Jun 202024
Locus: Like Elatsoe, Sheine Lende is much more chill than your typical YA fantasy or YA mystery. The stakes are high, but it never feels stressful. There is little on-the-page violence, and even when things get heavy or dangerous, the reader always feels safe. Little Badger guides the reader through a fascinating world. The pace is gradual without being too slow, and is light on action. Things take the time they take. Little Badger doesn’t skip the reader ahead or speed things up for the sake of drama.
You don’t need to have read Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe to enjoy Sheine Lende, although it helps. This is a great novel to give to tweens and teens who like mysteries and fantasy but either aren’t ready for or aren’t interested in plots with romance or more mature action sequences. It reminds me a lot of Cynthia Letitch Smith’s Harvest House, another great YA mystery about Indigenous teens dealing with a disappearance and colonial violence. Darcie Little Badger is so good at what she does, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.