This book was provided to me by Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. All opinions are my own.
Series: Shadow Weaver #1
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on January 2nd 2018
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
Fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and The Night Gardener will devour Shadow Weaver, the first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology that's filled with shadows, danger, magic, and has the feel of a new classic.
Emmeline's gift of controlling shadows has isolated her from the rest of the world, but she's grown to be content, hidden away in her mansion with Dar, her own shadow, as her only company.
Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble's mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.
With the noble's guards on her trail, Emmeline's only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline's not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it's hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.
Christian or Secular: Secular
Trigger Warnings: None
Disclosure: I struggled with this book and it took so many days to read that I don’t feel as if I can give a in-depth content review. However. I do feel it is middle-grade appropriate.
Shadow Weaver is a middle-grade fantasy novel that boasts similarity with Robert Beatty’s Serafina and the Black Cloak. The big difference for me is that I loved Serafina and disliked Shadow Weaver. My dislike for this book is rather surprising because my good friend who hates all things fantasy actually kinda liked it. You can check out her review of Shadow Weaver here.
So, what did I dislike about this book? Well, there’s no real plot and none of the characters really stuck with me. In fact, I had to look back at the book to remember the main character’s name to write this review. So, let’s talk about her. Shall we?
Emmeline is a whiny, self-centered child who thinks only of herself. I get it, she’s a kid. Still, she never once questioned her shadow’s mean tricks or hateful attitude. Like my friend said, this book is about the struggle between good and evil that exists in all of us. But even when Emmeline saw her shadow for the evil that it was, it felt like a conclusion reached for selfish reasons. Emmeline has absolutely no sense of right or wrong from my perspective. She is a weak character with little resolve. She is easily led and isn’t someone who I could ever trust. I just don’t like her.
Emmeline’s powers and the event that led to them is cloaked in secrecy. One can only hope that these missing plotlines are explored in a future installment. However, at this point, I don’t care to read it.
This novel is very simplistic—nearly too much so. The dialogue was repetitive which left me bored and frustrated.
But, at the end of the day, my dislike for this book falls back solely on forgettable characters who were selfish, whiny and annoying.
This book was nearly a DNF for me after I wasted four days on it. I kept holding out hope because the cover was just so beautiful. Now I’m a little mad at myself that I let a good cover keep me from putting down a book that I didn’t enjoy.