Hahn, Rebecca The Shadow Behind the Stars, 240 pgs. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. $10.99. Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: PG-13 (rape—occurs off page); Violence: PG-13 (murder of many, including a child)
The three Fates live removed from humankind on an island where they spin, measure, and cut the threads of mortal’s lives. Once, they lived among humans, but found that the interactions and relationships that formed were dangerous to all involved. Now, they exist to do the work given to them by the gods and rarely find themselves in the company of people. One day a young woman makes her way to their home to ask for help. Aglaia has suffered an unimaginable tragedy and the sisters will have to decide how or if they will show her mercy. Chloe, the youngest, believes this young woman will bring nothing but pain and destruction to the contented life the sisters have created. As the Aglaia’s fate untangles before them, the Fates realize that the power of her thread could be enough to destroy the world.
The three Fates are given the chance to tell their story and after a promising start, the book quickly becomes tiresome. The overall feel of the book is dark with tales of rape, murder, and destruction; however, with all of the chaos and violence, the story is slow moving and the reader will be wishing for the characters to get on with the telling. The book is relatively few in pages for a complete novel, but would have worked much better as a short story as most of what happens is telling and retelling of the same plot pieces with long stretches of navel gazing in between. This should be considered a niche book as readers who enjoy tales of myths and the gods may be the only ones to find interest in this tale.
MS, HS—OPTIONAL AEB