My rating is at 2.5/3.0 stars.
I was given a free copy from Clean Teen Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
The synopsis to this story sounded intriguing. It’s a unique plot. Jessica and Eric are two teenagers who seem like typical high school students just trying to navigate school and life. We learn that Jessica wants to find her birth parents and Eric is really unhappy about his home life since his father remarried after his mother’s untimely death. Sounds typical so far, but there’s another facet to their identity. Eric is Shomen, a shade for the Dark. Jessica is also a shade, but has no idea what she is until she meets Shomen. At first she thinks meeting him is part of her dreams, but she soon learns he’s real and part of another world that she’s just starting to learn about.
I also liked the way the author challenged the troupe of good vs. evil. The reader immediately gets pulled into Eric/Shomen’s life as a Shade, which is normally characterized as the evil complement to light. As the reader gets to know Eric/Shomen, the more the reader becomes invested in him and wants him to succeed against the Light. In this story, the Light are trying to destroy Shades. This is a very promising story and was enjoyable at parts.
I did have a few concerns as a reader that I wished were addressed in the story. The first was that Jessica’s goal was to find out who her parents were and learn more about who she was and where she came from. By the end of the story, she hasn’t really learned anything about her parents except that they must’ve been shades (because she was born as one). Her motivation is so strong to find out more about her parents at the beginning that when she does have the opportunity later, she doesn’t which weakens her characerization. The worldbuilding could also use more development and perhaps there will be more in the next two books of this trilogy. I’m hoping we learn more about the Dark and the Light. What are their roles in the modern setting? Aside from fighting, what else are their powers used for? What is the prophecy and what’s Jessica’s role in it? My other concern has more to do with writing style. I thought the dialogue was good, but it became cluttered with dialogue tags that ended up telling the action instead of showing what the character was feeling.
Overall, this is a promising start. If the concerns are addressed in the other books in this series, the story will be stronger.