THE SHATTERED DARK (A Shadow Reader Novel)
by Sandy Williams
PUBLISHER: Ace US
RELEASE DATE: 21 February 2013
GENRE: Fiction - Fantasy
McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen and even fewer can comprehend. It's her secret. And it exists in the shadows ...
Mckenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she's a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It's a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends - and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war among the fae.
With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears, McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she's not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she's tried so hard to save.
The Shattered Dark is the second book in the Shadow Reader series. I haven't actually read the first, The Shadow Reader, and although that didn't place me at a disadvantage in terms of getting to grips with the World, the characters and the backstory, I really, really wish I had, as I think it would have affected how I felt about this book.
The biggest problem this book faces is it's too fast-paced; the action starts straight away and doesn't let up at all. I know that probably sounds weird but it feels like the author chose action over developing the characters and their relationships and as a result, I didn't feel particularly invested in any of their missions.
About half way through the book, I noticed the plot started to feel a bit awkward and lumpy. This wasn't helped by the use of short, choppy sentences and a lot of repeated words. Plot twists are introduced, which I won't go into detail about as I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but to be honest, several of them didn't sit right with me and it felt like they'd been thrown in for the sake of it, to pad the book out a bit.
Saying that, there is one very, VERY significant event that occurs quite late in the book, which I think will rescue it for a lot of readers and encourage you to carry on with the series. There are also a few other loose ends, which will carry on through to the next book, but to be honest, they're much less interesting!
To be clear though, I didn't dislike this book but I didn't love it either. It reminds me of The Lord of The Rings : The Two Towers - an in-between story, a stop gap until the main event kicks off. I think if I'd read The Shadow Reader first then I'd probably hang on in with the series to see what happens next but as I didn't, I won't be jumping to read book 3 once it's released.
Read this if ... you loved The Shadow Reader, you're a fan of fantasy involving the fae, and you like stories which include a love triangle
Don't read this if ... you haven't read The Shadow Reader, and you like your fantasy to include a good helping of sex