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3.9 out of 5 stars180
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 27 February 2012
Shelter is Coben's first foray into young adult writing and it's mosty successful. Taking away my own comparisons to his adult novels, this is a fast and fun, if somewhat unbelievable, read through the eyes of Mickey Bolitar.

Mickey has his fair share of problems: his dad is dead, his mom is in rehab for drug addiction and he's staying with his uncle Myron. They are strangers to each other thanks to a sibling fall out between Mickey's father and Myron sixteen years previously, one which Mickey firmly pins the blame on Myron.

When his friend/girlfriend disappears, Mickey takes it upon himself to find out where she went, not realising it's a whole lot more complicated than that.

Those who have read the Myron Bolitar series are probably now aware that there is a bit of family resemblance between the gung ho Mickey and his Uncle Myron. I did like Mickey but he also came across as a junior Myron - as in, if you have read the Myron Bolitar series, Mickey and Myron become a bit interchangeable as I could easily imagine Myron being just like Mickey during his high school years. Mickey also had a couple of sidekicks here in Ema, a goth girl who is a bit vague about herself, and Spoon, the stereotypical nerd and son of the school janitor with the resources to gain access into all of the places of a school that students are not normally able to. Which is handy. It was these characters who got some of the best lines and I'm wondering where Coben is going to take them all next.

The story was decent enough, quite suspenseful and full of twists and turns. However, I did have a major `huh?' moment towards the end when it veered off into something random and unbelievable (I'm trying not to spoil it for others) which was then left open ended when the book finished. For that reason, I will definitely read the next to see what Coben does with Mickey's story as Shelter very much felt like an introduction to a series rather than a self-contained novel.

While I did expect more from Coben's first young adult novel, Shelter was a promising start to a new series. It's a very quick read that may just gain Coben a ton of new fans.
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on 27 September 2011
All crime book fans know Coben as a master of the genre. They can't get enough of his crimebuster Myron Bolitar, who is up there with Robicheaux, Reacher and Rebus. That's why it's such a disappointment to find that the crimebuster in "Shelter" is Myron's 15-year-old nephew Mickey; Myron pops up in the book from time to time, but keeps a very low profile - probably for fear of damaging the reputation he's built up over the years.
Mickey has a trio of other teenagers in his gang, prompting comparisons with Enid Blyton's "Famous Five". They get involved with a reclusive and scary "Bat Lady", much along the lines of the youngsters in "To Kill A Mockingbird". There are men in dark glasses and dark suits in black cars with blacked-out windows, to add their sinister threat to the gang, and a concluding scene of (literally) unbelieavable mayhem which stirs memories of the film "Bugsy Malone".
In short, for anybody over age 14 it just doesn't work. What Myron Bolitar had , and what Mickey Bolitar signally lacks, is belieavabilty. Without that, it comes over as a spoof crime book, and a rather silly one at that. Coben claims he has such fun in writing it that we're going to be seeing more of his new hero; but here's one regular customer who isn't. I also said "in short" it doesn't work, and the one thing to say for it is that it's very short indeed. I estimate it at 50,000 words, which is more like an extended essay. It can easily be read in under 4 hours. The real crime about this book (which is beautifully written) is the way the publisher has contrived to stretch these words over 304 pages, to merit a cover price of £[]. Even after Amazon's discount, that still leaves too much to pay for a teenage mag-type story. So Mr. Coben, stop taking the Mickey, and bring back Myron.
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on 14 October 2011
Very disappointed with this new series, even allowing for the younger than usual target readership it is very poor. Myron and Co. were great reads but this I will not be recommending ... The ending is so off the wall.... Sorry but no go with this one.
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on 7 April 2015
Wow my 12 yr old son has been engrossed in this book and has now read the following 2 in the series. He is now a huge Mickey Bolitar fan. I am a fan of Myron Bolitar and love all Harlan Coben books. I love how the author immediately gets the reader into the sory and I am pleased my son feels the same about this young adult range. Although my son is 12 he is an advanced reader and I did feel the content was suitable for him. Just my opinion of the content for my own son.
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on 6 February 2012
I have been a long time Harlan Coben fan, and have read all of his books! However, reading this one (after looking forward to the release of this book), I was quickly disappointed!
If you have never read a Harlan Coben before, then yeah, read this book, it will keep you going to end just to find out what happens. But... if you have then you will be disappointed also. Specially if you have read the Myron Bolitar series! Sorry to burst any bubbles, but you half expect Mryon to come in a save the day... which he doesn't.

