The Shadow Reader – I definitely plan to keep up with this one
Sandy Williams creates and nice array of characters in this new series. We’re taken into the world of McKenzie Lewis, a college student trying to live a normal life and finally earn her degree. Unfortunately, that is proving impossible due to her rare gift. While human, she has the ability to see and track fae–otherworldly beings from the Realm. Her gift has made her an asset for 10 years in a civil war between the species, while also alienating her from her family.
Kyol, a fae and sword master to the king, has been a close companion to her, protecting her while she helps them locate enemy rebels. But that all changes when she ends up kidnapped by the enemy…or are they?
A great deal of the book is spent with McKenzie trying to escape from the rebels, however as she learns about their ways it appears that she may not have been playing for the right side.
I quite enjoyed this book for a first installment. We’re introduced to two potential love-interests: Kyol, her companion for the past 10 years, and Aren, leader of the rebels. A lot of time is spent on this subject and normally I don’t enjoy love triangles, but I found myself okay with this one, especially because she does make a decision by the end. Since this is only the first book I don’t think it’s over, but I am hopeful that there won’t be too much back and forth that plagues so many other series. I’d rather have more focus on plot, action, and interesting dialogue than to have her indecisive for a million and one silly reasons.
The book is in first person present which has been a growing trend these days. If you don’t read this style often it may be a bit of an adjustment, but I’ve grown used to it so it no longer bothers me. I almost didn’t even notice.
I think it would have liked a bit more description of the Realm. Some series are fantastic and immersing you in other worlds (Wayfinder, a duology I recently read with a similar style is a good example), but here I felt like it was more character focused.
There’s a good balance of action and downtime which is great for the pace and keeps the story from becoming too boring or too overbearing. I just know I don’t envy McKenzie for all of the things that happen to her.
I definitely recommend this, but since the series is just beginning you may be like me and wish for it to have a few books under its belt first. Ongoing series tend to have cliffhangers and those usually drive me nuts when I get invested enough in a series, but I just couldn’t resist picking this one up since so many seemed to be enjoying it. Maybe you will too.