Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (McKenzie Lewis #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
 There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

 Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
 I admit I can see why this book was so popular and I myself gave it high points. BUT... like with the hype surrounding Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent, I wasn't feeling much love for the main characters. I was just not connecting with them. 

McKenzie, Kyol, Aren... They are like contours or shadow puppets, so as the rest of the characters. They are alright, but the only guy who was remotely interesting was that shady aristocrat who could read minds. I think my problem with this trio is that they are too whitewashed, too noble and righteous, that it becomes somewhat boring. I don't want black and white, I want shades of grey, I want a hint of greed, laziness, arrogance, pride and selfishness. You know, some human weaknesses even in tiny little things?

I also couldn't find any similarities with Fever books which someone mentioned before. There is no comparison to the complexities of Barrons and V'lane here. At all.

All in all, it's a meh review despite plenty of action and kick-ass personalities. I didn't like how human aspects of McKenzie's life, her friends and family were barely mentioned, I didn't like how she wasn't compensated enough for what she was doing for the King. So, yeah, great writing, plenty of potential, but not enough depth to be invested in this series yet. We'll see.

* * *
В общем, да конечно, классическое городское фэнтэзи с сильными персонажами и морем экшн.

Однако как и с новой Рэйчел Винсент я столкнулась здесь с той же проблемой - ну не нравятся мне главные герои, ну не проникаюсь  их проблемами. Вся троица - и Киол, и Арен и МакКензи настолько блогородные рыцари на белых конях, что читать тошно. Из этого исходят все мои проблемы. Ну где типичные черты человеческой натуры - жадность, эгоистичность, лень... ну хоть в каких-то мелочах? Где внутренний конфликт?

Поэтому  ф пока на распутье и не знаю продолжать ли с серией или нет дальше. Ну, посмотрим. Читайте на своё усмотрение.


  1. That's a shame that the characters didn't pop for you...I like shades of gray as well in my heroes! Still as this is one my massive TBR pile I will get round to reading it eventually!! :-)

  2. I hope your feelings will improve with the second volume. I'm sorry you can't relate yourself to the characters it's always difficult in a book... I really enjoyed this one, I think the world was very interesting to discover.

  3. "I don't want black and white, I want shades of grey, I want a hint of greed, laziness, arrogance, pride and selfishness. You know, some human weaknesses even in tiny little things?"

    ME TOO! I'm all about the shades of gray, they're what make the characters really come to life for me. Flaws are what make each character unique and relatable, and if they're too perfect, I have trouble believing in them. I've heard really great things about this one, so it's fun to read a differing opinion and I can't wait to read it and find out what I think!

  4. Even with that high grade you still seemed to have thought more of this book like I did. They were totally just shadows. I just did not feel them


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