The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader, #1)
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The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,520 ratings  ·  760 reviews
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 jo...more
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Ace
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Wendy Darling
Searching for another kick-ass urban fantasy heroine? Look no further, because McKenzie Lewis has arrived. Caught in a fascinating war between the fae king and the rebel faction, she is kidnapped by the rebellion, who wants to use her special cartography skills for their own means. McKenzie fights to escape in some seriously great action scenes, but gradually she starts to wonder whether the truth behind the war is even more complex than she ever imagined.

What's intriguing about McKenzie is that...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Oooooh The Shadow Reader! Oooooh average rating 4.14! Happy day!!!!

My first thought:

My second thought:

My third thought:

My other thoughts are verging between ugh idiot, duh, gah and pass the jelly.

Imagine you have a cold. But not a normal cold. It’s one of those bad ones where you have to drown in antibiotics and syrup. You know the feeling you get when you are eating something, and you can’t feel its taste? You look at the people you’re sharing the meal with and see them moan in pleasure because...more
Steph Sinclair
The Shadow Reader had everything I love in a fae book. Seriously, I have a special place in my heart for fae characters. Ahem, Ash and Puck. *Wink, wink* It had action, hot Fae guys, adventure, romance, hot Fae guys, court intrigue, witty dialogue, and epically cool fight scenes. Oh, and did I mention the HOT FAE GUYS?!

Excuse me while I fangirl.

McKenzie Lewis is a special human. She can see the Fae and read their shadows. This ability makes her a very important ally in the war raging between the...more
Even more than YA, my relationship with Urban Fantasy has been a love-hate one. In fact, I even made a table about it, and it holds true. So when I DO find an urban fantasy book I like, I can't help but talk about it nonstop, not to mention recommending it to everyone I know!

The Shadow Reader was one of those books I went into with a great deal of trepidation, only to end up gasping for breath about 20 pages in. Excellent worldbuilding, fast-paced, breath-stealing action and brilliant character...more
Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Wendy Darling, Maja

Before I picked this book up, I had so many great feelings about it. Partly because of all the dazzling reviews it has received from my most trusted GR friends, and partly just because it is sold as exactly the kind of urban fantasy I love: strong heroine, hot supernatural men, "cataclysmic civil war" between the fae... I admit that I was excited enough to buy this book before reading the 4/5 star reviews.

Okay, so what exactly was my problem? I exhale a great big shuddering sigh as I say - for...more
Stacia (out of inspiration)
When a person writes a review, the first thing they have to do is think about what they want to say about the book and what is worth mentioning. After reading a few reviews on this book, I'm thinking that my idea of prioritizing must be completely different from everyone else's.

Somewhat frustrating love triangle...blah, blah, blah.
A few similarities to Dark Swan...blah, blah, blah.
Heroine who really should have known better about a few things...blah, blah, blah.
Great action for a first book...b...more
Dec 21, 2011 Dija rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Uf and PNR fans
Recommended to Dija by: Wendy Darling

“This is ridiculous, Aren. I’m not Cinderella at a ball. And this...this isn’t going to win my support, not even my sympathy. I won’t—”

He places a finger over my lips. “I forget my responsibilities when I’m with you. It’s nice. Peaceful.” His hand slides behind my neck, beneath my hair. He plays with the clasp of my necklace. “I wish you’d let yourself forget things when you’re with me. You’d be happier.”

Rating Explanation:

+1 star for McKenzie. She's everything an e...more
(4.5 stars) The Shadow Reader is Sandy Williams’ debut novel and the first in the new MCKENZIE LEWIS series. If this book is any indication, I anticipate great things from Williams and this series in the future. I enjoyed The Shadow Reader immensely.

McKenzie is a human woman with a talent that makes her invaluable to the fae. She is a shadow reader, which means that when a fae teleports, she can map where that fae has traveled to. There are other shadow readers, but McKenzie is an unusually good...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
**1.5 stars**

I didn't like this very much and I'm pissed that I bought the second book before finishing this one.

I have mulled over my review for a few days now, and I'm still trying to figure out why most people loved this and I didn't. I think my main issue with this book is that the world building and plot felt like a distant second in priority to the love triangle.

What I liked when I started with this book was the world. I love the idea of the fissures that bring the fae in and out of our r...more
Angela James
I was pretty conflicted about what to rate this, and I find myself once again wishing Goodreads would let me do a half star, because I think it's truly 3 1/2 stars. Keeping in mind, that 4 stars is a book I love and 5 stars are reserved for books I think are truly top of the pile books and I'll recommend them to anyone who will listen.

