Title: Blue Shadows Fall
Author: Lenore Stutznegger
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Date of Publication: November 11, 2021
Publisher: Immortal Works Publishing
“They wear the faces of your loved ones, but are more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Lovely things shouldn’t draw you in and kill you. You almost want them to.”
Seventeen-year-old Blue Haven, gifted with superhuman sight since birth, dreams of becoming a warrior—not that anything’s happened near the wall since Old Man Amos was attacked by that beaver. The Shadow Elves—humans infected by a zombie apocalypse-like plague—have died out over the past 150 years, leaving life altogether boring. In her quiet farming village nestled in the shadows of the Smoky Mountains, warriors are no more than a formality.
But Blue’s unique sight is beginning to show her some troubling things. A suspicious green-eyed outsider. A strikingly beautiful Shadow Elf. These visions can’t be real—because if they are, that means everyone’s been wrong. Dead wrong. They are not the last survivors in the world. And they aren’t prepared for the reality Blue’s eyes are showing her.
The outsiders want in, and they’re hungry.
A Quiet Place meets Shadow and Bone in this southern, post-apocalyptic, dark fantasy.
Blue Shadows Fall is a prime example of a genre-blending young adult book done right. It’s a dystopian thriller set in the future. It’s a fantasy. It’s a romance. It’s a coming of age story and it even has humour in it.
The book is set a couple of hundred years from now, after wars and a virus (SE-23) wiped out a good number of people and transformed others into “Shadow Elves”. I love that the world has a fantasy-vibe to it, but it’s grounded in science fiction. The protagonist, Blue, is obsessed with Lord of the Rings, and there are other “historical” pop culture references, like Harry Potter and Jurassic Park, which help to ground the book’s realism.
Blue has enhanced sight, which she has hidden from the world for fear of persecution by others in her town. Her abilities are so unique and fascinating, and I loved the way that they’re portrayed, and how they give her a bit of an edge when she’s dealing with others (For instance, she can see someone’s heartbeat in their neck, the formation of a bead of sweat, and other indicators that they’re lying to her). Blue is a relatable and strong heroine, one who wants to become a warrior to defend her town, but has been discouraged from doing so by her parents out of fear that it will be found out that she’s “different”.
The book is also a bit of a romance. We get the occasional short chapter from the point of view of Kaleo, a boy that Blue has had a crush on for quite some time. It quickly becomes clear that the feelings are definitely mutual.
I absolutely loved this story. It never lags, and there are lots of twists and turns in the plot. A few of the twists were on the more predictable side, but then I was slammed with a few shocking twists towards the end of the book that blew me out of the water.
I highly recommend this book to young adult fantasy lovers, as it checks all the boxes for an immersive and heart-pounding read.
*Thank you to the author for the ebook to review*
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