Reviews for Shimmers in the Night
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
After receiving a frightened message from her brother, Cara and her two best friends sneak out to his camp for genius children. There they discover more secrets about Cara's missing mother and the magical environmental war that is brewing. While there is danger and magic, the real appeal is Cara's realistic voice as she fights to protect her loved ones.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 June #2
The seemingly three-tiered conflict that emerged in Fires Beneath the Sea (2011) coalesces into a single war in this earnest but somewhat haphazard middle volume. Cara and her brothers (though not their oblivious dad) know their mom's involved in a confrontation that connects murderous mythical creatures with global warming. Cara leaves Cape Cod for a Boston swim meet, but a frightened text from Jax (a classic genius-younger-brother archetype--think Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time) says he's endangered at his Cambridge genius-kid camp. She sneaks off to fetch him, and a man with flames inside his mouth accosts her on the subway. He's a Burner, an elemental who belongs to the army of the Cold. The Cold steals people's consciousnesses (including Jax's) and uses their bodies as "hollows" to serve his Carbon War, which is acidifying oceans and extinguishing species. On the good side are mindtalking/mindreading teachers, Cara's mother (a shapeshifter) and animals both modern and ancient. Relevance to real-world burning of coal and other fossil fuels is vast. However, characters' naiveté and ill-fitting metaphysics (for example, a book that can take Cara anywhere she asks) replace the luminous prose and luscious, cohesive mysteries of the earlier book. Textual insistence on (Arthur C.) Clarke's Law--that magic and technology are indistinguishable--jams the nightmare-image Burners and other fantasy elements into the category of "tech." Nicely serious eco-fantasy; may volume three have more cohesive internal logic. (Fantasy. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
VOYA Reviews 2012 December
It is the week before Halloween and Cara's younger brother, Jax, is off to Cambridge for a two-week stint at a "genius-kid" camp. He has special abilities that allow him to read minds (or in other words, "ping" them). Cara is busy herself, leaving to go out of town for a competitive swim meet with her friends. She is there when Jax texts her for help, "SCARED TELL NO 1 PLZ COME!" She finds a way to secretly leave, going unnoticed by her coach and Mrs. M. Cara soon enters a world of men with fire in their mouth; people with angel wings; and a brother that has been hollowed to be used as a weapon. Fortunately, Cara recruits her friends and they all work together in fighting the dark forces. This second book in this new fantasy series will not disappoint. Characters are given enough dimension that the fantasy elements are believable. Readers will identify with Cara's strong ties to her family and friends, who find out that people they might have known for most of their lives are closer to being their enemies. Readers will want to leave the lights on well after finishing this book as the detail depicted will create similarities in your mind to Clive Barker's Abarat books. Readers will likely want Cara on their team as they jump, like Alice down the rabbit hole, through the guide book that turns into a window through another world.--Kelly Czarnecki 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.