Book Review: Throwing Shade by Deborah Wilde
Miriam ‘Miri’ Feldman is 42 and at that stage of life where she has stopped giving any effs about what other people think. She’s mother to a 16-year-old, bored in her job as librarian to a major Vancouver law firm, and very tired of dealing with the male half of the species, to whom as a woman over the age of 30, she appears to have become indistinguishable from the furniture.
She’s also been hiding a secret since her parents were murdered when she was only a teenager; Miriam is one of the Banim Shovavim, descended from Lilith and gifted with dark, shadow magics. Forced to call up her long-dormant magic to defend herself one dark night, Miriam is quickly sucked into the magical underworld when a white werewolf kills her attacker right before her eyes… and her best friend disappears, leaving behind a strange golem who speaks impossible prophecies of the future.
It’s fun to read an urban fantasy with a mid-life aged protagonist; in my 40s and a parent myself, though not part of the dating pool, I found Miriam both hilarious and extremely relatable. But what I REALLY liked about this book is that the magic system is heavily rooted in Jewish myth and legend. Miriam is Jewish and so are many of the other characters we meet, including werewolf Laurent and the ex-rabbi leader of the local vampires. It’s an eclectically diverse crew as well, from Miriam’s Vietnamese bisexual ex (and her half-Vietnamese daughter) to French-Algerian Jew Laurent, it definitely reflects Vancouver’s diverse reality even while adding in the magically fantastic elements.
I honestly loved everything about it; I learned some more about Jewish mythology, laughed along with Miri as she snarked at everyone who annoyed her and got thoroughly invested in the plot. I definitely want to read more in the series - and I hope the sexy Laurent makes a move, because I’m sure I detected some sparks flying between the two! I also admit to being intensely curious about Miriam’s daughter Sadie; the whole ‘she hasn’t inherited magic’ thing just seemed a little TOO pat to me and I suspect that might come up in future books.
Five stars for a fun and clever read!
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.