It’s time to talk about Tessa and Nick, and the different facets of A SHADOW’S BREATH by Nicole Hayes. I’d like to open by saying that I’ve read every single one of Nicole’s books, and she seems to develop further as a writer with each subsequent novel – which I find satisfying, because to my mind, an author who’s working on her craft with each book is really putting effort into the stories she creates. I like watching the evolution of style and skill, and Nicole’s skills are pretty solid by this point.
Tessa is a great character, finely drawn and subtle, and she has actual agency in the story – always my biggest tick for YA. I liked that the arc about her relationship with her mum wasn’t all easily resolved, especially at the end. Relationships – family, romantic – are hard work, and involve communication from both sides, and I think A SHADOW’S BREATH captured that.
I also loved the character of Nick, and I think Nicole Hayes did an amazing job with the way she handled the ‘I-can’t-tell-too-much-cos-spoilers’ events after the car crash. I actually knew the twist in the tale, but even I was sucked in to Nick and Tessa’s epic journey – and that’s saying something. The Australian bush was efficiently and beautifully evoked (as a rural, I appreciate this) and I could easily picture everything Tessa and Nick encountered (although I was always picturing it in the Macedon Ranges area, cos that’s home, so…).
Yuki needs a mention: she’s a fantastic character, and again, there are differences of opinion and communication issues in Tess and Yuki’s friendship, but that’s the reality we like to see (and something that’s highlighted in this review at Reading Time). I’d love to know what happens to Yuki (maybe a follow-up?) because I can see her going on to great things!
So – now it’s your turn. Tell us what you thought about A SHADOW’S BREATH, and if you can’t give a review, maybe a star rating (1-5 stars and we’ll get the drift) here or on the Facebook thread. And tune in next week to find out about our new read for April!