To a Darker Shore

Page Street. Apr. 2024. 400p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781645678403.
Gr 9 Up–This novel takes readers on a riveting journey. Alestra is an inventor who lives in a world where human sacrifices are made to appease the hellish monsters surrounding them. When one of Alesta’s inventions goes wrong, her friend Kyrian, the kingdom’s heir, takes the blame to prevent Alesta from being sacrificed. This sets off a riveting journey reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno, where Alesta confronts monstrous challenges and descends into a hellish realm to rescue Kyrian. What sets this teen novel apart is the author’s masterful use of imagery and description, painting a vivid picture of both external monsters and the internal struggles of the characters. The narrative skillfully explores the theme of self-image and identity, delving into the burning self-hatred that accompanies the belief of not meeting societal expectations. Alesta, who is autistic and plus-size, is desperate to conform to others’ standards, whether related to appearance or shape, a desire that resonates deeply. The parallel drawn between external and internal demons provides a powerful metaphor for the battles individuals face in their quest for acceptance. The author’s ability to convey the emotional turmoil of the characters makes this book not only a gripping fantasy but also a poignant exploration of the challenges of adolescence.
VERDICT A phenomenal work, weaving together elements of fantasy, self-discovery, and the quest for identity, making it a compelling read for teens grappling with their sense of self.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing