Star Shadows
by Colby Hodge, futuristic (2007)
LoveSpell, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-505-52629-8


I strongly advise anyone wishing to read Star Shadows to read the previous related book Shooting Star first. While this one can stand alone, the foundation of the plot (the villains, their motives, and their relationships to the main characters, for example) is laid down in the previous book. I personally believe that it is so much easier to slowly acquaint oneself with these details by reading Shooting Star (which is a pretty good book, by the way) instead of trying to make sense of the copious information dumping in the first few chapters of this book.

If you have read Shooting Star, then you have met Boone, the son of the heroine of the previous book who is now 18 at the start of this story. He is the best friend of Prince Alexander "Zander" Phoenix of the ruling clan of the planet of Oasis and is in love with Zander's twin sister Arielle ("Elle"). The rest of the story can be best described as... I don't know, Oasis Hills 90210.

Zander, who is born with telepathic abilities, feels isolated from the rest of his psychic family members and he also chaffs under his parents' insistence on forcing Zander and Elle under suffocating heavy supervision without telling those siblings why such protection is necessary. Boone knows the reason why, but he also believes that keeping those two completely ignorant about the danger they face from the coven of evil witches called the Circe is the only way to go. You can imagine what happens when the poor ignorant sheep try to break out of their gilded cage, I'm sure.

I have some big reservations about the characters in this story. Well, let's just say that thinking isn't their strongest suit. Still, even if their silliness tend to be the only thing that fuel the story to keep going at times, Star Shadows remains a pretty readable, if rather superficial, story. I find this a superficial read because at the end of the day, I don't really have a clear idea of who the three main characters really are. They come off too much like angst-ridden young adults in those CW dramas aimed at teenagers. Boone's feelings for Elle are depicted as fait accompli and I think it is fair to say that romance isn't the main focus of the story. It's more of a tale of three young adults trying to find their own way and make sense of the world that they live in.

All in all, while I don't mind reading Star Shadows and even find it quite enjoyable, there is a "spin-off involving the graduation class from the Jedi academy" feel to the story that is, honestly speaking, not really my cup of tea. You won't see me reading those "next generation" Jedi Academy books for the same reason. I prefer the characters in my stories to be a little older than these folks and to have outgrown their adolescent angst and ultimately, Boone, Elle, and Zander are way too much like Dawson's Creek gone outer space for me.

Rating: 75


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