Book Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

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Paranormal | Urban Fantasy

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.

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I expected this to be in par with Karen Marie Moning‘s Fever series… but, no. I’m 100% sure even Pink Mac can whip McKenzie’s ass in a flash.

Kyol – I like. Aren – I really like.
(McKenzie – dumbass.)

The cover is very misleading, I kid you not. She is not a sword-wielding chick! What a disappointment. The Shadow Reader is my typical UF – human caught up in a world she doesn’t want to be in. Poor McKenzie. Although that did not stop her from nurturing an unrequited love towards Kyol.

Should I change my rating to a 2?… Because McKenzie is a not as developed as a character I thought she would be. A string of bad, bad decisions seemed to be her specialty. Ding ding! I cannot help rolling my eyes, and smirking about her idiotic thoughts that led to her idiotic decisions.

Kyol reminded me of Chaol of Throne of Glass, only because they are both captains and seemed to take their jobs very seriously. Aren, I like… until he became this obnoxious guy because of his supposed “claim” for McKenzie. Really man, I’d go for Team Kyol, if you will always this immature.

The constant itch I had while I’m reading The Shadow Reader is that Fae are too human in behavior. Vindictive, yes. Selfish, yes. And yet, if I try to compare Fae here to Fae in the Iron Fey series, the former lot are so inferior. Fae are more wicked and more wicked in Julie Kagawa‘s books, and that’s YA.

If ever the next installment shifts to Kyol, I’m going to curse someone to be stuck in the In-Between.

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THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams

Paperback, 307 pages

Published October 25th 2011 by Ace

3/5 stars

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Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Genre: General Fiction > Mystery & Suspense > Thriller

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: She must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

Literary Awards: Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2007), The Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger (2007), Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2007), The Crime Writers’ Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger (2007)

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Disturbing is Gillian Flynn‘s middle name.

I love Gone Girl, so naturally I would try another Gillian Flynn novel. Sharp Objects is just as gripping, me reading it overnight is a solid proof of that. I admit I expected something more, but It is a well researched psychological thriller IMO.

There is always something creepy about small towns (take Cryer’s Cross, for instance). Camille Preaker wanted nothing to do with hers anymore. But the pull of unsolved crimes is too intriguing for an upcoming reporter like her. Going back to her family’s Victorian mansion to stay while she research the story, Camille found herself plunged to her childhood nightmare, all over again. (Sweet.)

300+ pages is nothing to me, if Gillian Flynn wrote it! She painted Camille’s horrid past vividly, leaving me to believe a non-existent future is in store for her MC. I understood now that there will never be a happy ending for her characters. And I am fine with that. 😀

I was a little miffed with the incompetence of the local police over forensic evidence. Hello, Detective Willis, that’s you.

When the truth came out in the open, I thought Camille’s story is finished. Silly me, because the twist is still around the corner, begging to be released. I expected that after a few chapters, thought I was wrong, but it turned out I was right in the end! *pats self on the back*

Now, let’s see… Dark Places, I will read you soon.

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SHARP OBJECTS by Gillian Flynn

Paperback, 396 pages

Published 2013 by Crown

4/5 stars