Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Egmont USA
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.
One thing I liked about this book is the way the author describes things that happen. Her words often feel genuine, and her descriptive skills are undeniably good. The romance between Phe and Zach, though a little rushed, sounds believable as they have a mutual interest in each other. And thank goodness they never overstep the boundaries of a healthy relationship.
However, I couldn't particularly connect to any of the characters. Please forgive me for my ignorance, but I did not have the slightest bit of idea what Phe's favourite music / bands are, as in I have never heard them before. The pacing was too slow for my liking, and the story too long. I almost gave up halfway through, but I wanted to see what all the fuss about Athena's mysterious death / genetic mutants was about, so I kept on reading, only to find out that the mystery isn't that much of a mystery after all.
The identities of the bad guys were too predictable. Obviously it's one of those who were portrayed as morally askew people right from the beginning of the novel. I didn't even feel surprised that they were the culprit. So much for the grand revelation.
Bottom Line: I didn't like this book, but it was not that bad. At least I enjoyed the author's impressive literary prose.