I'm not sure if this book was aimed more at teenagers, or at any age group all the same. But, like other reviews have said, the teenage drama is really too much. There isn't as much humour and, the way the story has was written has so much of how the Myron started but just doesn't cut it! As a big fan of the Myron charcter, I felt it was a bit of a cheat, the way the character (Mickey) seemed to take on a lot of Myron's traits, and not develop any of his own.

If like me however, you have been and always will be a Coben fan, and like me, don't listen to these reviews either, and still buy the book. Don't say you weren't warned. You'll miss Myron, Win and Esperanza. Even Big Cyndi!
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It has great characters and an exciting thriller plot. The characters are teenagers, and it's a YA book, but as an adult, I enjoyed it.
Amazon has listed this book in the Children's Books category, and it really doesn't belong there. Teen readers, absolutely. Children, no. There's too much violence and some material that requires a certain maturity and understanding of borderline adult matters.
The reason I gave it only four stars and not five is the ending.
The book ends with a revelation that's simply implausible.
In the next book, this implausible revelation is revealed to be a red herring, but on its own, the book is flawed.
Before you buy the next book, I want to warn you that one is only part of a story and doesn't have any ending at all, and to find out what happens next you'll have to wait for a year or until whenever Harlan Coben publishes the next book.
It may be better not to buy the first book in the series until the series is actually complete.
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on 9 April 2012
It is always sadly disappointing when you see an advertisement with it's marketing strategy nakedly on display. In Coben's case the situation with Shelter is that it's not only on display but seems to have been created by a bunch of 12 year olds. I don't know who should be the more offended - his many fans or the juveniles he's now writing down to. Fail.
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on 23 October 2012
I love Harlan Coben books, always have. Could this be the worst Coben book ever, or even the Worst.Book.Ever! I don't even think he wrote it himself. Did the publisher hassle him to get a book out quickly so he abandoned plot and character and thought and coherence? This book is utterly ludicrous.
I got the book discounted for £2 - a total rip off.
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on 18 November 2011
I love Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar books. I adore Win & Myron's friendship and Myrons other relationships. There are the 1 liners that make you laugh. I am a fan of Harlans style of writing and like the omit of swearing in his later books. I always find these books a good read. I miss the characters after I finish the books & can't wait for the new one to be released. After reading the last Myron book I was excited to read Shelter with his nephew Mickey. I was looking forward to seeing how Mickey would interact with the other characters & thought that Harlan would include them in a new way but they are hardly mentioned. No Win :( I thought this book was an OK read, I was disappointed that Myron didn't figure more and thought the plot was a little thin and the fight scenes a little samey (if that's a word). Don't let me put you off reading it but at the same time don't be surprised if you are not "wowed". If you are a fan like me it will semi fill you up until the next release!
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Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between a YA book and a full adult novel. Here this one, despite the author’s writing skill, does feel slightly dumbed down.

Featuring young Mickey Bolitar who was introduced in the excellent Myron Bolitar series, this is a mystery about a disappearing schoolgirl. Mickey gets involved when one of his new friends vanishes and he can’t resist trying to find out what happens. With the aid of new classmates Mickey finds himself closer to the truth and in extreme danger. There is also a link to the past which is not fully explained and leaves the book on a bit of a cliff-hanger.

So, does it work? No, not really. The historical aspect is a little bizarre and has the lack of logic that ‘might’ work in a YA book but adults may struggle when remembering we are talking about a 14 year old boy here.

Much as I like the author I shall leave future adventures to teenagers who may appreciate it better.
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