Today sees the release of the debut by Marisa Noelle, one of our most loyal and dedicated mentors. Her mentees cannot speak more highly of her, for the encouragement, guidance, and cheer leading she provides and she is without a doubt, the most productive writer I know.
The Shadowkeepers is the first of two novels Marisa is releasing this year and I’m sure you will all join me in congratulating her on her very first publication day!
Message from Marisa:
A special thanks to the #WriteMentor community where were the group I didn’t know I needed! The biggest surprise of mentoring authors over the last two summers and being part of the Sparks program is how much it’s taught me about my own work! Being immersed in such a supportive community has buoyed me through the tough times and I’ve met friends who I consider closer than the people in my actual life! I’m so impressed with the entire program and the Jedi Master behind it, I hope that I become part of the wallpaper, in a good way!
Sixteen-year-old Georgia Boone has seen the shadow creatures in mirrors and other reflective surfaces since she was six-years-old. But no one–not even her brother, the person she’s closest to in the entire world–believes her. She is all alone in the hellish world where crow-like creatures hunting her everywhere she goes.
When an afternoon of shopping ends in violence and blood, Georgia is sent to the UK’s most prestigious mental health hospitals: Brookwood Hospital. There, she’s forced to face her fears and answer the question:
Are the shadows real, or is this all in her head?
At Brookwood, the shadow creatures are more present than ever and are getting stronger every day. Only with the help of a mysterious boy who lives inside the mirror world might she be able to prove that she’s not hallucinating and stop the shadows from destroying the human world.
By Karen Hugg, author of the Forgetting Flower:
The Shadow Keepers is a wonderfully crafted novel, rich with psychological intrigue and a plot that keeps raising questions. It’s like a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for teens. Georgia, the main character, is committed to a mental hospital for seeing dangerous shadows in mirrors and only has her brother on the outside for support. During the course of her stay, we meet her roommates, the staff, and her doctor, all richly drawn and all playing an integral part in the story. As she waits for her mandated 90 days to end, Georgia realizes that things aren’t what they seem. The nurses may have nefarious intentions and girls keep disappearing. Stealthily, she uncovers clues bit by bit until the book ends with a compelling climax that reveals the creepy awfulness at the heart of it all.
I don’t know that much about YA novels, but I loved The Shadow Keepers. Worth a read!
By Nicole Rubino, author of the forthcoming Something wicked:
A spine-chilling tale of my worst nightmare, Marisa Noelle’s The Shadow Keepers will keep you up at night for two reasons: the book is a fast-paced thriller, forcing you to turn the page and pray Georgia and her friends aren’t next; and, well, if you have any sort of reflective surfaces in your room, you may want to get rid of them before attempting to sleep.
Aside from the perfectly creepy atmosphere, the novel highlights mental health issues, and how these issues are perceived from a social construct, as well as personally, as main character Georgia grapples with deciding if she really is ill, or if something ominous is actually occurring within the walls of Brookwood Hospital. The internal struggle feels real, and as the reader, I found myself wondering the same thing at times.
The convoluted twists are expertly woven, and had me questioning the authenticity of a few of the characters right up until the very end of the book, where a revelation struck that I did not see coming.
As for my worst nightmare, I have my own irrational fear of mirrors, so this book was almost TOO perfectly creepy, and before I went to sleep at night, the book’s tag line echoed in my ears: “Whatever you do, don’t look in the mirror.”
A fast paced, harrowing read perfect for upper YA and adult audiences alike. The hospital setting is inherently creepy and keeps the tension from ever going slack. Throw in supernatural monsters and a bit of mystery, and you’ve got a recipe for a sleepless night. However, there are moments of compassion and tenderness that keep the horror from taking over completely. Altogether fun and satisfying!
Social media links:
Twitter and Insta: MarisaNoelle77