- File Size: 1209 KB
- Print Length: 217 pages
- Publisher: S M Spencer (October 4, 2014)
- Publication Date: October 4, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00O6WL9IA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,956 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Destiny (Absent Shadows Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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I would like to begin with what worked well for me in this novel before I get to some (hopefully) constructive criticisms.
***Spoilers ahead*** First, I really liked the premise of this novel, and really enjoyed the first couple of chapters. They made me want to keep going. I mean, vampires AND ghosts AND crystals with power AND a turf war!? You had me at vampires, really. Then you added in some ghost flavor. I'm always a sucker for ghost flavor. These two concepts alone, vampires and ghosts together in one novel, could have been epic. So, kudos for the very imaginative novel idea. I really enjoyed the scene where Lili meets Sam. It was intriguing. Consider the suspension built. But then, somewhere along the way, you lost me. Utterly.
Not to harp on Lili, but my goodness her character seriously has some growing up to do. She's supposed to be in college, has just avoided a marriage proposal, and is now trying to "find herself" in Australia, where her father was born (he died -- that's not a spoiler). However, she comes across as a small, frightened child. That would have been fine if she had developed from that point, but she doesn't. She remains this fragile, whimpering thing who must rely on her new vampire boyfriend for strength. Oh, and she wants to be a ghost whisperer. That little tidbit gets kind of thrown in there without any explanation (kind of like it just did in this blog post -- it's unsettling, right?). And I tried, so very hard, to ignore the rather dull dialogue coming from Lili.
Most of the other characters remain undeveloped as well -- there's Claire (her new gal pal who drinks a lot, is a major flirt, and makes bad decisions), Sam (her new vampire boyfriend who broods and sulks one moment and is super into her the next), Tom (Claire's man and Sam's friend who apparently really likes to kill things), Erranase (the vampire who turned Sam and Tom), Deb (Lili's aunt who is gone a lot), Michael and Crystal (dhampirs -- Google it if you don't know what that is -- who have no distinguishing characteristics), Elizabeth (Sam's sister who is a ghost that died quite young and who can read people's thoughts), and a few other fringe characters (more vampires and ghosts). One character, a ghost named Rachel, was really quite creepy. I wish more had been done with that character and I'm hoping that her story line plays out in book two because as it is she just feels like a character who came, could have been important but wasn't, and then vanished.
Speaking of things that came, could have been important but weren't, and then vanished, let's talk about the climax of this novel. So, throughout, the tension is building between one group (Sam, Tom, Erranase, Michael and Crystal, and, by extension, Lili) and another group (older vamps who used to be friends with Erranase) who are trying to take over Sam's and Tom's territory. Turf war, anyone? That scene could have been huge! Unfortunately, once this tension comes to a head, our main character, Lili, is side stage. She can't hear or clearly see any of the action. So neither can we. Why would you do that?! Then, rather than get a blow-by-blow full of lots of description and action, we have to hear about what happened through Elizabeth (ghost who can read minds). Needless to say this "climax" flatlined. I kept hoping that there would be more explanation later, but I never got it.
There were a few other things that really bothered me. One, crystals and diamond shapes exist in this novel's world as powerful entities, but that is never fully explained. Somewhere around the 50% mark, they just show up, and we as readers have to accept their existence and their power. Two, the dialogue is not always believable. Especially between Lili and Sam, it often feels stilted, forced, inauthentic, and childish. Three, I hope Australian slang and colloquialisms do not bother you, but I occasionally had a hard time getting around them. Every time I bumped into one, it threw me out of the novel's atmosphere and back into my world. That was frustrating. Four, there were other unbelievable parts aside from the dialogue. For instance, Lili and Sam could have had an instant connection, sure, but they fall in head-over-heels LOVE in a matter of weeks. Right. Also, (back to the Rachel thing) Lili digs up a gun at Rachel's request. The police get involved, and at the end of the novel we see in a newspaper headline that there will be a trial, but Lili is heading back to California like this is a non-issue. The Australian authorities wouldn't let her leave. She would have to be involved in some way in the proceedings of that court case. I hope that gets addressed in the next book.
I really wanted to like this novel, and I did like the first couple of chapters. In fact, I was hanging in there until about half-way through and then things fell apart. For these reasons I am only able to give 2.5 stars.
I'm giving four stars instead of five because the climactic scene was witnessed from a distance, and then another unresolved matter, which kept the tension high with delicious anticipation of hidden danger waiting in the wings, was left to be addressed in the next book (I presume). YES, it makes me want to read the next book. But then the climax should have been a bigger deal, I think. Other than that one thing, the plot moved briskly and kept my interest going consistently from one chapter to the next.
Reasons to read this book: Engaging characters, clearly distinct, many reasons to care about them. Believable dialog. Lots of local color and scenery, especially interesting if you've always wanted to go to Australia but just haven't made it yet. Clean of graphic violence. Sweet romance. Even the vampires and ghosts are likable with just enough flaws to make them interesting.
Reasons to avoid this book: If you need a happily-ever-after ending in the first book of a trilogy, steer clear or just plan on reading Sacrifice as well. If you have aversions to topics like vampires, ghosts, tarot card readings, fortune telling, this is not just the wrong book, but the wrong genre. Similarly, if you think such beings, even if they are main characters, should be not just powerful, but dark and dangerous, with clearly evil characteristics, this probably isn't the best choice.
But for everybody else? I'd recommend it.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Destiny (Absent Shadows Trilogy)
By S. M. Spencer
I received this book from the Author in trade for a true and honest review.
I would give it about 3.5 stars.
The book was decently written with very few flaws in the writing. The book had a setting in Australia in the life of a Californian girl. All of that sounds fine and dandy, but she used words that are clearly not American. We do not use the word lift for an elevator, and the only reason I knew what that was, was because I heard it else where. This is a minor infraction with the writing, so I don't take much off for that.
The book was basically about her 10 week journey with a boy and a friend. The boy ended up being a vampire. I did like the way she portayed the vamps. They were not nasty creatures that prayed on humans all the time in this book. Yes there were those who did, but the ones she found in Australia were not really like that. They could even go out during the day. She met a couple of hybreds too that were neat.
The book was written like a day to day basis of her journey. This unfortunately left not much demention to the characters. The climax was flat!! I am sorry I thought there was actually going to be a different climax it was that flat. I am not saying this is a bad book because its not, it just didn't climax like I had hoped. It was straight forward. That is not a bad thing, just not my kind of thing.
If I were to classify this book it would be definately Young Adult. No "romance" at all really. It was a nice little fast read.
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A fun twist on the young adult paranormal genre.Read more