Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher - OPTIONAL

The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher, 311 pages. Simon & Schuster, 2021. $20 

Language: PG (5 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (“bears balls”, “beaver’s ass”); Violence PG-13 (kidnapping, beatings, physical fighting, bleeding, use of guns and knives). 



 Jorie and her sister, Brenna, live in Shadow Springs on the edge of the Ice Flats. This part of the world has not seen a true spring in a generation and the weather is getting worse every year. Jorie makes a meager living for the two of them by scavenging off the dead bodies of those who are lured here to seek a legendary lost city and its treasures. One day Jorie takes the possessions of a dead man only to discover that someone thinks Jorie now has something valuable from the dead man. This desperate man takes Brenna as hostage. To get her beloved sister back, Jorie must bring the missing item to this man where he has taken Brenna – across the Flats. Jorie doesn’t even know what object the man wants, but she is determined to get her sister back. She reluctantly accepts help from the dead man’s nephew, Cody. Together the two of them face the deadly dangers of the Flats, outlaws, and supernatural forces as they try to bring Brenna home. 

The heroine was plucky and determined, but difficult to like through much of the book. Cold weather, continuous setbacks, and vicious opponents were unrelenting, making the book very tiring to read. The chosen use of “were” instead of “was” gave Jorie the feel of a girl without formal schooling, but it was inconsistently applied over the course of the book, so it was confusing. There were a number of plot holes, such as how people (and animals) in this part of the world make enough money/get enough food if there hadn’t been a spring in a generation? The supernatural aspect was resolved well in the end, but that was about the only satisfaction. 

 Reviewer: Shelly R 

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