Shadow Child by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto is a beautifully written tale about the struggles of a set of twins.
When I sat down and started this book, I was absolutely floored. The writing style was so stunningly beautiful, I couldn’t help but metaphorically describe it as fine wine. Rahna has a wonderful sense of story and her word choice is magnificent. I didn’t want to put the book down.
But then I got to the meat and plot of this story.
I didn’t fully know what was going on and my questions weren’t answered. So many parts of this story were hinted at but then just fell through. There’s also four different story lines going on so it required a lot of brain power to keep track of what was going on. On top of that, Koko is a nickname of both girls, so those sections had me using extra brain power to try to figure out if this was one or both girls or neither.
I liked learning about their Mother’s back story, but I didn’t think she was the main protagonist of this story. I was far more interested in the twins’ stories than hers. While their Mother’s narrative was interesting to follow, I just didn’t care as much. I wanted to know what was going on now since there was a lot more drama during the present time in the story. Hana and Kei had such a thrilling narrative that I needed that story more.
This book felt more like a novel I’d read in an English class than one I would enjoy in my hobby reading. I seriously want someone to pick apart this novel and explain it to me. Is there a reason why we didn’t get all of the information about what happened? Is there a reason why we needed to know so much about the Mother and not the girls? I’d absolutely love if the author even explained the themes. I think I’d appreciate this book more if I could pick it apart and analyze it.
Honestly, I have the feeling that there is a piece of this book missing somewhere. The two halves of this book don’t intertwine perfectly and it just gives me this strange feeling. The story isn’t finished so I don’t totally feel satisfied. While I think the writing is beautiful and Rayna’s talent is obvious, I’m not one for cliffhangers or non-endings. I need to know what happened, so I don’t feel strongly about this book.
Overall, this book is interesting. I’d love to see it in an English class setting or have a BookTuber explain all the ins and outs so I can appreciate it more.
Two out of five stars.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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