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Through Shade and Shadow (Shades and Shadows Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 222 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Case paints both a multi-faceted and interesting picture here. There are two protagonists in which we get to follow closely, and both story-lines are engaging and fast-paced, which I really appreciated. The pacing was always well done, even with the switching between them, and I found myself invested in both of the situations. I wished at times that I had more information about the background of the supernatural beings in total - where they came from, their histories, and the full extent of their individual abilities. A lot of this could be excused because of Mason's isolation growing up, though parts of that rang a bit strange. Not really enough to throw me out, but a few times I raised an eyebrow; he read a book about his people's healing power, and had kissed girls before, but had only gone into town once a month since he was around ten years old, and had no formal education? Bits of that were jarring, but not enough to spoil anything, just odd.
I found myself really thankful that there was so little romance shoe-horned into this, because honestly, it just didn't fit. Both protagonists had too much on their plate and too much going on to ever be focusing on anything like that - survival had to come first. I was very happy the author largely stayed away from this (what bit there was felt forced, but it was so short that I could move past it quickly). It was amazing how much I wanted the two to finally meet each other, and though I felt cheated by the ending (because I wanted more!), Case has set up a really interesting, serious, and complex situation going into book 2. I'll definitely be reading on, as this was a fun, quick-reading ride!
Mason and Alaric are very different young men growing up in very different circumstances. Mason grew up isolated from society cared for by his grandmother who feared the world so much she did not prepare her grandson to meet it alone when she died. Alaric belongs to a large, interconnected and caring community and has a good grounding and education in all he needs to know about himself, his heritage and his place in the world. But the one thing they have in common is they are both supernatural beings and not fully human.
When bigotry and hatred break out big time in the USA, Shades are up in the firing line along with Muslims, LGBT people and anyone who does not fit the 8th Battalions idea of moral, religious and racial purity. Alaric and his kin find themselves increasingly under attack and Mason, travelling alone in a world he has not fully grasped, is totally vulnerable. This book tracks their stories and paints a very bleak but convincing view of how drawing a line between 'us' and 'them' always leads to irrational and needless horror.
'Cool, but not cold, the water was like a companion he had left behind, embracing him like a blanket.'
This is a fairly well-written book which draws the reader quickly into its premise and makes the acceptance of the supernatural 'humans' very easy and natural. The writing flows along with no outbursts of unwanted purple prose or grim patches of bad grammar. The scene-setting is plausible and the author makes it seem convincing that the shift in social prejudices can moves from verbal and condemned by the majority to violent and condoned by those in power. The pace is well considered and whilst not being 'edge-of-your-seat' very often, has a good way of piling on the tension when it is suitable and keeping the forward momentum rolling with character interactions and self-discovery.
'The blackness was punctuated by flashes of images and the quiet roar of silence in his head was shattered with the sound of screaming.'
The characters are written convincingly - real people with real issues, struggling to make sense of a crazy world that has erupted all around them. Unlike your average human, they have both the advantages and the drawbacks that come from their respective supernatural heritages, but these only add to the intriguing mix and lead the reader to want to find out more.
A book for those who enjoy dark urban fantasy or who are looking for something more profound about supernatural beings than the classic vampire and shifter fare.
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