Shadow the cat isn't great at being a cat. The little black feline's not a good hunter, and he's more likely to fall over his tail than land on his feet. The night of the big storm starts a chain of events that will find Shadow lost in a world where he doubts his purpose, his abilities, and even the good in his heart. Will he master his new-found powers to save a child from the beast that murdered his witch?
In this sharp-edged fantasy, British writer Callie’s first book, Granny Willow, an elderly witch, lives with her talking cat, Shadow, in a remote village. One night, a mother frantically seeks Granny Willow’s help in healing her daughter, who has been attacked by a cat. After the murderous cat, Gorlan, kills Granny Willow for refusing to supply information about the girl, Shadow becomes a suspect and is hunted by the villagers. Callie writes vividly about Shadow’s journey, as he adjusts to living without Granny Willow’s protection. Enduring both physical and mental anguish, Shadow eventually finds love with a cat named Magala and forms alliances with feral barn cats, as they prepare for a great battle with Gorlan. Though the story bogs down amid redundant explanations and overwritten passages (“Shadow could not begin to understand those feelings that made him want to destroy the cat that did this. He didn’t know it was within him. These destructive impulses, combined with the immeasurable guilt he felt for his earlier absence made him question his own being”), Callie creates an intriguing world of animal magic. Ages 9–up. (BookLife)