Pangu’s Shadow

YA Scifi Mystery | Karen Bao

About the Book

There are no second chances in the Pangu Star System.

Ver and Aryl, apprentices at the most prestigious biology lab among the system’s moons, know this better than anyone. They’ve left behind difficult pasts and pinned their hopes for the future on Cal, their brilliant but demanding boss. But one night while working late in the lab, they find Cal sprawled on the floor, dead.


And they immediately become the prime suspects.

Their motives seem obvious. Ver, who left her home moon to study the life-threatening disease wracking her body, had a hopeless attachment to Cal that could’ve become twisted by jealousy. Aryl, on the other hand, clashed with workaholic Cal because she valued more in her life than research.

To clear their names, Ver and Aryl put aside their mutual suspicion and team up to investigate Cal’s death. As they search for the real murderer, they uncover secrets that have shaped all of Pangu’s moons… and must decide what kind of future they really want.

Buy the Book


“This dual-perspective tale maintains a vivid connection to each narrator’s voice while keeping up an exciting pace and unfurling a satisfying mystery. Hard to put down: A strongly written work that pulls no punches while providing much-needed representation.”―starred, Kirkus Reviews

Pangu’s Shadow is a pitch-perfect murder mystery wrapped up in a scientific bow. . .Who knew science could make me feel so much?”―Cody Roecker, adult and teen services, Naperville Public Library

“Full of humanity and heart, Pangu’s Shadow will rivet readers with an out-of-this-world murder mystery and capture their hearts with an enthralling rivals-to-lovers romance. A unique, timely, and iconic addition to the young adult mystery canon!”―Katie Zhao, author of How We Fall Apart

“An awful lot of fun.”―Andrea Tang, author of Rebelwing

“This genre-blender has disability and queer rep and explores themes of immigration and classism. … the characters are distinctive and compelling. This will appeal to readers who love lab settings, murder mysteries, and romance.”―Booklist

“Since Dove Arising, I have been waiting with bated breath for Bao’s next SF― and Pangu’s Shadow totally delivers!”―Romina Garber, New York Times and international bestselling author of Zodiac and Lobizona

The Details

Published: February 6, 2024
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Pages: 288
Formats: EbookHardcover
ISBN-10: 1728477514
ISBN-13: 978-1728477510

Genres & Tropes
Science Fiction, Mystery, young adult, BIPOC