From the publisher—
In the college town of Isla Vista, California, small, odd things start happening. Science-geek Nicole notes the crows are leaving. Meg Burdigal can’t find her tabby cat, Schrand. Brian the postman feels uneasy at the rustlings, the shadows he’s seen at the edge of his vision on his delivery route in town. Now Nicole sees fewer and fewer homeless in the park. Using her knowledge of biology and forensics, Nicole searches for answers—but will anyone take the horror she finds seriously?
Back in the late 1950’s, there was this wonderfully goofy movie called “The Blob”, starring a yummy Steve McQueen (the re-make isn’t worth talking about so let’s pretend it didn’t happen). The blob in question was a thing from outer space and it oozed its way around this small town, getting bigger and bigger while it sort of sucked up people and animals wherever it went. Naturally, the only folks who know what’s going on are some teenagers and, of course, nobody believes them. Do I need to tell you that these teens save the day? Anyway, this movie is equal parts scary and campy and hilarious and it’s a genuine classic, not to mention starring my heartthrob Steve McQueen 🙂
From the moment I finished the first chapter of Watch the Shadows, I thought of “The Blob” and knew I was in for a real treat. I’m happy to say I was not mistaken. Full of ooey-gooey scary stuff and mystery and the occasional snicker, this book kept me on the alert all the way through even though there are some periods when the pace kind of grinds to a, well, ooze (sorry, couldn’t resist). Nicole is a cool nerd with parents who are just as nerdy and I loved spending time with her as she put her know-how to use, determined to figure out what was in the neighbor’s kitchen. Mailman Brian and Meg, a woman who collects dogs and the homeless, are also growing more and more suspicious of the odd things happening and Jack makes a great sidekick for Nic.
Storyline aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Winter’s descriptive abilities and her creative ways with words, such as:
A semi thundered by, breaking wind like a fat man.
“No,” Brian said. “You’re right, Jack. Nicole. Both of you.”
“Did you believe Jack because he’s male? You didn’t believe me alone, before,” Nicole said.
“I didn’t believe either of you in the beginning because you’re kids,” he said. The truth surprised him.
“Age-ism,’ Nicole said. “I see.”
Bottomline, I got a real kick out of Watch the Shadows—and I believe I’ll lay in a large supply of Italian salad dressing 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, April 2015.
About the Author
Robin Winter first wrote and illustrated a manuscript on “Chickens and their Diseases” in second grade, continuing to both write and draw, ever since. Born in Nebraska, she’s lived in a variety of places: Nigeria, New Hampshire, upper New York state and now, California. She pursues a career in oil painting under the name of Robin Gowen, specializing in landscape. Her work can be viewed at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara or on-line at www.sullivangoss.com/Exhibits/RobinGowen2012.asp
Robin is married to a paleobotanist, who corrects the science in both her paintings and her stories. She’s published science fiction short stories, a dystopian science fiction novel, Future Past, and Night Must Wait, a historical novel about the Nigerian Civil War.
You may contact Robin or read her blog at http://robinwinter.wordpress.com, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/winterobin13 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/robin.winter.144734?ref=ts&fref=ts
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