Thursday, 9 January 2014

Review: The Shadow Reader (The Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader, #1)
The Shadow Reader (The Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams
Narrated by Amy Rubinate
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication date: March 12th 2012
Length: 12 hrs 4 minutes
My rating: 3 stars 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15699188-the-chocolate-thief
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 had high hopes for The Shadow Reader after seeing so much love for this read, and after recently discovering the awesomeness of Urban Fantasy.  Unfortunately, I only ended up liking the story overall. I’m sure this is a case of “it’s me, not you” with a lot of “it’s the narrator”, as well.  Twelve hours is a long time when the narrator isn’t your cup of tea.

McKenzie has “the sight” meaning she can see fae when other humans cannot.  She’s special because she can locate other fae who shift by reading the shadows they leave in their wake. This is very helpful to the current fae king because there’s a war going on in the Realm and locating Rebels is an aid in the fight. McKenzie has worked with the king’s sword master, Kyol, who keeps her safe during missions.  Unfortunately, McKenzie has fallen hard for Kyol, and this is a big problem because the king has forbidden relationships between his fae and humans. Kyol would never disobey his king outright. This doesn’t mean there haven’t been stolen kisses and things haven’t gotten heavy between them, only that they have no future.  McKenzie knows she must move on and plans on separating herself from the fae permanently.

Things do not go according to plan when she’s kidnapped by one of the Rebel leaders, Aren, and expected to help them in their fight.  Aren is charismatic and maddening, but he stands for everything that McKenzie has been taught to hate.  And yes, you guessed it; we have ourselves a love triangle.  *groans* While being held captive, McKenzie begins to learn the situation between the Rebels and the Court may not be as clear cut, and the full truth has been kept from her.

I guess my main issue with the story was McKenzie. I had such a hard time with her. The back and forth feelings for Kyol and Aren were grating to me. Supposedly, McKenzie’s been head-over-heels in love with Kyol for years and then she suddenly has feelings for Aren?  Plus, when it was clear that the Rebels were not the bad people the Court made them out to be, she makes choices that put everyone in danger.  It did not help that the narrator’s voice wasn’t my preference, and her performance made me think of a teenager instead of a mid-twenty year old.

By the end, I started liking McKenzie just a little bit more and the action became exciting.  I will continue with the series because I got the last book for review, so I hope the positive changes continue.  I won’t be continuing with an audio version in the next book, and I think that’ll help with my enjoyment of the series, as well.





22 comments:

  1. "Twelve hours is a long time when the narrator isn’t your cup of tea. " Couldn't agree more. Ok, the story sounded good, but then you mentioned the love triangle and I'm basicallly reading 3 books with a love triangle right now out of the 5 markes as currently reading on my GR shelf and sorry but no sorry, I'm honestly tired of them. I may even DNF one because the book is just not my cup of tea and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy myself even if it didn't have a love triangle in it. I'm not up to adding any more love triangle-ish books in my tbr right now. Bad judgement and calling the shots when you don't know what the heck you're even doing is what made me dislike Dol in Icons and it seems like you had to deal with this too. I'm sorry it wasn't exactly what you were hoping for, but at least you didn't hate it. Glass is still half full, aye? :D

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    1. Thank you, Siiri. Yes, love triangle have become tiresome to me! I find I have absolutely no patience for them anymore to the point I'm wondering if I'll pick up the last book the Shatter Me trilogy. I'm sorry you're on a run of bad love triangles! And, yes, glass half full, I didn't hate it. :)

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  2. I don't think I've read any urban fantasy so I know I won't start with this one! I'm sorry it disappointed you, especially with you not liking the narrator. Ugh, I hate it when girls go back and forth. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series more!

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    1. Thanks, Summer. I recommend starting with Kate Daniels or the Fever series if you want to try UF. They're both amazing! :)

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  3. I'd never listened to an audiobook but I a bad narrator would definitely ruin a book for me too, I'm sure!! I hope you like the next book a lot better, especially since you'll be reading it this time.

    The love triangle sounds a bit frustrating though. I think that aspect of the book would drive me crazy too.

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    1. I hope the fact that I'm reading it will improve my opinion as well, Lauren. Most people seem to love this series so maybe it's just me. :)

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  4. Twelve hours is definitely a long time when you're not the biggest fan of the narrator. But you stuck with it! *cheers* But there's a Triangle of Doom? Drat. I had high hopes for this one.

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    1. Yes, Mary, love triangle! I have to say my patience with them lately is extremely short. :(

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  5. Glad that you ended up liking Mackenzie more and that were able to stick with it and enjoy

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    1. Thank you, Brandi. I'm hoping for good things with the next one because MacKenzie definitely improved by the end. :)

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  6. I too agree, that for me I find Audiobooks really hard to get into. At times I have to put it down because of the narrator, which really disappoints when the story itself could be brilliant. I'm sorry this wasn't a great one for you Rachel. But I can understand it. I only like my voice in my head when I read, haha. Great review though, Rachel.

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  7. I wonder if Aren could offer something to McKenzie that Kyol couldn't. Otherwise, I'd feel really turned off by the love triangle. Hope you'll have a better experience with the next audio book. Thanks for sharing, Rachel!

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  8. I saw this on a blog yesterday and was thinking it looked good, I will wait until I read your next review before making a decision. I know that some series have started off rough for me and gotten better.

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  9. I'm disappointed by the love triangle in this trilogy. I really love the idea of the book, but I have a feeling I'd wind up quite enraged by the drama. I think I'll hold off on this until I hear your thoughts about the next books. I'm keeping my fingers crosse they're better!

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  10. Oh god, it's like the love triangles are everywhere! Even though I like the world, I've experienced that the fae books (besides fever!) never work for me, so I don't think I would be picking this series up. But I hope the MC grows a head in the next book. Thanks for sharing! On another note, you have to read Ignite Me, Rachel! Don't let the other love triangles get in your way :)

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  11. Hmmmm. A tricky narrator and a frustrating heroine? I've never listened to an audiobook, but clearly a good narrator is key and even an AWESOME book would be a fail if you don't click with the narrator. Even just reading this one seems like it would be a challenge though, as it sounds like there's a love triangle of the irritating variety. Glad that the book at least ended strongly for you, I look forward to your thoughts on the next one Rachel!

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  12. You know what, I'm very new to UF (as in I just finished reading my first book a couple of days ago new) and this is really disappointing. :( I absolutely hate love triangles and I can see where your frustrations would come from. And not being able to connect with the heroine (or narrator in your case) definitely doesn't earn a book its brownie points. At least it picked up near the end for you though. *fingers crossed* the next book proves to be more on the positive end for you! Fabulous review, Rachel! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

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  13. I haven't heard the audiobook but I really liked this book . It's one of my favourites I see and understand why you weren't in love with this though

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  14. I'm so sorry that the narrator here basically ruined the enjoyment for you here. This book was so good to me and I loved the characters here. Strangely enough I didn't mind the love triangle too much, but I'm afraid of your reaction for the next sequels as that push and pull thing happens later on too. Hopefully you'll enjoy it :) Great review, Rachel :)

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  15. I gave it 4 stars. I'm sorry the narrator ruined the book for you , maybe you would have like it better. Tnx for the review

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  16. I wouldn't have lasted 12 hours if I didn't like the narrator either. lol Too bad you didn't care for this one, I thought it was a lot of fun. Do you plan on reading the next installments, maybe in print this time? Glad to know about the narrator though, I was considering listening to the 2nd one.

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  17. It sucks that the narrator made this an unappealing listen, Rachel! I hope the series gets way better.

    Lovely review! <33

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