Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on September 1, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, mythology
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
A girl’s dark destiny could cause the unraveling of the world in this spellbinding novel from the author of A Creature of Moonlight, which Kirkus Reviews called “cumulatively stunning” in a starred review.
Heed this warning, mortal: stay far away from the three sister Fates. For if they come to love you, they might bring about the end of the world…
Chloe is the youngest. Hers are the fingers that choose the wool, that shape the thread, that begin it. The sun smiles upon her. Men love her without knowing who she is. She has lived forever and will live forever more. She and her sisters have been on their isolated Greek island for centuries, longer than any mortal can remember. They spin, measure, and slice the countless golden threads of human life. They are the three Fates, and they have stayed separate for good reason: it is dangerous for them to become involved with the humans whose lives they shape.
So when a beautiful girl named Aglaia shows up on their doorstep, Chloe tries to make sure her sisters don’t become attached. But in seeking to protect them, Chloe discovers the dark power of Aglaia’s destiny. As her path unwinds, the three Fates find themselves pulled inextricably along—toward mortal pain, and mortal love, and a fate that could unravel the world.
The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn is a young adult mythology book unlike any other mythology story I have read in the young adult world. It read more like a traditional Greek tale. A fictionalized play of a Greek tragedy, and there was just something about that the academic and history nerd inside of me ate right up. I loved that this story was set in ancient Greece and that it had all the sorrowful tragic elements of traditional Greek myths. Of course, that meant for a more violent and slower pace of story telling, which to me equates to a more mature target audience. I think adults will love this story perhaps more than young adults.
The Shadow Behind the Stars is told from the point of view of the Fates. I have not read too many books from the three fate sisters point of view, so that was really interesting to me. It was a kinder and gentler fate than I was used to from tales. They knew they had to carry out their job, but they could just not help but get swept up in poor Aglaia‘s story and destiny. I really liked the dichotomy of voices in the this story. The book is told from the point of view of one of the Fates, but on the other hand, it is also very much Aglaia‘s tale. The interplay between narrator voice and main character played out really nicely. I am very impressed with Rebecca Hahn’s writing.
The Shadow Behind the Stars is not one of those books that you can gobble up in a quick afternoon. It has a slower pace and is meant to be savored. I don’t often get to read books like this because of my limited reading time, I am drawn more towards instant gratification stories, but there is something really satisfying about digging into a book that forces you to slow down and really digest each page. If you are a fan of traditional greek mythology, you should really check out The Shadow Behind the Stars. It is a beautiful (and yes a little sad) tale. I will tell you one thing, I can’t wait to read another book by Rebecca Hahn.