Shadow Box by Catherine Cruzan

CruzanShadowBoxWhere I Got It: Review Copy

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Publisher: Catherine Cruzan (2015)

Length: 47 minutes

Author’s Page


Tika and Noal are two kids playing in the snow, having a little snowball fight, and trading light insults. Then they notice something strange near the tree line. Their little village has a few strangers a year stop by, but they are always of interest to the locals. This one may find a few of those locals interesting as well.

There was a lot of meat to this short story. Tika and Noal are obviously great friends, as you can tell by their banter. Then the point of view shifts to the mysterious stranger, Flint. He has a wolf companion, Ki, and both of them make the adults of the village uncomfortable. Flint is something of a warrior and is much more than he first appears. He’s on the hunt for something and a few angry, armed villagers won’t stop him.

The point of view shifts back to Tika later in the story as he goes snooping. Of course, he ends up with more than he expected and his life may be forfeit. I really enjoyed all the mystery surrounding the stranger Flint and his quest. His purpose sounds grim and unjust to begin with but then, when I learned more, I wasn’t so sure. There’s definitely something more going on here that either the villagers are truly unaware of or the adults are turning a blind eye to.

There’s only a few female characters in this story and only 1 gets any lines. As usual, I would like things to be a bit more balanced. Other than that quibble, this was an excellent short read. I would definitely recommend it to any fantasy genre fans. I’m hoping the author revisits this world she created and builds upon this story.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the narrator (via the Audiobook Blast Facebook Group) in exchange for an honest review.

The Narration: Andrea Emmes did a great job. Her little kid voices were perfect for Tika and  Noal. I also liked her grim voice for Flint. She had a great way of capturing the ambiance of each scene – playful for the snowball fight, stolid determination for the bar room scene, etc.  

What I Liked: A mystery at the heart of it; Ki the wolf; Tika and Noal having a snowball fight; the ending was satisfying but left room for the author to build upon the story.

What I Disliked: I would have liked at least 1 relevant female character.


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