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Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson – Peter and the Shadow Thieves

October 10, 2007

102. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson (2006)
Starcatchers Trilogy, book 2

Read by Jim Dale
Length: 11h 05m (556 pages)

Genre: Young Adult; Fantasy

Started: 22 September 2007
Finished: 10 October 2007

Summary: Picking up not long after Peter and the Starcatchers leaves off, this book pits Peter and Molly against a deadly and frightening new foe. A ship lands on Mollusk Island, carrying the mysterious Lord Ombra, who is not exactly human and can suck away people’s souls by touching their shadow. Lord Ombra is in search of the trunk containing the starstuff, and once he learns it is no longer on the island, he heads for London to claim it there. Peter realizes that Molly and her family are in danger, and takes off for London as well, where he must first find Molly and then help her to keep the starstuff from falling into the hands of the Others.

Review: This is a good adventure story, better than the first book in terms of having a single thread motivating the action throughout. There was a side-thread of the Lost Boys being captured by the pirates and held as bait for Peter on Mollusk Island that was a bit of a distraction – the chapters from the boys’ POV were rare enough that you forgot their story was even happening, and those chapters were unwelcome interruptions to the main story when they did appear. Unfortunately, this book loses a bit of the charm compared to the first one: while the first book was an “origin” story and so filled with lots of winks to readers in the know, this is an original adventure with only very minor nods to the original. It doesn’t even particularly answer the question of how Peter’s shadow got loose enough to be lost, as you might suspect from the title alone. So, it gains some narrative clarity, loses a little charm, but maintains a good sense of wit and humor throughout. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Fun and witty adventure story, but not quite enough to grab my whole-hearted attention.

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