Harlan Coben’s Shelter follows the story of Mickey Bolitar (Jaden Michael) after the sudden death of his father leads him to start a new life in Kasselton, New Jersey. While adjusting as the new kid in a new environment, he befriends Ashley Kent (Samantha Bugliaro), which leads down a windy path of mystery. With the help of his friends, Spoon (Adrian Greensmith) and Ema (Abby Corrigan), Mickey pulls back the curtain on small-town riddled with secrets and may find more than he bargained for.

The eight-part Shelter series geared towards young adults was quickly nabbed up by Prime Video. Netflix acquired rights to a handful of Coben’s books but Prime got the goods.

In a word, the series is fantastic. For those who grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, the long-missed Hardy Boys-Goosebumps-Goonies-type mysteries are still around and in good keeping with Harlan Coben. Even though the storyline is set with high school students, anyone with a zest for mystery and suspense will be able to enjoy the series.

The onscreen chemistry between the three friends was there and it was good. Mickey, Ema, and Spoon were perfect for one another and the trio eventually acknowledged that during the season. Even though popularity was never on their radar, the cheer team captain Rachel (Sage Linder) haphazardly finds her way into the group. Samantha, who was also new, attended tryouts after school and Rachel was the last person to see her.

Mickey Bolitar (Jaden Michael), Samantha Bugliaro (Ashley)

Throughout the series, the teens spend half of their time supporting Mickey’s investigative urge while the other half is spent learning more about themselves and their own secrets. As if navigating high school wasn’t hard enough, their curiosity continuously leads them to a well-known ‘creepy’ house where a woman nicknamed ‘Bat Lady’ resides.

As if the kids didn’t have enough to deal with, the adults haven’t exactly been forthcoming either. Mickey moves in with his aunt Shira (Constance Zimmer) after the sudden death of his father and gradually discovers she has her own set of secrets. Her past entangles them in a trove of drama involving other parents and students and just adds to the overall mystery of this fictional town.

The Shelter TV Series gets an 8.5 out of 10. Other familiar faces are Stephanie March (Law & Order: SVU) and Missi Pyle (Bring It On: Cheer or Die). I’ve been a fan of Jaden Michael since his starring role as Colin Kaepernick in Colin in Black & White and believe fans will love him in this series. His quiet confidence and shy demeanor are magnetizing so it’ll be easy for viewers to enjoy him.

Shelter is available now on Prime Video

-Jon Jones

Photos: Courtesy of Prime Video

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