3 Minutes Reading Time
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Sage Hyatt loves to sing, make arts and crafts, and is a connoisseur of desserts and cute cat memes.Amazon Author Page
Sage Hyatt started writing short stories with her dad from age six. You can find them at Not Your Father’s Bedtime Stories.
She publishes her first short story Psychopath Strawberry in the June issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk. The Last Shimmer is her first novel, published in May 2021.
The Last Shimmer is a horror story for middle graders from ages eight to twelve. The heroine in the story, Tiger Lilly Dander, is loyal and courageous. She doesn’t hesitate to stand up for her friend Stacy when threatened by other kids, even if it lands her in trouble.
Where did all the people go?
One morning when Tiger Lilly wakes up, she finds it strange that her family is not around, and there is no one on the bus or at school. She rushes home and is relieved to receive a call from her friend, Stacy. At least she is not alone.
A shadowy plot
The two friends set out to discover what happened to all the other people. But it is only when Tiger Lilly’s Shadow speaks to Tiger Lilly that she manages to figure out that the Shadows have taken over all the other people’s bodies. Will she and Stacy be able to figure out the Shadow’s weakness and get all the people back?
My Take on The Last Shimmer
Children will enjoy The Last Shimmer because it fits within their world. Many of them might still be or were recently afraid of their shadows. For this reason, this story succeeds as a scary story for this age group.
The story consists of six parts, with different points of view used in each. The author uses section headings to show the points of view. For example, The Shadow’s View One Year Ago and Tiger Lilly’s View.
The author uses the point of view of two characters throughout the story: Tiger Lilly Dander and Tiger Lilly X, the shadow of Tiger Lilly. Tiger Lilly X explains how the shadows planned and succeeded in taking over people’s bodies. Together with Tiger Lilly, we experience her fear and confusion about what is happening to all the people. We see how she discovers little clues about the takeover and how she figures out the Shadows’ weak points.
Theme and Symbolism
The theme of The Last Shimmer is the battle between good (light) and evil (darkness). The author uses a person’s shimmer and shadow as symbols in this story. Their shimmer is a symbol of a person’s positivity and joy. The shadows, for me, have a two-fold symbolism: I see them as a reference to the fight against the darkness in each of us. But also how adulthood comes and steals away children’s shimmer (innocence, joy, and positivity). But it is good to know that light (the good in this world) and compliments (recognition and appreciation) can counteract these events.
Should you get The Last Shimmer for your child?
The book is a scary story that middle graders will enjoy because they can associate with the characters and events in the story. The theme and symbols used in the book will be easy for them to understand. It is written in simple language, appropriate to the reading level of this group. The storyline pulls you in and keeps you guessing. If your child doesn’t like scary and prefers funny stories, check out my review of Twisty Tales, Vol 1, or Twisty Tales, Vol 2 for children ages six to eleven.
Did your child enjoy the book? Please let us know in the comments!
Susan van der Walt is an avid reader of genres like crime, thrillers, adventure, and true stories. On Read or Rot she shares her favourite books and quotes with you. She also writes articles, book reviews and book recommendations. She lives in Alberton (South Africa) with her husband, Warrick, and fur baby, Pixie.