Today, I’m excited to be sharing my stop on the blog tour for These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall. Thank you so much to the publisher for the eARC and TBR and Beyond Tours for organising the tour.
You can check out the rest of the stops on this awesome tour here.
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
Publication Date: 9th August
TW: death of children, violence, sacrifice, death, body horror, violence, discussion of medial procedures without consent, blood
These Fleeting Shadows is a book that haunts your every thought and will try to consume your soul if you are not careful.
Kate had me utterly hooked from that first line. I mean, introducing elements of lies and unreliability in our narrator straight away always works for me. It instantly sets the tone for the book – where you will have to pay attention and question everything around you. Even the last line of the first chapter is such an ominous yet completely gripping one. You can sense the impending destruction and doom, yet you cannot look away. This book is like a lit match, about to blow everything up.
I adored the way Kate pulled in the horror and supernatural elements. They feel like an evocative depiction of intergenerational trauma and a way to speak to the silenced victims of privilege who are erased from their own history. It adds a unique layer to this Knives Out esque thriller surrounding inheritance, family and a blood drenched history they are trying to keep buried. The plotting is superb, with plenty of surprises and shocking moments for you to uncover. Trust me, you cannot see this coming.
It has an intensely Gothic feel to the book. This particularly manifests in the way Harrow becomes its own character. It seeps into every person and their particular motives and thought processes. They are all products of this claustrophobic, deeply flawed environment, yet they could also choose to break the cycle if they so wished. This book really digs into that cycle of trauma and death that enshrouds the book and its crumbling house. As a part of this, there is an intriguing exploration of grief and guilt that struck a chord with me. There is also a huge exploration of forming your own family and the strength found in this process.
These Fleeting Shadows is another nefarious book from a voice to watch within YA horror.
About The Author:
Kate Alice Marshall is the author of young adult and middle grade novels, including I AM STILL ALIVE, RULES FOR VANISHING, and THIRTEENS.
She lives outside of Seattle with their husband, two dogs named Vonnegut and Octavia, and two kids. They all conspire to keep her on her toes.