The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

Posted November 19, 2011 by Kate in loved it, Review / 3 Comments

There are a lot of books I have been excited about reading, and this was one of them. I found Sandy Williams when I stumbled upon her Magic and Mayhem blog (a blog with her and a couple of other authors whose books I’m also looking forward to reading). I must say that this book did not disappoint.

Part of the reason I was excited about this book is because it involves the Fae. A lot of the urban fantasy books seem to be focused primarily on vamps or werewolves, and I personally believe the Fae are hugely underutilized. Williams did not disappoint, her portrayal of the Fae was quite interesting to say the least, and pulled me in by the time chapter one was finished. I do have to point out that the Fae in Williams’ book almost remind me a little of the epic fantasy races that are common to that genre. That similarity, I think for me, made them all the more intriguing.

The book doesn’t have a lot of build up to the action, right from chapter one you are thrown into the thick of it, with the book’s main character McKenzie being captured right off the bat. Normally I would say this is hard way to get to know the main character, but Williams’ manages to not only get the reader to know McKenzie, but also to pull for her. I was right there with McKenzie the entire time, every time she was confused about how she was feeling, I was confused about how I wanted her to feel. Every time she was scared, I was scared for her. I was surprisingly, and refreshingly easy to identify with McKenzie. When I start a new book in a series, sometimes it can take two or three books for me to feel attached to a character, I can tell right now I am already attached to McKenzie, and I want to know what is going to happen next to her.

The book also has a romantic element to it, and it all flows really well throughout the book. It never feels forced on the part of the author, it always feels organic to the character. Not only that but any scenes involving romantic elements were written really well, there was no cheesy descriptions or euphemisms, which only helped to make the actions more organic and truly helped the plot along.

Another thing that I want to point out is that this book takes place in the middle of war. And war is a tricky thing to write. Fighting scenes can often become to chaotic and make it for the reader to follow, but this was never a problem for me. I think this was due to the fact it was all from McKenzie’s point of view, so it really helped keep things in perspective. I’m also really impressed with the way Williams’ portrayed both sides, like she says in the book, every war has two sides. Trying to determine the truth out of those two sides was hard for McKenzie and for me.

I even like the other characters besides McKenzie. Kyol was hard and distant, but when he softened up around McKenzie I can totally understand what his appeal was. Aren was easy to like, and then in certain moments I had the urge the punch him in the face, I think he’s a rather complex character and its going to be interesting to follow him. Lena is very much the mean girl, but I could almost understand her point of view being that she’s in a hard situation. Kelia was easy to like, she super sweet, but hard when she needs to be. She’s fierce about the people she cares about, and how can you not like someone who is willing to do anything to protect the people she loves. Overall the characters were really well fleshed out and enjoyable to follow along with. Williams’ brings the characters to life in such a way that it made it almost impossible for me to put the book down. 

Overall, I’m pretty sure I really love this book. I think it has a lot of appeal to a lot of different people. I could easily see paranormal romance people loving this book. I could the average urban fantasy lover loving this book. And truth be told I also think if there are fans of epic fantasy who want to give urban fantasy a try, this would be the book I recommend; it shares a lot of the elements that are popular in epic fantasy but with a fantastic urban fantasy flare. So without question this book deserves a “Great” rating, and I have to say I think this book should be added onto a lot of Christmas wish lists.

Check out Sandy Williams website http://sandy-williams.com/ She even has a newsletter! 
And be sure to check out http://www.magicandmayhemwriters.com/ to see Sandy’s posts and posts from other authors!

3 responses to “The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

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