I thought this book started out very strongly, and I was intrigued both by the heroine and by the world the author has developed. I liked the heroine's voice, and...more
I had high hopes for The Shadow Reader after seeing so much love for this read, and after recently discovering the awesomeness of Urban Fantasy. Unfortunately, I only ended up liking the story overall. I’m sure this is a case of “it’s me, not you” with a lot of “it’s the narrator”, as well. Twelve hours is a long time when the narrator isn’t your cup of tea.

McKenzie has “the sight” meaning she can see fae when other humans cannot. She’s special because she can locate other fae who shift by read...more
Awesome! Just Awesome!

It’s almost impossible to review this book without gushing. There is so much to love about The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams. The story is told from the main character McKenzie Lewis’ point of view. Let me tell you, I loved McKenzie’s voice. McKenzie is an intelligent young woman who has suffered through life because of her ability to see the fae. Gifted with Sight, McKenzie can also map where the fae go just by looking at their shadows. Consequently, McKenzie is a valuab...more
As a kind of pre-review to my actual review, this is the first book I read after reading a book that was, undoubtedly, one of my favorite books of 2011, Angelfall. And I hoped that if I stuck to the same kind of genre and general character makeup that Angelfall had I could find a great book that was, at the least, pretty enjoyable. So, was it?

Meh....... kinda.

Oh and, by the way, my real rating for this book is 3.5 stars and I'm seriously considering dropping it to three.

It's the truth.

I g...more
Why is this not a 5 star or a 4 star book for me? I have put off writing this review for a week or so because I am confused as to why everyone I know on goodreads loved this book but me. In part, I think this may be a "Its not you, its me" kinda thing. I may be over my urban fantasy binge. Hey, it was a good ride. It started summer 2010 and lasted until now. When I hear about new titles or series in the paranormal, they just do not interest me -- with the exception of my favorite authors and ser...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

There is something shocking about McKenzie Lewis, the protagonist in THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams. She’s not a super woman/warrior goddess/magical titan capable of destroying the universe with a wink. Nope, unlike many urban fantasy heroines these days, McKenzie is pretty normal. She does have one ability that sets her apart from the rest of us; she’s a shadow reader, someone who can watch a fae ‘fissure’ (instantly teleport from one location to...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
Forget my review.... I never got around to it....instead....

AH did an awesome review here...

Doing the happy dance ...(stop looking, I know I can't dance).

Loved it.

Review coming some time this century.
*4.5 Stars*

This book turned out to be quite the surprise. I can’t think of the last time I’ve gone from completely disliking a book to practically inhaling it. When I first picked up The Shadow Reader, I made it to page 30 before I finally gave up and set it aside. It was over a month before I picked it up again, and the only reason I did was because I wanted it off my reading queue.

I can’t say I was eager to dive back into it after disliking the beginning so much. One of my main complaints was...more

Alrighty. Now that's out of my system ... holyfuckingcrap!
Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Sandy Williams, for writing and getting published.

This was awesome.
I read a lot. And maybe it's just me, but there's usually three categories of books:
1. The ones that were a nice read. You're fine with seeing them on the shelf, remember some of it, but you could have lived your life without them without really missing anything.
2. The ones that just plain suck. The ones you don't finish, becaus...more
If I could give this book more than five stars, I would. The Shadow Reader is well-written, action-packed, interesting, hard-core UF with an awesome (yes - I mean awesome) love triangle thrown in for good measure.

McKenzie Lewis isn't anything special, other than the fact that she can see Fae, and more importantly, that she can trace their movements between Earth and the Realm (fairy land, or all intents and purposes). For the last 10 years, since she was 16-years-old, she has been working for t...more
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

4/4.5 stars

I was ridiculously hooked to this book from the very first page. Great characters, exciting storyline, and more important an original storyline.

McKenzie is a hot commodity in the faerie war. She’s a shadow reader who is able to track faeries that fissure out. She’s been assisting the faerie King since she was 16; it’s now been 10 years. For those past 10 years McKenzie has also been pining over Kyol, the king’s swordsman, who i...more
Sarah ~Slow reader, or slowly reading? ;)
I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to finish this book. Let me tell you why:

1. Although the plot was intriguing, the world-building, characters, and relationships were not.
2. I got to page 156. Out of those pages, Ms. Williams said the word "fissure" (and variations of the word) ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX TIMES. That's more than half of what I read. I would know. I highlighted every time she said it. Because after saying it 4, sometimes 5 freaking times on one page, I started to notice. (I get...more
I went into THE SHADOW READERnot really knowing what to expect and came out blown away by the this incredible fae story. This was a really a intriguing world to be thrown into and I enjoyed every minute of it.

