first as though he’s using the word as a way to describe what she does, but immediately afterward it starts being used almost as a title, as though a translator is something that a person is instead of something a person does. Other characters just accept it, but to the reader it comes across as clumsy, like something got skipped over.

Other than that, Hunted is a quick and decent beginning to what I’m hoping will continue to be an entertaining series. I look forward to seeing what the sequel will contain.

(Provided for review by the publisher via NetGalley.)

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