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The Shadow Reader (Shadow Reader #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  6,983 ratings  ·  840 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
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Ace
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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
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
Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Emily May by: Wendy Darling, Maja
Shelves: paranormal-uf, 2012

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
Stacia (the 2010 club)
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
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
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
Sophia Sardothien
This book was better than I expected, fun fact what I love most was not the plot nor the fantasy elements but it was romance that captivated me into reading it.

Our main female lead is a kickass stubborn heroine. Usually I hate extremely stubborn characters as they are usually very reckless and stupid. But this time I can't help liking her, as she's stubborn for valid reasons but most of all HER HUMOR darn I can't help laughing out loud sometimes.

Then there's the two love interest

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
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Soooo this was pretty good. I can't rave about it because of a few things.

-I enjoyed the world of the Fae that she created, the politics, the mechanics, all very cleanly, cleverly done. Probably the best part of the book.
-Good plotting, I thought the twists and turns were enough to fill out the book and surprise me.
-Lack of most Urban Fantasy cliches

I guess overall there are a few key things I didn't like, the opening is REALLY confusing and it doesn't lay out the world or character
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
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
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
So I guess it's true: the urban fantasy genre really doesn't get better than Karen Marie Moning.

Just this year, I became a huge fan of the genre when I picked up a book that just about every fan of the genre was screaming to the heavens about: Darkfever. Not even so much the actual book, but Jericho Barrons (but the book itself was praised heavily, don't forget). I myself loved it, and have since read two more in the series (and plan on getting my hands on the last two possibly tomorrow!)

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Aren or Kyol? 7 64 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 26 Jan 18, 2013 01:00AM  
  • A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, #1)
  • Shadow Kin (The Half-Light City, #1)
  • The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon's Law, #2)
  • Head Rush (The Disillusionists, #3)
  • Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin, #1)
  • Trance (MetaWars, #1)
  • Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1)
  • Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, #2)
  • The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1)
  • Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, #2)
  • Queen of Shadows (Shadow World, #1)
  • Black Wings (Black Wings, #1)
  • Sins of the Angels (Grigori Legacy, #1)
  • Dark Descendant (Nikki Glass, #1)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Shadow Reader (3 books)
  • The Shattered Dark (Shadow Reader, #2)
  • The Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader, #3)
The Shattered Dark (Shadow Reader, #2) The Sharpest Blade (Shadow Reader, #3) Shades of Treason (Anomaly #1) Sidhe - L'Intégrale Éclats de chaos: Sidhe, T2 (Bit-Lit)

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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.” 69 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.” 57 likes
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