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REVIEW: The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow – Jeff Jacobson

The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow - Jeff Jacobson

Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, YA

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans

Reviewer: Damian

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About The Book

What If an Evil Witch Was Controlling Your Thoughts Without You Knowing?

Soon after being whisked away to Seattle to live with an aunt and uncle he barely knew, Charlie Creevey learned that he hailed from a family of witches. After settling into this unfamiliar life, his feelings toward his new friend Diego Ramirez began to grow into something more serious. And if that wasn’t enough, he failed to stop the nefarious witch Grace and her cohort from using the dreaded deathcraft and killing his mentor Malcolm.

But a recent victory over Grace convinced him that he could let his guard down, explore his growing romance with Diego, and enjoy life as a normal high school sophomore. Or as normal as you can be as a gay teenage witch.

In Book 3 of this riveting series, Charlie discovers that Grace has gone into hiding and is acting behind the scenes. Able to influence minds in ways that were previously unheard of in the witching world, Grace compels Charlie to unwittingly do things like taking on the bullies at Puget Academy and lying to his family. The more Charlie believes he is acting of his own accord, the more Grace secretly rebuilds her strength and plots her comeback.

Will Charlie ever be able to overcome Grace and her coven? Can new allies like witch-solider Emerald Green and the mysterious Aunties Wu tilt the equation in Charlie’s favor? Or is Charlie destined to live life as a gay teen witch, shrouded by the evil veil of the deathcraft? And can he ever share his secret with Diego—or will he have to keep his identity as a witch hidden in the broom closet forever? Find out in The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow.

The Review

In The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow, Charlie adapts to his new life, having been dropped off at his aunt and uncle’s house soon after learning he comes from a family of witches. He has a boyfriend, Diego. On top of learning about his sorcery, he’s dealing with coming out. 

Charlie also has an arch enemy, Grace, who uses deathcraft to kill people to steal their life force. Charlie longs for a “normal” high school experience and romance with Diego. Grace has other ideas when she links minds with Charlie, forcing him to combat her and protect those around him.

Lucky for Charlie, his new life comes with a group of witch allies. Together, they must battle Grace and her coven to protect innocent people, not to mention to release Charlie from Grace’s grasp. 

Before I dive into the heart of my review, I want to note that The Boy Who Chased After His Shadow is Book Three of Jacobson’s The Broom Closet Series. I chose to review a book in the middle of a series because, as the author of a series myself, I know reviewers shy away from taking on books unless they already read the previous novels. The fear of not knowing the characters or story compels this avoidance.

Why am I droning on with this preamble to my thoughts? Because I want to emphasize how you can start right here, with Book Three like I did, and easily grasp the tale and enjoy the read! Jacobson offers a story that can stand alone. However, after reading this one you will want to go back and take in the first two, as well as future novels in the series.

Jacobson pens a well written and fast paced adventure. The short chapters keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next. The cast of characters offer diversity and intrigue throughout. A unique and fun world of witches emerges, not the rehashing of older tropes. Charlie’s experience is original. As an aside, I loved the old school use of witches and their brooms!

Speaking of witches, Jacobson gives a wonderful creepy vibe to the plot. Warning: people die. Ghosts haunt the characters. And really evil witches lurk to destroy those around them. I was on edge because of the darkness, and I mean that in the most positive sense. Jacobson provides a spooky story with the perfect amount of fright! We’re dealing with witches, after all.

But Charlie’s experience goes beyond the scary. The novel contains a great wit throughout, as seems natural when looking at the world through the eyes of a teenager coming out and learning about his own witchcraft. Charlie’s bond with those around him is endearing. And his burgeoning feelings for Diego add a romantic element that will melt your heart.

Jacobson gives us the perfect blend of chills, thrills, adventure, and love in its many forms.

The Reviewer

Damian Serbu lives in the Chicago area with his husband and two dogs, Akasha and Chewbacca. The dogs control his life, tell him what to write, and threaten to eat him in the middle of the night if he disobeys. He has published several speculative fiction/horror novels with NineStar Press. Keep up to date with him on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.DamianSerbu.com.  

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