Book: The Shadow Reader (The Shadow Reader #1)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: October 25th, 2011
Where Did I Get This Book: Library
First Sentence: “My skin tingles the moment before a slash of white light flashes at the front of the lecture hall.”
My Rating: 3/5
Description: A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. She’s in love with Kyol, the King’s sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.
There were a lot of things about Shadow Reader that I enjoyed. I thought the storyline was intriguing, dynamic and exciting. I feel like the concept of the fae has been overdone, so I was a bit skeptical going into this one. Which is why I put of reading it for so long.
However, Williams created a twist to the fae stories we’ve seen a thousand times before with the creation of the main character, McKenzie. McKenzie is a human. She doesn’t have super strength, she can’t heal herself; she’s really quite normal. Except McKenzie possesses “the sight” and can read shadows. What this means in short is that she can not only see the fae, but she can track where they’ve gone when they teleport. This creates an interesting dynamic because the fae need McKenzie. In the other fae stories that I’ve read, humans are rather unnecessary, but in this McKenzie is a huge asset.
For the most part, I enjoyed McKenzie. She is resourceful, determined and loyal. There are a few instances in which her decisions irritated me, but for the most part, she was a solid character.
My main issue with this book was the love triangle. Not only was it rushed, it was completely unnecessary and unbelievable. When the book begins, McKenzie has been in love with her, shall we say, fae guard, Kyol for 10 years. Okay, I understand that. Why she waited 10 years, I don’t know, but I can buy that. Early on in the book, we (and McKenzie) are introduced to another love interest. This love interest quickly falls head over heals in love with her and does things reckless things that contradict what we know about his character and personality. He thinks of her first and is basically willing to push everything be believes in and everything that important aside. He acts like a child who found a new favorite toy.
I wish that the love triangle could have been left out. It seems like every book in the fantasy / paranormal / urban fantasy genre has this plot point. Most of the time it is unnecessary and ends up making the characters feel immature, irrational and unreal. I will continue reading this series, because I enjoyed the world and the characters, I just hope that the love triangle takes a back seat in the next installment.