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The Shade Trilogy, #3

“Shine” by Jeri Smith-Ready is the fantastic final chapter in her ‘Shade Trilogy’ series, a young adult series that explores a somewhat chilling reality that has very active ghosts. The series is best appreciated if one starts with the poignant tale of “Shade” as the reader is introduced to a world that is divided between ‘Pre-Shifters’ and ‘Post-Shifters’. Those born after the Shift are able to see and communicate with ghosts unlike those born Pre-Shift. Technology in the form of Black Boxes have been created to keep ghosts in or excluded from particular areas and there is a chilling organization called the Department of Metaphysical Purity (DMP) which attempts to police their presence. Aura is a teen at the center of the maelstrom surrounding the issues of ghosts and their rights and has already experienced more than her share of tragedy. She is gradually unravelling the mystery surrounding her birth aided by her counterpart Zachary, a Scottish teen whose father was affiliated with the British counterpart of DMP, the MI-X. The relationship between Zachary and Aura may be doomed before it can blossom as tragedy strikes. Aura is caught up in an emotional struggle to solve the riddle of her birth, while attempting to determine a way to convert shades (horrifically disturbed ghosts) as well as trying to keep all whom she loves safe from the depredations of the DMP. A lot of weight on the shoulders of a high school senior but she proves her mettle with her ability to adapt and stick to her principles.

Wow! What an emotional read! Ms. Smith-Ready has created a masterpiece of world-building peopled with remarkable and memorable characters. The combination of normal teen concerns juxtaposed with the global implications of the facts that are gradually uncovered through the three novels form a mesmerizing read. The author’s sensitive handling of major life-changing events such as death, establishing intimate relationships and the temptations facing young adults as they mature makes this a storyline that will appeal to a wide breadth of readers. I was enthralled by the characters even as I ached for the turmoil that they were experiencing and certainly hope that there will be more titles in this enchanting series.

Book Blurb for Shine

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 5.00