Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review: Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw


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Author: Jenna Burtenshaw
Pages: 311
Publisher: Greenwillow
Release Date: June 21st, 2011
Status: Wintercraft #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
The Night of Souls—when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest—is only days away.

Albion is at war . . . and losing.

The wardens have descended, kidnapping innocent citizens for their army, but looking for one in particular.

And fifteen-year-old Kate Winters has just raised a blackbird from the dead.

As her home is torn apart by the wardens, Kate's discovery that she is one of the Skilled—the rare people who can cross the veil between life and death—makes her the most hunted person in all of Albion. Only she can unlock the secrets of Wintercraft, the ancient book of dangerous knowledge. Captured and taken to the graveyard city of Fume—with its secret tunnels and underground villages, and where her own parents met their deaths ten years ago—Kate must harness her extraordinary powers to save herself, her country, and the two men she cares for most. And she'll make a pact with a murderer to do it.

Those who wish to see the dark, be ready to pay your price.

***

A nation at war. An ancient curse. Deadly secrets... With it's intriguing synopsis and mysterious cover, Shadowcry has all the qualities of a good fantasy novel- which unfortunately fell flat when delivering it's content.

While the book did it's best to create tension and evoke emotion from its readers, the book was very anticlimactic. The bases of a good book was there, waiting to be brought to life, but the characters in the book were almost unbearable at times.

The main protagonist, Kate Winter, is a fifteen year old girl that has a knack of not listening to those trying to keep her safe and throws herself into dangerous situations, but I forgive her for them because no one really teachers her anything about the new world she has been thrown into. She wasn't my favourite protagonist, but I do admit she is a very loyal character, even towards her totally useless and cowardly uncle.

The other characters on the other hand? Not the best ones I've read about. The main villain, Da'ru is incompetent, and her lack of evilness made me yawn. Silas, the mysterious and yet dangerous figure that Kate meets is like another Darkling, but without the seductive and cunning charisma that's associated with his character; and Edgar. Oh Edgar. He was the character that teetered between sweet guy and mysteriousness that I normally would've enjoyed, but it wasn't really appealing.

Relationship wise, I had no emotional connection with the characters and the majority of the story. Also, relationship wise between the characters, there was an attempt at a love triangle that quickly dissolved, but it's pretty clear where the author is trying to steer it in my point of view.

However, aside from the characters and the anticlimactic plot that seemed a little rushed (the book actually wasn't that big, and I finished it within a day), the theme of darkness and light, and death and life, was marked throughout the story- which I did enjoy.

The author was able to create this interesting world, and the Fume, for the most part, did intrigue me. There is a lot of imagery of darkness, light etc, and if you look past the characters, you'd understand the significance behind the brilliant world that the author created for her characters; that we all walk a fine line, and it's easy to get stuck in a half life and get lost.

So overall, I wasn't the biggest fan of the book after I finished it, although I will admit, there were a few good points within the book that I did enjoy. Would I read the sequel? Most likely no.

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