Fantasy Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Jeri Smith-Ready
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Review by Deborah Blake

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and talk to ghosts. But she wishes she couldn’t. In fact, she is working on a project that she hopes will help her figure out both why the Shift happened and how she can turn off this unwanted ability. In the meanwhile, she is going to school, working at her aunt Gina’s law office (which specializes in wrongful death litigation and helping out deceased clients), and eagerly awaiting the night of her seventeen birthday.

Aura has big plans for her birthday. Her boyfriend Logan is playing an important gig with his band, and they have special plans for an intimate after-party. She expects it to be the most memorable night of her life. But she doesn’t expect it to end with Logan’s death.

Suddenly, Aura’s life is turned upside down. Her boyfriend is haunting her. Her new friend Zachary is helping with her project, and his presence in her life is both supportive and confusing. And not just because she discovers they share a strange secret: she is the first baby born after the Shift, and Zachary was the last baby born in the minute before the Shift. They know that this secret is the key to learning something important about the mystery that surrounds them; but what they don’t realize is that there are other people who want to learn those answers too—and they will stop at nothing to get them.

Shade is a magnificent book; moving, powerful, and highy entertaining. Aura is a realistic teen dealing with a fantastic situation in realistic ways. Her relationships with her family, Logan’s family, and her friends all ring true. If you think you don’t like YA books or Urban Fantasy, I’m betting you will still enjoy Shade.

I will admit that for a chapter or two, I was a tiny bit distracted by some of the teen slang. But by the time I got a little further into the book, I was so captivated by the characters and the story that I didn’t even notice it anymore. I just wanted to find out what happened next.

I don’t want to give away any more of the story. But I will say that it is full of intriguing twists and satisfying details about the post-Shift world. My only complaint is that I will have to wait until the next book comes out before I can find out what happens to Aura, Logan, and Zachary.

Jeri Smith-Ready has published two previous Urban Fantasy books for an adult audience: Wicked Game and Bad to the Bone, with a third in the series coming out soon. They are vampire books with a unique and fun twist. This book is a complete shift (you should excuse the expression) from her other books; the only thing they have in common is that they are all astoundingly well written. Make a note of her name, because I predict you will be seeing a lot of it in the years to come.

About the Reviewer

Deborah Blake is an award-winning author with five books on modern Witchcraft. Two of these are coming out this year: EVERYDAY WITCH A TO Z SPELLBOOK (Llewellyn, July) and WITCHCRAFT ON A SHOESTRING (Llewellyn, September). She also writes Urban Fantasy and is represented by Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency. Deborah gives a number of highly successful online writing workshops and has a loop, THE CREATIVITY CAULDRON, for paranormal authors. Her website is

4 Thoughts to “Fantasy Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready”

  1. Tia Nevitt

    It sounds wonderful! And I absolutely adore that cover!

  2. May I ask how the ghosts are handled in this story? {curious look}

    I ask because. I’m not fond of horror monsters in urban fantasy. Vampires, zombies and were-creatures are out, with rare but notable exceptions. However, ghosts may or may not be. It depends on how they’re handled. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  3. Anne,
    I don’t read horror, although I don’t mind vamps and such. But in this book, I would say that the ghosts are mostly treated as human beings who havne’t moved on yet. Not horror material at all.

  4. Okay, that’s good. I like ghosts who are treated that way. Thanks for the reassurance. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

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