So, you guys already know that my husband, Jim Di Bartolo, is super talented. And I'm sure you also know that Kiersten White is super talented. But still, knowing this, you cannot quite imagine how amazing their collaboration, IN THE SHADOWS, is.
What is IN THE SHADOWS? It's a heavily illustrated novel, but it's not a novel where the art illustrates the text. Two stories are told, one by Kiersten, with words, and one by Jim, with pictures. The stories are connected, but it will take you the duration of the book to figure out exactly how. And when they do come together in the end: POW! It's crazy satisfying.
That all sounds cool and all (it is), but I've been trying to figure out how to really SHOW YOU this book. The only thing that does it justice is holding it in your hands and reading it. It's this beautiful compact brick of glossy paper, text printed in sepia, decorative borders, lavish artwork. So much artwork. I think this will help give you an idea of why this is a reading experience you have to have (and why you have to have this experience with a physical book, not a tablet):
So what's it "about"?
From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.
Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.
Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.
Arthur is also new to the boarding house. His fate is tied to that of Cora, Minnie, Thomas, and Charles. He knows what darkness circles them, but can’t say why, and doesn’t even know if they can be saved.
Sinister forces are working in the shadows, manipulating fates and crafting conspiracies. The closer Cora, Minnie, Arthur, Thomas, and Charles get to the truth, the closer they get to harm. But the threat is much bigger than they can see. It is strangling the world.
Until one of the boys decides he wants to save it.
Told in an astonishing mix of art and words, IN THE SHADOWS collides past against future, love against evil, and hope against fear. The result is both a mystery and a masterpiece.
Sneaky me. Get this book. It's just as good for boys as for girls. The art is edgy and dangerous and will appeal to readers of graphic novels, and the text story offers something different: it's poetic and atmospheric, gothic, creepy and romantic.
It's just awesome. Don't miss it.