Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Debbie--have you seen A.R. Kahler's SHADES OF DARKNESS

Paula wrote to ask me about A.R. Kahler's Shades of Darkness. Published by Simon & Schuster, it is a 2016 young adult book whose main character, Kaira Winters, is "some unknown blend of Native American bloodlines" (p. 10).

Here's the synopsis:

American Gods meets The Secret History in this suspenseful start to a brand-new fantasy trilogy about a girl named Kaira Winters, the murders that keep happening at her artsy boarding school, and the lengths she must go to in order to protect the people she loves.
When Kaira Winters decided to go to Islington—a boarding school deep in the woods of Michigan—she thought she could finally get away from everything she has tried so hard to forget, including some things from her past that she refuses to believe ever actually happened.
Everything seemed great until the bodies of murdered students started appearing all over campus. The victims seem to have been killed in some sort of ritual sacrifice. And even worse, Kaira’s dreams are giving her clues to the killer’s identity.
Though she tries to resist, Kaira quickly realizes that she is the only one who can stop the violence, but to do so she must come to terms with her past. She’s going to have to listen to the voice that is buried deep within her…the one that claims to have unimaginable power…the one that claims to be an actual goddess.
But even if Kaira can harness the power within her, will it be enough to stop the darkness that has fallen over her school? And if it is strong enough, then what’s to stop the goddess from wreaking her own havoc once she’s released?

Course, I have lots of questions. This power within Kaira... is it because of her "unknown blend of Native American bloodlines" -- or not? "Goddess" gives me pause. Why did the author find it necessary to make Kaira's identity of an "unknown blend of Native American bloodlines"? It seems decorative rather than substantive.

Another passage that caught my eye as I read the preview is the one about a Korean character, Jane (p. 9):
Her family was Korean, though she'd lived in the States for so much of her childhood, her accent was flawless.
Lot to look at in that sentence, like that last word: flawless. Does Kaira think a person whose speech retains aspects of a mother tongue is flawed?

If I get a copy of Shades of Darkness, I'll be back with a review.


1 comment:

karastewart said...

It's not a stand-alone novel, either. Seems to be part of a series featuring this character. There is also merchandise featuring this character. http://www.arkahler.com/merch-merch-merch/