The Shadow Reader
by Sandy Williams
*Stay tuned after the review for an Audiobook Giveaway*Published by: Ace/ Penguin Publishing Audio published by: Tantor Audio Publish Date: October 25, 2011 Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Series: MacKenzie Lewis #1 Source: Audible audiobook My Rating: Blurb from Goodreads:
There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.
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.
When The Shadow Reader first released, I was intrigued by this book. The concept of a world full of Fae and humans who can somehow “read” shadows caused by fae piqued my interest. I listened to the audio version of this book, and I really enjoyed it.
The world building in the Shadow Reader is excellent, it is centered around the Fae/ fairies. When the Fae cross into the human realm, they can not be seen by most humans, only some humans have the ability to see them. Even fewer humans can read the shadows, the paths the fae travel. Being in different realms has different effects and can cause weakness for the fae and for humans. The Fae are divided and at war with each other. In the Shadow Reader, MacKenzie (one of the humans who can read the shadows) is pulled into the war and her loyalties are tried and tested.
When the story begins, MacKenzie is pretty naive, she had easily believed everything told to her by the Fae King and by his swordsman, Kyol. MacKenzie was in love with Kyol and always hoped that he would make her a priority. When MacKenzie is kidnapped by the rebel Fae, she gets a very rude awakening to new viewpoints, and distracted by the rebel leader Aren. MacKenzie is very stubborn, especially when she is first kidnapped and tries to run away from her captors. I have to admit, even I got tired of the escape attempts after awhile. The story really picks up about halfway through with more plot twists, battles, and questions of loyalty. A love triangle develops and I felt for all of the characters involved, they all had their own flaws. In this story, there was no one clear hero or “good” side, no one is ever 100% pure or without fault. I really enjoyed that the lines were blurred in this book. It made the story that much more intriguing and believable at the same time. The story in The Shadow Reader revolves around a war, and the consequences of war are not pretty or easy.
At first, I wasn’t the biggest MacKenzie fan. She came across naive, stubborn, and a bit annoying at times. She did not want to see her world change too much, and when she was forced to see more she had a tough time accepting it. As the story continued, MacKenzie did grow quite a bit. She had to look at her life and choices more closely and make important decisions for her future, and choices that would affect the future of the fae. By the end of the book, I was proud of MacKenzie’s progress and very interested to see what comes next for all the characters.
With detailed world building and a story that will keep you guessing, The Shadow Reader is an excellent Urban Fantasy read. Urban Fantasy fans, I definitely recommend reading this one, especially if you like books centered around the Fae. There are not too many books or series that center around the Fae, but The Shadow Reader is one of the best I’ve read yet. It is an solid start to a new series, and I am eager to read book 2, The Shattered Dark, which releases in October, 2012.
As I said, I listened to the Audio version from audible.com. Amy Rubinate was the narrator and she did a great job with the story. Her timing was well-done and she handled the various characters voices well. So, for those of you who like to listen, the quality of the audio for The Shadow Reader is also excellent.
You can find The Shadow Reader at:
Author Sandy Williams is offering up an Audiobook CD set of The Shadow Reader for a Giveaway Contest here at Book Savvy Babe. Since this is an author sponsored contest, it is open to US only. Contest will be open for 1 week, starting today October 2 through midnight October 8. To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below. Good luck and happy reading/ or listening