I Become Shadow by Joe Shine

ibecomeshadow_joeshineI Become Shadow is a story about a society called F.A.T.E. Now, I forget what that stands for, but it’s basically a government agency that captures children at the age of 14 and trains them to be human weapons. Once these kids become fully trained Shadows at age 18, they wait until they are assigned to a “link.” Links are people who will one day make astonishing breakthroughs in science and technology and indirectly protect them until he or she makes their discovery. These Shadows are there to see but not be seen, to hear but not be heard.

The story is told in first person by Ren, a girl and social outcast who is kidnapped and forced to become a Shadow. Following her training process, she comes to realize that it isn’t so bad, and that she is actually trying to become better. Excelling through all aspects of transforming into a human weapon, Ren is given her link: a college guy named Gareth. Because of certain circumstances, Ren is forced to make direct contact with her link, breaking the rules that define a Shadow. Over time, she becomes friends with Gareth, and encourages him as he creates a wheat seed that can grow without water.

While I was reading this story, I thought it would be cool to have the abilities that the Shadows have, but it wouldn’t be cool to be taken from my family in the dead of night at age 14 and forced to undergo 4 years of rigorous training to not be seen again. If you’ve read and liked this book, want to read it, or read something similar, post a comment!

-Kyle H.

I Become Shadow is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library