Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman

Purchase HERE

Title: The Shadow of the Bear

Author: Regina Doman

Series: A Fairy Tale Retold #1

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling/Contemporary

Audience: Young Adult


Once upon a time... In New York City, a young, secretive street tough who calls himself, Bear, lands on the doorstep of two teenaged sisters. On the one hand Rose is delighted with his surprising knowledge of literature, poetry, and music; on the other hand Blanche is afraid of his apparent connections to drugs, murder, and a hidden treasure. Even as Blanche learns to trust him, her fears that Bear's friendship threatens their family prove terrifyingly true.

Originally published in hardcover in 1997 as Snow White and Rose Red: A Modern Fairy Tale, Bethlehem Books released The Shadow of the Bear: Snow White and Rose Red Retold in paperback in 2002.

**5 stars**

The Shadow of the Bear caught me in from the very first page, and held me captivated through practically the whole book. The style of writing that Regina Doman uses has a whimsical touch ... I was delighted again and again by the enchanting way she wove this story together.

I had never really heard the fairy tale of Snow White and Rose Red before, but basically The Shadow of the Bear tells a present-day retelling of it. Blanche and her younger sister Rose live with their widowed mother in an apartment of New York. Their mother works long hours at the hospital. Blanche is cautious and quiet and prone to panic attacks/fainting spells. Rose is vivacious and outgoing, always ready to try something wild. (Both girls were endearing, and I quickly grew to love them!). Then they meet Bear, the big guy with dreadlocks ... mysterious, unknown, and kind.

There were twists and turns, sweet surprises and terrible revelations. The romance wasn't blatant, but you could see it coming at some point, and it was just adorable. New characters popped up unexpectedly, and turned out to be more entwined into the story than you thought. It was just ... enchanting.

Well, except that it had a pretty dark theme. I would caution younger kids (even 12-15), because there's some yucky dreams, nasty characters, sinister plots, evil deeds, and a near-murder. I think Regina Doman did a pretty good job of NOT making it into a horror story, despite the heavy darkness twining through the book. Just a caution to younger and more sensitive people; because some scenes even I caught my breath with a "that's terrible!" thought. Of course, if you've read my reviews, you'll know I'm not a fan of gory violence and gross/sick scenes. But like I said, it didn't feel like a horror movie or anything.

Oh, and I think I remember there being a little bit of swearing. Not sure …

The Shadow of the Bear seems to have somewhat of an allegory/"moral of the story" or something present. The girls are Catholic, and they have steady morals and a simple faith. There were a few 'Hail Mary's and mentions of praying to the saints and angels, but other than that, it was like any other Christian book.

I just have to say... I'm really wanting to read more of Blanche, Rose, Bear, and Fish. I'm so intrigued. And I just LOVE how Rose likes to ditch reality and live the fairytale in life! It's just priceless. ^_^

There's still some things I'm not sure of. But if Black as Night continues like The Shadow of the Bear, and continues the Christian theme in a good way, I think this will quickly become a favorite series!


  1. Looks so interesting! Hmm, thanks for the review. I'll have to check this one out.

  2. Yes, it WAS interesting! :) I'm excited to read more of this series! :)