I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 2.5 stars Series: standalone
Her destiny was death. The shadows brought her back.
Wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara’s destiny was to die, sentenced to execution by her own mother. Punished and left for dead, the shadows have cursed her with a second life as a Shadowblood, cast out and hunted by society for her demon-like powers.
Now known as the Devil of the Deadlands, Sonara survives as a thief on the edge of society, fighting for survival on a quest to uncover what really happened to her brother and whether he is even dead at all…
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
This book was not great. I pushed through to the end because it was an eARC and I wanted to give it a full, proper review, but it was not the easiest to do.
The book was a mush of sci-fi and fantasy, starting off with a strong fantasy prologue and then a first chapter that was all out sci-fi. It was a bit jarring to say the least. However, it did get more seamless as the book went on.
I am more than a little confused by the plot and ending – and let’s just say the twist and secrets were a little too reminiscent of ZENITH (co-written with Sasha Alsberg). Everything happened so easily to the characters that I could never believe they were in danger as they waltzed from information to success.
The writing was a bit clunky at times, with a very respective way of referring to Sonara’s magic. it was the same phrasing every time – the monster pressing against the cage.
This book starts with a two-part prologue. Apparently, Sonara is 8 in the first bit, then 13 in the second. Then 23 in the rest of the book. The voice sounds exactly the same. I would have thought the main book was only a year after the prologue’s end if it weren’t for the massive capital letters spelling out the time jumps.
Plus, with this book being classified as YA, the fact that she’s in her 20s is frustrating. YA should be for teens about teens. This is why we need NA (it is absolutely not an adult book – it just reads too young and its thematically YA with it’s focus on finding who you are). The sad thing is, this issue of age and voice is SO easy to fix – don’t have 10 years between the prologue and the main book. Make it a year or two, and have her as a teenager to fit the age range.
The biggest thing in this book’s favour was the lack of romance. FINALLY a YA book that doesn’t feel the need to have the characters fall in love. I kept waiting for characters to fall in love, more and more relieved when that didn’t happen as the book progressed.