FICTION

The Becoming of Noah Shaw

368p. (Shaw Confessions: Bk. 1). S. & S. Nov. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781481456432.
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Gr 9 Up—In this companion novel to Hodkin's "Mara Dyer" trilogy, the story picks up not long after the series end, with the point of view shifting from Mara's to Noah's. The novel opens with a funeral; upon the death of his father, Noah inherits the considerable Shaw estate. Unsure what to do with his newfound wealth and power, Noah packs up Mara and his buddies and goes to New York City. The teen's immersive visions of young people dying makes him conclude that a malevolent force is forcing teens with special abilities to commit suicide. Noah and his gang set out to find who is responsible. Without having read the previous books, this companion novel will not make much sense. How did these teens with superpowers get together? What are the dynamics among them? Perhaps because the narrative does not stand on its own, it is hard to develop an affinity for the characters. It is hard to distinguish between Noah and the other young men in the story. All of them come across as arrogant and profane (One sex scene takes place while a funeral is underway). Mara is portrayed as little more than a sex object. Noah's constant references to luxury brands and places such as the Gansevoort Hotels, the DUMBO tower, and Caol Ila whiskey wear thin. Drug use, underage drinking, and sex are mainstays in this novel.
VERDICT Consider for purchase where the "Mara Dyer" trilogy is popular.

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