“Shiver” review: “McManus’ best to date”

This from a reader called pdrg on goodreads.com (spoiler alert: he liked it).

I don’t read Young Adult fiction, and I avoid supernatural books like ebola, HOWEVER I loved Shiver the Whole Night Through. The book when you list out what happens would be the kind of book I would hate, for example, quasi-vampires, people who come back from the dead, serial attacks, and a lot of pathetic fallacy, but what I loved about the book was the central character of Aidan. I teach teenagers every day, I know the way they talk, I know how they “suffer”, how they procrastinate and obsess, and I know the way they think and Aidan was spot on.
I had such empathy and understanding for him as a lost boy; clever and sensitive, trusting and caring, honest and genuine, but all the time struggling to be the man the world around him expects him to be. I had empathy and felt solidarity with Aidan, because I saw him as real and genuine, and therefore I went with the supernatural elements of the story and yes I certainly enjoyed it!
The secondary characters were also well formulated and three-dimensional, particularly Podsy who reminded me of friends I had when I was a teenager. The bad-guys were slightly more two-dimensional and had the air of caricatures about them, but they were always less important than the central character of Aidan. The heroine of the book, the ethereal Sláine was equally well developed and layered. She was much more complex than I anticipated initially and while she was a deeply flawed character by the end of the novel, she still managed to come across as believable because of various layers McManus had developed into her character during the novel.
As with YA fiction there’s a great thundering plot and an explosive climax, but McManus never loses touch with the characters and we never lose empathy for them and their struggles. I’ve read all of McManus’s fiction and this is by far the best to date!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: