Narrated by Amy Rubinate
Publisher: Tantor Media
Publication date: March 12th 2012
Length: 12 hrs 4 minutes
My rating: 3 stars
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.