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Token of Darkness (Den of Shadows) Library Binding – February 9, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—Cooper Blake's life is in ruins. A summer car accident shattered his body and ruined his football career. He can't—or won't—talk to anyone about the pain, the nightmares, or his inability to sleep, and he is feeling disconnected from his family and friends. And then there is Samantha, the attractive, sassy girl who has stayed by his side since the accident. She has been his confidant and cheerleader, urging him to fight through the pain of physical therapy. There is only one small problem—Cooper is the only one who can see her. Samantha has no memories before he woke up in the hospital. She just knows that she wants a physical body. Cooper also sees dark shadows that seem to feed on the living. Samantha's desire for a body sends him to the occult section of the public library and a chance encounter with Brent. Brent takes Cooper to a sorcerer who may be able to help him deal with the shadows and discover Samantha's true nature. Cooper also runs into Delilah, the captain of his school's cheerleading squad and a budding sorceress in her own right. Together they seek answers to Cooper's visions and Samantha's origins, and in the process expose themselves to dangerous forces beyond their understanding. Atwater-Rhodes has crafted another chilling tale with enough plot twists to keep readers guessing. Some may find the ending a little too neat, but most readers will burn through this slim novel in one or two sittings.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After waking from a damaging car accident, Cooper finds himself haunted by a mysterious girl he can only assume is a ghost. Samantha doesn’t remember what happened, and Cooper doesn’t know why she is with him, but both are pursued by malevolent shadows that others cannot see. Estranged from his football friends because of his injuries and this new strangeness, Cooper relies on two acquaintances—Delilah, a witch; and Brent, a telepath—to help him figure out where Samantha came from. Helping Samantha, however, may be more dangerous than any of them realizes. Cooper’s appeal as the clueless, traumatized do-gooder and the mystery regarding Samantha’s origin keep the pages turning. There’s an unexpected twist to Samantha’s true nature and the reason for her link with Cooper, but the explanation is rushed and the resolution not particularly convincing. Fans of Atwater-Rhodes’ paranormal teens will enjoy this tale of elemental powers and body swapping, but others may wish for more follow-through. Grades 6-10. --Krista Hutley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The reason being is that the book is a quick read and flies by in under 200 pages. While not a negative in and of itself, this story had more room to grow. The final third does seem to throw a lot at the reader and tie everything together a little hastily. Not to say it is full of plot holes and inconsistencies, but certainly a tale that would have benefited from the freedom of another 50 or so pages of pacing and fleshing out. A good effort from a great author, but I believe it could have been more.
Rhodes always has a very good array of characters, humans, nonhumans, men and women, but typically her stories are based around one characters perspective and that character is usually a woman. Don't get me wrong, I think that's awesome, it one of the reason's I've always loved her books. She's got all these strong heroines that kick ass on a daily basis and aren't afraid of what goes bump in the night.
But it's nice to see her as a writer stepping outside of that box and exploring how a guy sees things and what the inside of his head is like. Cooper Blake is a great character. I loved how we got to see inside his head and see the issues he was dealing with both physically and emotionally. I also think this book had the most perspectives that she's ever written in one book and I really liked that.
I liked seeing how other people viewed Cooper and how each point of view brought new information into the equation that tied together with the end game of the story. Writing style aside the actual plot was great and I love that Rhodes stepped away from vampires in Token of Darkness and instead used this elemental as this humanized version of a misguided...villain. That's the wrong word, but you'll understand what I mean when you read the book.
I wasn't crazy about Delilah at first, but she really came around in the end or at least it seemed like she did to me. I also really enjoyed Samantha's character and her interactions with Cooper. Also oh my god I died laughing towards the end of the book with the scene where she, cooper and Brent are in the hospital, you'll know which one I'm talking about when you read the book, but it's the best.
I'm so enthralled by the Den of Shadows world and Rhodes seriously knows how to keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Token of Darkness was dark, thought provoking, and engaging. I really loved the humans with abilities angle and I encourage anyone who's enjoyed Rhodes' previous works to check this one out. You won't be disappointed!
Like most of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' novels this one was a quick read, yet still wonderfully written. She manages to capture every moment flawlessly, so that you can picture every scene, every character in your head. That's one of my favorite things about her writing, the fact that she makes every moment and every character real. This book was no different, it had the same superb storytelling as her past books.
The story may not have been the most unique of tales, however, Amelia did add her own flair to a common story, making it a bit more creative than others.
Token of Darkness isn't my favorite book of Amelia's (check out the Kiesha'ra series, they're amazing), however, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick ghost story.