Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kaniesha Reviews: Shadow, Shadow by V.B. Marlowe

Title: Shadow, Shadow
Series: The Shadow Pines Trilogy
Author: V.B. Marlowe
Release date: February 15, 2015
Publisher: Indie
Genres: paranormal
"The four of you have been blessed with a great gift. Well, it's a gift for you, but a curse for someone else." 

Harley receives a mysterious gift on her sixteenth birthday--a shadow box. The box gives her the power to trade someone to the shadows, meaning they will disappear and cease to exist. Harley can't imagine doing such a horrible thing and is warned that using the box comes at a price. Unfortunately, not using the box can be even more costly. Harley must make this life-altering decision as she discovers frightening revelations about the town she calls home.

I received a copy of Shadow, Shadow from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Reading and reviewing books like Shadow, Shadow really make me consider whether or not my comments and ratings are justified. Horrors and thrillers aren’t my thing in the first place but it’s a genre I’m trying to immerse myself into. But by saying ‘trying’ I’m implying what I’m about to say - that I haven’t read many books like this one and so my judgement is kind of, for a lack of better word, irrelevant. Now, to the point! Shadow, Shadow is an alright book. Once you pick it up, it’s pretty hard to put back down. The characterization is not fluid and the teenager-ness of it all is pretty irritating but I appreciate that.

Teenagers are actually not done very well in YA. I know what you’re thinking! “Yes they are! MY fave totally knows what they’re doing!”. Okay, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but how often do you just get exasperated with a teenager in real life and how often do you get exasperated with teenagers in books? (If you are a teenager, you should probably think about this too). It’s just not equal. I get making people/humanity seem better in good-for-the-soul fiction but it’s just not realistic. The teenagers in Shadow, Shadow are. (Up to a point, that is but that’s plot related and I’m not going to spoil too much). The main character, Harley is the PERFECT teenager. She complains, stomps her feet, ditches school, hangs out with her friends, is a special little snowflake, doesn’t get along well with her parents. We get her, we understand her, we feel bad for her but then she does things that are annoying, nonsensical and downright frustrating. That’s what they do!

BUT, the characters as characters are kind of two dimensional. The plot definitely takes precedence in this one and I don’t think the balance between plot and characters is done too well. The plot just kind of takes off and the characters are left to try to keep up, but we’re trying to keep up too so it works!

I think the entire concept of “shadow boxes” and “shadow beings” is beyond intriguing but once you’re sitting there contemplating and criticizing, you begin to see some faults with the conclusion of the book. We don’t get an explanation. We don’t get to see anything actually happening. We’re left in the dark and that’s okay because this is a trilogy but it’s pretty disappointing because there’s very little to create enthusiasm to continue with the series. It ends like “Well, here you go.” instead of “Ha! I am an amazing author and you’re going to wish you had the second book right now!”

And I really want to spoil but I’ll just say that we’re left with far more questions than answers, and far less interest in wanting to get those answers. It’s just kind of weird that with all of this tragedy and mystery that this entire town of people, and these kids involved in it, act like it’s no big deal. People are disappearing! People are literally vanishing and never returning. That’s extremely alarming, whether you can do anything about it or not. (I think the whole point of these stories is that the characters should be able to find some sort of way to do something about it, but I guess that’s realism for you..)

Shadow, Shadow is definitely a book to check out if you’re looking for something intriguing and quick but not something if you're the type who likes a lot of depth and layers in a story.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

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