The new year brings a new episode here at Novel Ideas world headquarters. This month we discussed Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older, a recent YA urban fantasy novel. In this episode you hear a punchy and tired Novel Ideas crew talk about YA character archetypes, the nature of trust, race and racism, and authentic teenage dialogue. You can also hear us decide which parts of New York City count as parts of New York City, obligatory love interests, latin metal, and art battles.

There is about ten minutes of weirdness in the audio around the forty minute mark, caused by I don’t know what. Our apologies to those listening in stereo sound, one channel cuts in and out for a while.

The music bump is “Fundamental” by Puya, and yes, they are in fact a latin metal band.

Our ratings and recommendations: A quick and easy read with an interesting premise and all too rare diverse cast.

Ben: 7/10. Enjoyable, but what happened to that dragon?

Gabs: 7/10. Not sure how memorable these characters will be in a few weeks.

Novel Ideas: Episode 1 – Shadowshaper

Featured image via David Flores.