As part of the blog tour, I am sharing my review but also a snippet of exclusive content from Rebecca F John, author of The Shadow Order!
Factory Quarter is filled with crowded streets, and shops with no signs, and dingy jazz clubs, where Effie – full name, Euphemia Hart – plays double bass in secret with her bandmates, Ness, Poppy and Celeste. They are known as The Quartet, and they perform wearing masquerade masks to hide their identities, because in Copperwell jazz is considered a lowly style of music. Despite her wealthy upbringing, Effie never feels more like herself than when she is playing jazz, but she cannot possibly imagine how important her musical knowledge will become when the Shadow Order is passed and the world around her starts to change in strange and frightening ways.
What an intense and thought-provoking book, incredibly reflective of recent times, but perhaps this is what leads the reader to be hooked and drawn into the story.
We see vast divides between rich and poor, entitled and deprived, politics and freedom and as a society these are issues we can understand.
Teddy, Betsy and Effie live in fear until they witness the silencing of a protester and are urged to take action. Their journey and adventure is intense, thrilling and filled with fascinating characters, creatures and communities.
It is also a book of hope and the impact of a few on the many. The friendships and determination are real and strong and may just inspire readers to think clearly, make changes and be a voice in the crowd.
I am still thinking about this books ages later and finding new connections and understandings. I know a Year 6 class could have some brilliant discussions about the themes running through the story.