Thursday, January 02, 2014

Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

Title: The Shattered Dark
Author: Sandy Williams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series:  Shadow Reader/McKenzie Lewis #2

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publication: October 30th 2012 by Ace 

Source: Purchased myself. 

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McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

I went into The Shattered Dark with some trepidation because I read various reviews that all mentioned the same thing…their dislike of the ending/cliffhanger. 

The beginning started a bit slow. The story takes places two weeks after the events of the previous book; the rebels had successfully over thrown the previous fae King Atroth and secured the thrown for Lena. However, that doesn’t mean they have won. The rebels has to constantly keep watch for remnants attack on the Silver Palace and the high nobles still has to vote/agree on whether to make Lena the Queen. 

Williams blew me away with her debut The Shadow Reader in 2011, and it was among my favorite books the year it came out. While I enjoyed The Shattered Dark, it was missing some of the sparks and excitement that I found in the first book.  It pains me to say that The Shattered Dark suffered from second book syndrome; the story/plot didn’t really go anywhere and there was no characters development.  I love McKenzie, and while she’s only human she does whatever it takes to survive.  There were times when she step up in the story, and didn’t let sword wielding remnants or even the police deter her from escaping or inflicting serious bodily damage to the other person…but most of the time she was a damsel in distress that needed a lot of rescuing. She’s been with the rebels for awhile now; I’m a surprised no one thought to teach her some self-defense or to use a sword. I really wanted her to use a sword (like the one she keeps holding on the book covers). Well, she did use it but not correctly and Aren did give her a dagger but I don’t remember her using it. Another thing that bothered me was her repetitive internal thoughts. She kept thinking the same thing over and over the entire book; like her feelings for Aren and Kyol, wanting a normal life/job, and the guilt of leaving Paige behind at Bedfont house (mental asylum) in the past…basically she had a lot of regrets. 

The story eventually picked up at end with more action but one that I have to admit was out of the blue. The majority of the book  there wasn’t a lot happening and then in the last few chapters remnants invades the Silver palace through a Sidhe Tol, but readers aren’t given any answers as to why or who (I doubt it is Caelar idea)? Then there’s that cliffhanger ending everyone was talking about. My initial reaction was ‘that sucks’; I wasn’t shocked at all. I love Aren and for the ending to happen as it did really stinks for him; as for Kyol not so much love there anymore…not because of what he did at the end but because he was passive in his affection for Mckenzie (or lack of; also I don’t even know if it is appropriate to say this is a love triangle) at the end of book one and this entire book; for him to say he loves McKenzie and did what he did was crap. If you love someone; you don’t ignore them or give them the cold shoulder. Ever.

To be clear; I didn’t hate The Shattered Dark but I didn’t love it either. I guess I had really high expectations for this book because I love the first one sooo much. I just pray that the next book is better and that Williams find a solution to the dilemma at the end of The Shattered Dark

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