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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Through Shade and Shadow by Natalie J. Case is a realistic paranormal fantasy that speaks volumes on hate and fear. The novel is split between two perspectives: Mason Jerah and Alaric Lambrecht. Mason is a Shade who's kept from the world and his powers by his grandma. When she dies, he receives her final breath and sees the memories of his past. He lives in fear when a Shade is caught on a serial killing spree, drinking people's blood. This sparks a chain reaction of fear and hate which leads to violence and persecution. Alaric is a Shadow, an empath and psychic working alongside his family. As the wrong person comes into power and the wrong voices are being heard, everyone he knows and loves is in danger. Mason's and Alaric's lives are flipped around as the hate and violence spreads, getting closer and closer to home.
A cautionary tale with a supernatural essence, Through Shade and Shadow tells the story of two people who are trying to make a difference, to do good and save people from hatred. So much truth is in this novel. There may be Shades, Shadows, and Shifters, but it's so realistic that it's eerie. All it took was a Shade being caught murdering people, and then everyone is afraid of Shades, not taking the time to see that at their core they're healers. The Shade sparks a chain reaction from fear to hate to violence. People turn on anyone who's a different race, religion, and orientation. Suddenly everyone is powered by fear and hate. It's not hard to see a parallel between the story and what you see on the news. Natalie J. Case shows the repercussions of being ruled by the fear of differences. There are several scenes of pointless violence and attacks. Mason is beaten by three men just because he took a kid to the bathroom because the parents asked him to. Compelling and tragic, but Through Shade and Shadow also tells a story of a desperate hope that these people can change the world.