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The Shadow Reader (A Shadow Reader Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Sandy Williams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Editorial Reviews


"Featuring a gutsy heroine and plenty of fay lore, this urban fantasy debut should appeal to fans of Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels." ---Library Journal

About the Author

Sandy Williams writes urban fantasy novels and is the author of the Shadow Reader series.

Amy Rubinate has narrated audiobooks for many major audiobook publishers. She has received AudioFile's Earphones Award, and her narration for The Lily Pond was a Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction on Audio 2012 selection.

Product Details

  • File Size: 475 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (October 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052REUJI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,336 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and riveting - Fae as they should be written October 31, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's something special about the Shadow Reader that sets it apart from other books in the urban fantasy genre. At first I couldn't put my finger on what this ephemeral bit of awesomeness was, but upon consideration it occurs to me that this book is an epic. Where most urban fantasy novels go for the supernatural mystery angle, this novel is high, epic fantasy set on a stage of the modern world, overlaid with the more fantastic world of the fey.

The story pulls you in from the start. Within a few pages of chapter one, you are racing across campus with McKenzie, fleeing fae rebels intent on kidnapping her for her unique ability. She's a shadow reader of unusual strength, someone that sees through fae glamor, and can track them by studying the portals they use to transport between locations and worlds. As we follow the story we discover that the fae are at war. A rebel force of fey has risen up and seek to supplant the current king with one of their own. McKenzie is human, but she has served in the fae king's war for years, tracking rebel leaders. Her unique skills have made her a valuable prize, and a dangerous enemy. She is kidnapped by the rebels during the first part of the story. Their intent? To either convert her to their cause or kill her.

The story sweeps us into the war. We travel between the camps of the rebels and the king, learn their truths, and begin to unravel their lies. We experience betrayals, victories, and losses, and through it all we doubt and wonder which side is the right one and who it is McKenzie should trust. This is a story about war, and ends with an epic series of cathartic events that promise to leave readers satisfied (it left me yelling "I LOVE THIS BOOK!" while my poor husband was trying to watch football).
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How to rate this? November 11, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a first effort it is extremely polished. The characters were consistent and the story arch was well managed. I think technically it was an excellent book. 4.5 stars to the editors. And I liked that it was pretty much self contained as well... no cliff hangers and no unraveled major threads.

However, when I finished the book I was satisfied but didn't want to stay with the characters or read more... didn't give them a second thought really beyond needing to write this review. And while I would read the author again I would not read another book with this particular main character. She's a decent paranormal romance heroine of the 'needs rescuing' variety but she would be an annoying urban fantasy character. She just didn't have enough depth, self respect, skill... to be a repeat book character in an urban fantasy series. And there really wasn't room to grow.

As for the rest of the characters in the book, except for the 'husband' of a character who is actually in love with someone else, they were ultimately flat and I didn't care to know them better. I read it last night and already they are fading into ether.

For four and five stars I usually need to really enjoy the characters more, get to know them and become more invested in them. Also the story only had one surprise. The rest was predictable.

So I'm going to give it 3 stars with the caveat that if I could I would give it 3.5 stars for author potential and I look forward to further author efforts.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is something shocking about McKenzie Lewis, the protagonist in THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams. She's not a super woman/warrior goddess/magical titan capable of destroying the universe with a wink. Nope, unlike many urban fantasy heroines these days, McKenzie is pretty normal. She does have one ability that sets her apart from the rest of us; she's a shadow reader, someone who can watch a fae `fissure' (instantly teleport from one location to another) and know exactly where they will reappear. A highly coveted skill when there is a fae civil war going on, which is why McKenzie finds herself being sought after by both sides.

Where do I start with all the things I loved about THE SHADOW READER? The fae mythology wasn't overly complex, but it was unique and perfectly suited to this world. I especially loved the idea of chaos lusters, tiny, visible lightning bolts that dance over the skin under certain circumstances like when fae touch humans. And speaking of touching, the tug-of-war going on with McKenzie's heart was nothing compared to what I felt. How do you choose between the honorable warrior Kyol loyal to the fae king and the determined rebel leader Aren?

