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Spirits That Walk in Shadow Hardcover – October 5, 2006

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—College freshman Kim suffers from dark bouts of depression that are caused by a viri. Fortunately, her new roommate, Jaimie, belongs to a secret clan of magicians and is determined to help. Joined by a spirit guide in the shape of a lizard and Jaimie's three cousins, the young women set out to discover the identity of the elusive viri. Things get more interesting when another viri shows up claiming to want to rein in the rogue that is causing trouble for Kim. Close encounters with the culprit, the juggling of academic duties, and Kim's breakdowns keep the plot progressing at a well-measured pace. Unfortunately, the ending includes a bizarre twist that will turn readers off to the final pages of the book. Playful language and humor prevail throughout, with an appealing use of colors to describe Kim's moods. Background information about Kim's and Jaimie's lives before college is at times confusing, and the characters' strengths lie in their light, witty exchanges. With its quirky tone and colorful imagery, this novel has more spirit than shadow and is recommended for those interested in what Harry Potter's first year at a muggle college might be like.—Emily Rodriguez, Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

When Jaimie, a magical teenager with a rebellious past, decides to experience the world outside her isolated community, she is dismayed that she must share a college dorm room with a normal human. When her roommate, Kim, is accepted by Rugee, a guardian-like Presence that alternates between invisibility and varying reptilian forms, Jaimie is compelled to soften her stance. After Kim succumbs to a series of brutal attacks of profound despair, Jaimie comes to believe Kim is being psychologically manipulated by malevolent unseen things, and she vows, along with Rugee and an assortment of additional and also magical family members, to rid Kim of her predator. Told in the alternating voices of the two roommates, this is an original story with many unique (occasionally confusing and sometimes superfluous) details. The book labors to convince readers that much is at stake, and it lacks intensity and literary polish of Hoffman's earlier works. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing and well-paced story that will appeal to those who enjoy both fantasy and mystery. Holly Koelling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile; First Edition edition (October 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670060712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670060719
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor Skinner on December 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Jaime Locke was a minor character in The Thread That Binds The Bones, but Spirits is more like a direct sequel to the short story 'Exact Change,' which appeared in the 2 Hoffman anthologies Common Threads and Courting Disasters and also in Weird Tales #299. In that story Jaime starts to question the morality she's being taught by her magic teacher and starts to try to figure out her own destiny and how she wants to use her magical powers. In 'Exact Change,' Jaime is an elementary school kid; now she is an adult, shortly after The Thread That Binds The Bones, and decides to go to college in the Outside, away from her magical family, and see how she does.

Once in college, she meets her roommate Kim, who has a recent history of depression no meds will help. They find out Kim is a victim of a being called a viri, a sort of vampire that feeds on emotions instead of blood. The pair then encounter a viri who claims Kim's viri is a rogue viri, whom he is chasing, and two cousins of Jaime's who have had a very different magical education and have different attitudes about interacting with normals. These five people from different backgrounds interact, sometimes conflicting with each other, and search for Kim's viri to make it stop feeding on her. I love Nina Kiriki Hoffman's work and wonderful writing style, and found this book very satisfying. Hoffman writes about magic very well, sliding it between the threads of the fabric of everyday life, and often writing about the souls of everyday objects, like trees and (in Past the Size of Dreaming) garbage cans.

A few characters from Hoffman's other novel The Silent Strength of Stones also appear in this book, but it isn't necessary to read that, or The Thread That Binds The Bones, to enjoy Spirits.

It's also an interesting coincidence that both Nina Kiriki Hoffman and PC Hodgell released (very different) books about a character Jaime/Jame going to college in the same year.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Laer Carroll on October 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jaimie Locke is a character from The Spirit That Binds the Bones. Anyone who enjoyed that will definitely want this book. Hoffman at her best, and one of the best writers in the fantasy field, yesterday or today. The only way to make this book better would be to make it longer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Underhill on January 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nina Kiriki Hoffman is back to what she does best in 'spirits that walk in shadow".She beguiles us with her simplicity and enchantes us with her world that is only a step away from where we are now. The magic is the glue but the characters draw us in.Kim who starts out without the magical spark and Jaimie, whom we have met in a past Hoffman book ,who is trying to control the magic she has.Starting University and sharing a room together the girls havr to face lossing all magic and being helped by a family snake.Well presented and easy to read this book fits in well with Hofman's other work.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Schend on November 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A sequel to THE THREAD THAT BINDS THE BONES, this book is long overdue but well worth the wait.

Jaimie Locke is a marvelous character that brings the magic into this magical tale, while the other point of view character is her room-mate Kim, who brings the drama. Like the first reviewer commented, the book's only flaw is that it ended all too soon.

If you like contemporary tales of magic, this book is for you.

If you like well-developed characters and plots, this book is for you.

Heck, if you can read, this book is for you.

I, for one, cannot wait for Nina's next Chapel Hollow story. They're always a treat.
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By brookereviews on January 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Jamie and Kim are freshmen in college and roommates. This is Jamie's first time away from her magical family and living in the real world with regular humans. Kim is looking forward to putting her past behind her, and she thinks college will be the outlet just for that. But there is something wrong with Kim. She can't seem to control her emotions and her depression at moments is so bad that she can't do anything but curl into a ball and cry. With the help of Jamie, her cousins, and spirit guide Rugee she finds out that there is something causing and then feeding off of her depression. Can Jamie and Kim figure out who it is before Kim is sucked dry emotionally?

I was immediately drawn to this book because of the cover. I had no clue what it was about, but was determined to read it. I was happy to not be disappointed! Jamie and Kim are funny, skeptical, and strong. With alternating points of view you get a really good feel for each character. I like the idea of the witch who never lived amongst humans going away to college. Talk about culture shock! She doesn't understand a lot of things people do, but Kim is there to teach her and her cousins are there to have her back. Spirits That Walk In Shadow has a interesting take on the emotional vampire, and it was good to have so many characters working towards one goal: find out who the hell this bad guy is!

The characters in this book are all freshmen in college, but I would still consider this book fine for young adult readers. I know there have been debates on whether college characters can be considered young adult or not, but I think that with this book's lack of sexual content (that most adult books include) it's perfectly fine for YA. I also think this may be why this book is lost in the shuffle.

I was hoping there would be more books with these characters, but Hoffman's website doesn't show that. Oh well!
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