Jenn's Reviews > Shadowcry

Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw
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Jul 18, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: hardcover, own
Read in July, 2011

***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***

Kate Winters is a fifteen year old orphan being raised by her Uncle Artemis in a small village where they run a book shop. When the wardens raid the town searching for Kate because of the powers that she doesn’t even know she possesses they’re taken captive and she is brought to the High Council of Albion. Her companion for the trip is a collector named Silas Dane, and man with zombie-like attributes who was returned from the dead by one of the skilled, a high councilwoman named Da’ru who with the help of a dangerous book called Wintercraft has taken control of powers no person should possess. Silas cannot die and he longs for death more than any other, when he discovers Kate who is not only skilled but a walker and descendent of the long ago bonemen he know she is his old hope for death. Kate must decide which is the lesser enemy Da’ru or Silas and how to use her newfound powers before everyone she loves is lost.

My main issue with this book is that I would like to have seen more world building into the world of Albion and the war with the Continent over possession of the skilled. While it’s an intriguing tale that draws you in, it almost feels like being pulled into the middle of the story, seeing the awful thing that happened through memories or conversations. I’d have rather began at the beginning experiencing each atrocity as it occurred. There are so many things we don’t fully understand in this tale because the time wasn’t taken to go into detail about them. Also I would have liked to see more personal interaction between Kate and Silas. Both characters were compelling, especially Silas and I would have liked to see more of a bond form between the misunderstood villain and his frightened but powerful captive. To be honest if there are future continuations in the world of Albion where Kate gets older I might actually enjoy seeing a relationship develop between her and Silas, though at the moment she’s a little young for that.

I truly enjoyed this book and was really drawn into the world of Albion, but I was left with more questions than answers at its conclusion which frustrated me as a reader. To enter a world where people are born with the ability to control the veil between the living and the dead, a world where the greatest threat facing them is all the knowledge they’ve lost because it’s the lack of that knowledge which allows them to controlled, threatened and abused.

Kate is a strong but also insecure heroine, she doesn’t really know what she can do and until she’s forced to see it herself she never believed powers like that truly existed. I’m not really sure if Silas can be considered a hero, villain or victim in this tale which is what makes him such an intriguing character. At first glance he appear a heartless villain, but as you continue to turn the pages of this tale you learn there’s a lot more to this character than what meets the eye.

The plot is wonderful with a decent pace, I guess I’d say more fast than slow, but not totally fast either. It’s intricate drawing you quickly into the tale and immersing you into Albion’s world and the struggles within it, but the real strong suit of this book is the intricacies of the main characters. I personally hope this is a series because as a reader I’m not ready to let these characters go. I want to know more, I want to understand them and their world. Overall it’s an excellent read that I would definitely recommend to readers who enjoy the fantasy genre.
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