Another highlight for me was the constant cloud of doubt I was kept in. I was thrown back and forth suspecting first Kyol then Aren and back again so many times that I got dizzy. Just like McKenzie, I never knew who to fully trust, who to love, or who to align with. And just when I'd think I `d finally figured it out, something would happen and raise the questions all over again. The action was relentless and the
emotions kept so sky high that I couldn't decide until the very end.

THE SHADOW READER is a fantastically fun urban fantasy! One of the best debuts of the year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Debut October 25, 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
McKenzie has a secret, she can see the fae and track their paths. The rest of humanity thinks she is crazy, as she talks to invisible people that others cannot see. For ten years she's worked for the king, by locating the rebels, but she's had just about enough. All she wants is a little normalcy to be able to finish her degree. Her love for Kyol is the only thing that has been holding her back, even if the king has forbidden relations between fae and humans. Then everything changes when she is captured by the rebel Aren. He slowly opens her eyes to what her blinders wouldn't let her see before. As she slides down a very slippery slope, McKenzie will have a tough path ahead of her once she chooses which side to trust. There won't be any going back after this.

By all rights I shouldn't have been able to stand McKenzie as her behavior for most of the book seemed incredibly immature, but somehow I found myself really liking her in the end. She's terribly naive, and stubborn as a mule, but also extremely loyal, if not blindly so. Even her being torn in a love triangle didn't make me want to run for the hills like that type of romance usually does. Perhaps that is because it was less about angst, and more about growth and letting go of childish illusions to make the best choice she can for herself. There were a lot of reasons for her initial immaturity, but as her eyes were slowly opened, we got to see glimpses at her iron strength that really shines in the end. I found myself wanting to cheer for her as she learned to make those hard decisions, and I can't wait to see where the path leads her next.

There were a few things that kept me from giving The Shadow Reader a perfect rating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars First time author got me hooked
I first read this book back when it released in 2011, one of those recommendations from Amazon based on my previous buying history. And I could not put it down. Read more
Published 3 days ago by M. Vann
5.0 out of 5 stars Something about it!
There is something so appealing about this book that is almost hard to explain. McKenzie is at once strong, weak, funny, too serious, confused then totally sure of herself, in... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Barbarina
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, something different!
I was looking for something different and found it! The main character, McKenzie, is a shadow reader. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dmwigand
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shadow Reader is an awesome debut novel by Sandy Williams! It's an...
The Shadow Reader is an awesome debut novel by Sandy Williams! It's an urban fantasy with a kick-ass character.

McKenzie is 16 years old when the fae find her. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved!
This was a happy dance book. One that I kinda want to squeal randomly about and dance around the house. Yep. It was that good. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Candace Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced
I found this book to be very quick. I guess this is the description I'm looking for.
The story starts when it's 10 years old. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Debbie
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
Love the way that Sandy Williams writes she keeps you interested and leaves you wanting more. Totally hooked on her
Published 2 months ago by Wanda H. Shirley
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Entertaining
Wow! Williams does an amazing job creating a world where few know that Fae and humans cross over between lands, while a war between the Fae rages on. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Linda Mount
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Fantasy, paranormal, action, romance, all rolled into one.. This is definitely one of my best reads this year :D
Highly Recommended! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Abby Flores
5.0 out of 5 stars great new take
great new take on the fae and human interactions. Well written characters and settings. Intrigue and action as well combines into a great book.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Sandy Williams has lived and breathed books all her life. When she was a teen, she was always the first to finish her class assignments so that she could read as much as possible before the bell rang. Her grades didn't suffer (much), and she was able to enroll in Texas A&M University. She didn't sneak in novels there, but every other line of her college lecture notes are filled with snippets of stories. After she graduated, she decided to turn those snippets into books.

Sandy is the author of The Shadow Reader novels, an urban fantasy romance series about a human who can both see and track the fae. When Sandy isn't writing, she's taking care of her twin boys, who also debuted in 2011. They keep her busy, but she's occasionally able to sneak in time to read books by her favorite authors, and she still enjoys playing EuroGames like Dominion, 7 Wonders, and Agricola.

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