October 07, 2002
Book Review -- The Mediator: Shadowland

The Mediator: Shadowland
by Jenny Carroll
paperback from Pocket Pulse 2000

I collect Young Adult books. Generally genre fiction, although some non-genre fiction does creep in as well (and I still have all the books I've bought over the years, including those from when I *was* a Young Adult myself!).

I'm not sure where I picked this one up -- whether I picked it off of Glen's table last Boskone (Glen Cook always has such *good* YA books to buy on his table in the dealers' room) or whether I just bumped into it on my own. Its the first in a series, and according to Amazon, there are a total of four books out so far. I can't tell by just looking if its an open-ended series. But I do know I plan to buy more of them.

This isn't a kids book written for adults. Most adults probably wouldn't have the patience for the writing style, although the style is one of the things I like about it. The book is written in first person vernacular, like Suze is talking to the reader directly. Its the style I use, all too often, and I have a fondness for it. It reads like I could be reading it out loud and I can hear her voice in my head. I like that.

The style of the book definitely trades on the popularity of Buffy. There's this girl -- Suze -- and she's a Mediator. That means she can speak with the dead. Hells, she can talk to them, touch them, and even "kick ghost butt" when necessary. What she's supposed to do is help them find their way to the other side. But Suze (rather like Buffy) has gone all alone for the first 16 years of her life. She had no help, no one to teach her how to deal with this gift. So she's developed her own techniques.

Now she's moved from New York City to San Jose, because her mother has gotten married. And suddenly there's a priest at her school who knows exactly what she is. And three step-brothers becoming involved in her life. Not to mention Jesse, the *really* cute ghost with the amazing six-pack who just happens to reside in her room. Suddenly life is different for Suze, but the ghosts are still there. And Heather, who died not long before Suze arrived at the Mission school, can't stand her.

The book reads quickly, and I can see the episodic nature (meet ghost, fight or fix with ghost, get them to the other side) and the relationships forming. There's Jesse, the ghost. Her step-brothers (I rather like Sleepy, even with the little we've seen of him, and I especially like Doc). The not so popular kids at school, and the popular ones. Yes, very reminiscent of Buffy. But in a good way, and enjoyably done. Now I just need to go get the rest of them.

Posted by Deb Atwood at October 07, 2002 11:11 PM | TrackBack

i am also a fan of this book, but i did not know that there were others. Could you please clue me in on these sequals? i very much enjoyed the first book and i would like to read the rest.

Posted by: Faye on June 15, 2003 07:42 PM

I really liked Shadowland and am going to go to the library to see if they have the sequals, please keep me posted if you are writing any new books. I LOVE THEM!!!

Posted by: Robyn on June 16, 2003 11:18 PM

I loved this book!!! It is definately like Buffy. You have Adam the character who has an unrequited love for Suze which is just the same for Buffy and Xander. You also have the geeky friend Cee Cee who is similar to Willow. Anyway I would love to know when the next book will be released in the UK.

Posted by: Ellie on August 22, 2004 07:44 AM

I read Hauted, which is about Suze and being a mediator, but its the authors other name, and I dont know if I read the first book, or if I started on a middle book. If there is anyway you could tell me the order of the sequels, I know the titles, that would be great. I recommend this book highly.

Posted by: Dawn on August 26, 2004 04:12 PM

Okay, if you still want to know the order of the Mediator books, it's:
1: Shadowland, 2: Ninth Key, 3: Reunion 4: Darkest Hour 5: Haunted and 6: Twilight comes out sometime.
Plus, there's a slightly similar series also done by Jenny Carroll, or Meg Cabot, whatever she calls herself. It's the Missing series, which starts off with 1: When Lightning Strikes. Where, you guessed it, the character gets hit by lightning. Very cool.


Posted by: Helen on November 7, 2004 06:12 PM
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