Thursday 15 May 2014


Shimmer by Jennifer McBride & Lynda Nixon (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9-781-922-089-434
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

When I first saw Shimmer, I wasn’t too sure about it as I admit I have a slight aversion to glittery book covers. Well, I’m so glad I took the time to (not judge a book by it’s cover – literally) and go beyond that cover and read it. Here’s a little excerpt:

‘I will not go!’ Kora folded her arms and looked away from her father.
‘It is not a choice, Kora.’ The Emperor placed a hand on her shoulder. ‘All genies of royal birth must go.’
She shrugged off his hand. ‘I know that, but why now?’ Amurru stood quietly by Kora’s globe. She strode over to him. ‘Tell them, Amurru,’ she said, jabbing a finger in the air towards her parents. ‘It is madness to send my away now.’
Amurru’s yellow eyes blinked slowly. ‘To learn how to rule you must first learn how to serve.’
She stomped her foot. This was ridiculous. …
… ‘Enough. I will argue with you no more.’ The Emperor signaled to Amurru. ‘You will leave immediately, Kora. I command it.’
The air around her began to stir. Her father’s command had activated her globe and she was being pulled in against her will. She took one last look around at her home and then glared at her parents.
‘I hate you,’ she spat. ‘I hate you both!’

Shimmer is a story about an angry, teenage genie empress, called Kora, who is sent to live on earth (Panda Rock in Western Australia, thank you) by her parents. She has been sent against her will, so that she can learn to serve before she learns to rule. She’s also been sent away to be protected against an evil half-human/half-genie, called Vennum (yes, a cool name) who is waging war against her home planet and wants to kidnap her because she’s the most powerful genie to be born in centuries.

After arriving on earth Kora meets, and is ‘harnessed’ her newfound master, a boy by the name of David. By asking her to help him find his soldier father, who is missing in action in Afghanistan, and by him agreeing to risk his life to help her own endangered family, David and Kora team up together and take on the world. Fast- paced and funny; it also has it’s touching moments.

Shimmer suggests that working together is more productive than being individuals and as a result there are wonderful themes of friendship and understanding as well as a cracking adventure that’s engaging and entertaining.
Shimmer is a beauty. A coming of age book, but absolutely fun to read for upper primary to early secondary school students. While Shimmer may be targeted towards girl readers, there is enough in this story for boys to get their teeth into.
I’m always fascinated by writers who can collaborate and believe that Jennifer McBride and Lynda Nixon have done an amazing job. I can’t wait to see what they write together next!

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