Saturday, October 13, 2012

"I was quickly pulled in within the first 2 pages of chapter one."


Where Shadows Dance

Written by Vered Ehsani

Genre: Young Adult

Book Synopsis

Ash was looking forward to a summer of camping with friends and time travelling. Then his Great Aunt fades away (literally), his near-death nightmare gets even weirder and he keeps falling into someone else’s dreams. On top of that, his house is attacked and he gets trapped in the past while trying to help a new friend who isn't too friendly.

Juna isn't having a great time of it either: having escaped from her parole officer, she barely survives a plane crash and a bizarre tornado that keeps appearing in the most unlikely situations. While Ash and Juna try to get out of the past and back home, events and dreams keep pointing them to the place where it all starts and ends, where shadows dance and time bends.

If they can get there, they may be able to stop an implacable enemy from destroying their future. Of course, getting there means surviving first…

Ruby's Rating

Ruby's Review


"My soon-to-be murderer was standing in front of me. It was all the way it should be, according to my recurring nightmare, except for two things: no one else was supposed to be there with me, facing death; and I wasn't ready to die."

"Plus the electricity doesn't work, so the stuff in the fridge… Well, you don’t want to open that door."

"Ah, gee, Mom, the last time I saw your son, it looked like a book ate him up!"

"Shanti’s eyes got bigger and her mouth hung open as I described the Boston Tea Party and the dinosaurs."

My thoughts:

The story begins with Ash, who I at first didn't know if they were a boy or a girl, telling about a reoccurring nightmare. Things can get confusing in the beginning if you never read the first book (Which I haven’t), but it didn't seem like a bad confusion but more of a curious one. I hadn't read the description before getting into the book so I was starting it like a student reading something a teacher assigned with no Idea what I was getting into. I would suggest reading the first book before reading this one Diary of a part time Ghost. Even without knowing the back story I was immediately intrigued by the book, but hey I also read the Lord of the Rings backwards and was still able to get into it.

I wanted to know what part this dream would play in the rest of the story and why this ghost girl seemed to be so important. I was quickly pulled in within the first 2 pages of chapter one. When I read Ghost girl and killer shadows I knew I had to know more. The idea of the magical book made me think of the The Neverending Story (one of my favorite movies.) When I found out that the book allowed Ash to go into the past I immediately started to think of places and events I would like Ash to end up in.

At first I thought Juna was going to be a nice mannered frightened girl, then she spoke. She is a fire cracker whose words carry sarcasm and or venom. She’s very mysterious character who we don’t learn much about who she was or what she was doing before the book started. All that is said about her past is that she was on a plane with her parole officer when a tornado sucked her up and dropped her into the path of young Ash. Juna tends to try to help others in the past instead of laying low like Ash tells her and gets herself in trouble (like trying to free slaves on a plantation or nearly getting herself hanged for letting go horses on a ranch.) It is hinted that this fault of trying to help others no matter what situation it puts her in is what got her put on parole. She is unable to control where in history she ends up just like Ash, but unlike Ash she is trapped and cannot go back to the time she came from. Juna also doesn't know when she will be grabbed by the tornado and flung into another era in history.

Ashish Chandari is the main character but for most of the book he just goes by his preferred name Ash, only going by Ashish when his mother is talking to him or his sister is annoyed with him. His last name only makes a few appearances in the book and took me awhile to find it again. Ash is a teenage boy on his summer vacation who looks forward to the adventures he has with the Book of History. At the beginning the book hadn't worked in months and he was “bored” I guess you could say or at least that’s the impression I got. One of four children he doesn't seem to enjoy the company of his siblings, but his feelings seem to change towards his sister Shanti as they bond during some unusual circumstances.

The Book of History isn't really a character but its and important part of this book. Ash received the book from his aunt Bibi on his 15th birthday starting a journey that no one would ever expect from just an ordinary looking book.

I will definitely be reading the next book in the series in the future to find out what happens next and what the real connection between Juna and Ash is. I have this feeling there might be a romantic connection there but I could always be wrong. As I said before my mind was racing with places I’d like to see him end up and although it has been considered both myth and legend I think it would cool to have Ash drop in on king Arthur's court but I think about that with many characters.

Fast paced and enjoyable I give this 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for young children due to a mature theme.

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