Book Review: The Vanished (Shuri #2)

It seems like just yesterday the world was re-introduced to the land of Wakanda with the release of the Black Panther film. Just a few short years later we are getting more insight into the Wakandan royal family with books like Shuri The Vanished. Read on for a full Shuri The Vanished book review written by BIPOC author Nic Stone!

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ABOUT The Vanished (Shuri Black Panther #2)

Shuri, the Princess of Wakanda (and sister to the Black Panther), sets out to save a group of kidnapped girls in this all-new, original middle-grade novel by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone!

With the heart-shaped herb thriving, a group of Wakanda’s finest engineers working on expanding her dome technology, and the borders more fortified than ever, Princess Shuri can finally focus on what matters most: her training.

Nic Stone’s The Vanished flips Shuri’s narrative on its head by doing a deep dive into the brilliant young Princess’ hopes and fears.  The Vanished begins with Shuri prepping for several big exams in school plus she’s training in hand-to-hand combat with the Dora Milaje.  Shuri’s computer system gets hacked and she connects to an American named Riri who Shuri eventually teams up with.  A large group of POC girls have gone missing and no one seems to care (sound familiar?)

Shuri and her friend K’Mara head to the city of Mekele where they discover a compound where the girls are being kept.  The girls seem healthy but something is very off with their leader and Shuri is determined to free the girls along with the help of several notable people in the Black Panther universe.

Here’s the interesting aspect of these Nic Stone novels.  We get to see Shuri on her own, dealing with problems most young people face like drama with their peers and pressure from their families.  The brief scenes that have Shuri interacting with T’challa and Queen Ramonda feature bickering and exasperation on the part of Shuri’s elders who don’t know why she is distracted. It’s all very relatable!

The descriptions of the cities of Wakanda and Mekele are vibrant as well as the scenes from The Garden where the girls are held.  It helps to have some knowledge of Marvel and the Black Panther universe but really, The Vanished stands firmly on its own.  Packed with drama, action, and some serious girl power, we get Shuri solving problems on her own terms at first and then later with the help of equally strong women. I’m looking forward to more releases in this series!

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