All McKenzie wants is to be normal. She is a "Shadow Reader", a person able to read shadows left behind from fae who travel from one place to another. For about 10 years she has worked for the court and thought she was working for the good guys and then she is kidnapped by the rebels who ar...more
Mimi Smith
5 stars

Wow...This book was unputdownable... And amazing. I don't even know how to discuss this rationally, but here goes.

McKenzie is a shadow reader, a human who got involved with the fae ten years ago because of her abilities. Namely one, and that is reading shadows, knowing where a fae fissured(think teleported) There's a war going on, and she's firmly on the side of the Court, or better said, on the side of Kyol, the king's sword-master. She's loved him forever, but has never had a chance to...more
Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres*
Jan 05, 2012 Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres* rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, Anyone who can read, fae-lovers, if you like love trianlges, awesome urban fantasy
Shelves: favorites

“If I were a good man,” he says, “I’d acknowledge that he is an honorable fae.....I’d step down and let you have the man you’ve always wanted, but, McKenzie, I’m not as good as him. I never will be, and I can’t step down. I’ll fight for the chance to be with you.”

A-MAZ-ING. How is it possible that more people are not talking about this book? I stayed up till four in the morning two nights in a row to read this was that good. And this is from a debut author? Holy crap, I can't wait to...more
May 04, 2014 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 3-stars
McKenzie now ranks among the best heroines of fiction. No joke. Have you ever had those protagonists that just make you want to:

Well, cast aside your worries because McKenzie is one the most aware, sincere, and real characters I have encountered! She may not be a gun-slinging, machete-toting beast of battle, but she has guts of steel and a BRAIN to boot. Too many heroines these days seem to feel the need to be as obnoxious and rude as possible in order to assert their competence, and they end up...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
*Rating* 3.5
*Genre* Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

*Review Pending*

I'm not overly thrilled about MacKenzie being a badass heroine that we fall head over heels over. You know that thrill that travels up your leg? Not happening. Yes, she has a really interesting ability to track fae as they travel and sketch out their locations. Yes, she becomes more determined as she finds out the truth about the rebels and the King she served for 10 years. But, she doesn’t know how to use a gun; she can barely...more
I haven’t written an review in ages, so please excuse my ramblings.

The Shadow Reader, in appearance, is a very good book. It has it all: action, plot turns and twists but more importantly, it has a brave heroine torn between two hot males(one hotter than the other and reverse).At least, that’s what I hoped to read after I saw the synopsis. Well, things are not exactly like that.
Here’s what happens: McKenzie is a human who has the Sight(meaning she can see the Fae) and the ability to track them d...more
Amanda Bonilla
I've been itching to read this book for months and I was lucky enough to get my hands on it early. I devoured The Shadow Reader in three sittings, and believe me, if I hadn't been distracted by work, I would have read it in a day.

The premise is so unique. McKenzie is a human with an extraordinary power: she can read the shadow signatures left behind by the fae as they travel from one location to another. She's a valuable asset to the current fae court, and has been aiding the King in his war aga...more
Renee Sweet
This book has everything: a snarky kickass heroine, nail-biting action scenes, dreamy guys (two, in fact!), a really well written love triangle, and plenty of hard-to-make, heartfelt choices.

And? It holds up after multiple read-throughs.

Highly recommended.
(Review first posted at Book Lovers Inc)

First things first, and something that may interest many; the book is written in the first person present tense. Now, I’ve not read much in that particular narrative style, and I do tend to prefer the use of the past tense (in either first- or third-person voice), but it worked well in this case, disappearing behind the meat of the storytelling. (My personal affinity for this style is likely in no small part due to its wonderful use in Ann Aguirre’s Sirant...more
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Aren or Kyol? 7 54 Jul 24, 2014 02:20AM  
The Urban Fixation: The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1) by Sandy Williams 5 12 Feb 09, 2014 05:08PM  
*Paranormal Roman...: Free Giveaway! Enter by June 1st! 1 4 May 30, 2013 05:42PM  
Goodreads Librari...: McKenzie Lewis 3 25 Jan 18, 2013 01:00AM  
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Sandy Williams graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in political science and history. She worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. Now, she’s back in Texas, writing full time and moonlighting as a librarian. Visit her on the web at
More about Sandy Williams...
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“Fine," he says, his words coming out breathless. "I'll save your precious sword-master, McKenzie. But I will never, ever give you back to him.” 65 likes
“If I were a good man,” he says, “I’d acknowledge that Taltrayn is an honorable fae, that he loves you and would take care of you. I’d step down and let you have the man you’ve always wanted, but, McKenzie, I’m not as good as Taltrayn. I never will be, and I can’t step down. I’ll fight for the chance to be with you.” 52 likes
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