Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review || The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams ★★☆☆☆
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

I. Don't actually remember why I added this to my TBR in the first place. I'll be honest with you. Even as I started the audiobook, I went and reread the summary on here to see if it would spark some kind of recollection. And I've got nothing.

I don't know why I thought this would be somehow different from all the other urban fantasy shenanigans. But it really really wasn't. Which is fine, because once I realized that I stopped taking the book seriously at all and just laughed my way through it mostly.

I have tried to get along with urban fantasy in general, I really have. But in it's most common of forms, it is just not for me.

So there was a lot of eyerolling at the intentional descriptions of muscled chests and all that other nonsense. And a main character who is self-aware enough to recognize she probably has Stockholm Syndrome, but then brushes it off because 'oh well, he's hot, amirite?' (I might be paraphrasing there, but.)

And oh my god that agonizing love triangle. Please just stop.

That said, if you're a fan of the genre, this book has some things going for it. I especially liked how chapter 1 drops you straight in and forces you to hit the ground running. It explains the magic and politics in bite-sized pieces as needed, but it sweeps you into the action immediately. And there is a lot of action in this book--and I think it was fairly well written to boot. And the worldbuilding was definitely interesting.

I listened to this on audiobook and am kinda "meh" about the narrator. It's the same woman that did Rebel Belle, though minus the attempted Southern accent. And with more characters to voice in this book it's clear her range is limited. All her male characters sound the same. I don't know if she even tried to do different female voices. Not that it was excruciating to listen to or anything, but I wasn't particularly impressed by it.

Anyway. The moral of the story here is: the next time you see me add an urban fantasy book to my TBR, please feel free to hit me with something. What was I thinking?