Dorri's Reviews > The Shadow Reader

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
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Feb 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-urban
Read from March 07 to 14, 2012

McKenzie is a human with a unique ability. She's a shadow reader. One of the few, unusual, humans that can see through fae glamor, and can track them by studying the portals they use to transport between locations.

From the very begining McKenzie's story pulls you in. Starting with McKenzie's boredom of trying to take a college final so she won't flunk out, to fleeing from the fae rebels intent on kidnapping her for her unique ability (once again inturrupting her taking the darned test, and dooming her to fail...again) and being saved by the leader of the King's Guards, Kyol.

The fae are in a civil war. The rebel faction has risen up to supplant the current king with one of their own. Although McKenzie is human, she has served in the fae king's war for years, tracking rebel leaders. The strength of her shadow reading has made her a target, and a prize, to the Rebel's and their leader, Aren.

Even though Kyol manages to save her in the first forray, McKenzie is eventually kidnapped by the rebels. Rebels who haven't yet decided if they should kill her, thus keeping her abilities out of the King's hands, or converting her to their cause and gaining her ability for themselves.

McKenzie is not a heroine. She is flawed, clumsy, confused, and scared. But she is tenatious. When Aren dares her to learn the truth of the war, McKenzie will experience betrayals, victories, and losses in finding the truth. Seeing from both sides of the war, McKenzie begins to doubt if either side is right, but she vows to learn the truth. In the confusion of finding the truth, McKenzie also has her love of Kyol and her messed up feelings for Aren pulling her in two diffrent directions. And here is where I found her to be wishy-washy and frustrating. Making solid choices about her feelings is definately one of McKenzie's downfalls.

Overall I found this story highly entertaining. One of the most interesting things Ms. William's has created was the premise of chaos lusters; tiny, visible lightning bolts that dance over the skin of the fae in the human world. Under certain circumstances, like when fae touch humans, they can even cause attraction. It works the same in reverse, when you see McKenzie in the fae world. But there, she is the ONLY one with chaos lusters. I will be looking forward to see how Ms. Williams expands on this first book in her McKenzie Lewis series.
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