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The Shadow Thieves: The Cronus Chronicles, Book 1

Review

The Shadow Thieves: The Cronus Chronicles, Book 1

Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Mielswetzski wouldn't call herself a liar --- she prefers the term "storyteller." By adding just a bit of imagination and a good straight face, she can weave herself out of any trouble she finds herself in --- at least until now. Strange and unbelievable circumstances begin to alter Charlotte's world, and nothing could have prepared her for what she must face.

First, Charlotte discovers an adorable kitten --- or does the kitten discover Charlotte? Then, the weird, tuxedo-wearing fellow hiding in the bushes doesn't seem very normal. Plus, Charlotte's new English teacher, Mr. Metos, resembles a vampire a little too much for comfort. And when Charlotte's cousin Zee comes to live with them, one of the first things he asks her is if her friends are getting sick. But then Charlotte's classmates do start becoming ill, one by one, until the education board decides to close the school. Zee tells her that the same thing happened at his school; all the kids except him came down with some mysterious disease.

One evening, on the way home from a friend's house, two creepy fellows attack Charlotte and Zee. But thankfully, Mr. Metos screeches by in his car and they are rushed away to safety --- at least for the moment. Afterwards, Mr. Metos explains everything to them, but these explanations are quite difficult to believe. Those Greek myths they had been studying in English class? Well, they aren't myths at all, but real! One of the characters in the Underworld is trying to take over, and he's launching his evil quest by stealing kids' shadows to man his army! Charlotte and Zee must embrace as much courage as possible in order to set out on a rescue mission that takes them down into the depths of darkness.

In book one of The Cronus Chronicles, Anne Ursu expertly weaves her entertaining story in and around the famous Greek myths, and includes such characters as Zeus, Hades, Prometheus, a three-headed dog, harpies, and lots of other well-known accomplices. She writes with a smart, hilarious flair that pulls the reader through the pages quickly, while her in-depth descriptions bring the story up close and personal.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on April 24, 2007

The Shadow Thieves: The Cronus Chronicles, Book 1
by Anne Ursu

  • Publication Date: April 24, 2007
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 141690588X
  • ISBN-13: 9781416905882