The Shadow Project By Herbie Brennan

The Shadow Project By Herbie Brennan 150 150 Reader Views Kids

The Shadow Project
Herbie Brennan
Balzer + Bray (2010)
ISBN 9780061756429
Reviewed by Dylan James (age 13) for Reader Views (03/10)

Danny is a skilled thief and, one night, he breaks into a rather strange house. There’s a secret door and, on impulse, he goes through it. There is an elevator that goes down deep under the house and Danny finds himself in the midst of a very complicated secret building. He gets caught and imprisoned within it, and soon he finds out it is the base for The Shadow Project, a CIA organization that can send people out of their bodies to spy on others. Danny has a natural talent for it, and eventually he is made an agent and entered into a deathly war.

“The Shadow Project” by Herbie Brennan started out fast-paced, extremely exciting, interesting, and funny. From the very first pages, it has all the elements needed in a fantastic book. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on those key elements of an adventure book, it begins to drop them later in the book.  Up to about page 200, it was a brilliant book. Then, at about that time, something called “sohanti” is explained in detail and made to sound as if it would be used.  The main character apparently is “sohanti,” but for all this explanation and leading up to, it is only made use of once or twice. It also begins to talk about the Bible, heaven, hell, God, and how this all has to do with the war between the realms.  Used as an explanation, it seems fine, but page after page of slowly and dully talking about God when just a few pages before there was an insane battle seems rather out of place. It also explains this other realm the reader hasn’t heard about yet in great detail, and I significantly lost interest there. You can write a book to do one or the other, but to have an exciting adventure book up to page 200 with no action in the rest of the book does not work.

For the confusing plot and ideas, I wouldn’t recommend “The Shadow Project” by Herbie Brennan to anyone under age 13, but there is nothing inappropriate for ages 11+.  The first 200 pages are great, but it just goes downhill from there.

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