Into the Shadows falls within the paranormal/fantasy young adult genre, which by any measure is fairly saturated right now, but brings fresh ideas and positive changes which make this an excellent addition to the field. Karly Kirkpatrick has also added elements of a political thriller to create an engaging and often gripping tale of an intelligent young woman forced to make decisions about her life well before she is ready to. The novel begins with Paivi Anderson dealing with common teenage problems, the desire for a boyfriend, an annoying younger brother, school bullying, and ends with her world changed so far as to be almost unrecognisable.
While the beginning of this novel adequately introduces Paivi through descriptions of her thoughts and feelings about her world, it is the ways she reacts to the troubles she faces that makes her a likeable and involving protagonist. By the last half of this novel I greatly admired her, and began to reflect unflatteringly on some of the other female protagonists of this genre, and by the close of the novel, which clearly sets up for a sequel, I was impressed by her growth and maturity and by Kirkpatrick's skill in creating this character, which is unfortunately not fully utilised in the novel's opening.
In weaving so many elements together, Kirkpatrick has created a thrilling and original novel that should satisfy those who usually read any one of these genres. If her writing improves as much between the first and second novel as it does between the beginning and end of this one, then the follow up to Into the Shadows will be outstanding.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)