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The Beckoning Shadow #1

The Beckoning Shadow

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Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.

But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

480 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 2, 2019

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Katharyn Blair

6 books192 followers

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 246 reviews
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,460 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2022
This book is a book is Young Adult fantasy, and this is the first book in the Beckoning Shadow series. Vesper in the beginning can't control her powers which leads her to a magical fight club tournament that guarantees the winner a chance to undo the past. During the tournament she finds so much about herself. The story is written great and I so loved reading this story. I do not read a lot of fantasy, but I found this one to be easy to follow. I had no problems understanding the fantasy parts of this book. I won an advance reader's edition of this book from a goodreads giveaway, but this is 100% my opinion.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,164 reviews1,521 followers
January 17, 2019
The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair is a young adult fantasy with of course a bit of romance added to the mix. The ideas and world building in this one weren’t overly new or original but it was still a fun story to read.

Vesper Montgomery had left her home and the family she loved in fear that she may hurt them when she discovered she was one of the few in the world to gain powers. Vesper had the ability to summon ones worst fears but not being in control of her powers make them that much more dangerous.

Vesper really had no plan when she left home but when she comes across the Tournament of the Unraveling she thinks she’s found the answer she had been looking for. Those entering the tournament are battling for a chance to rewrite the past and for Vesper that could mean she could return to her family.

The idea that characters could suddenly find themselves with special powers and having a variety of powers to those oddities really kept reminding me of The Gifted. This world is much the same with the powerful feared by the normal and trying to hide those powers so as I mentioned this isn’t really a new wow factor when it comes to the overall idea behind the series. However, the characters and their stories were compelling enough to want to continue reading and kept the pages turning along so in the end I still enjoyed this one.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Umairah (Sereadipity).
212 reviews108 followers
July 27, 2019
The Beckoning Shadow was a novel about the importance of accepting your past instead of running away from it and it was basically what would happen if the X-men were younger and liked cage fighting for fun.

3.5 stars
Plot: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing: 4/5

Oddities were humans with special powers and Baselines, without. Wardens were Oddities tasked with eradicating others that were deemed to be threats. Oddities were bedtime stories told to keep children in check, they lurked underground and in the shadows but they didn't want to hide from the world anymore. They wanted to live in it without fear. Here are some examples of the different types of Oddities and their powers:

Harbinger: Makes a person's deepest fears come true.
Demo: Everything their fingertips touch turns to dust.
Unraveler: Can undo past events.
Ledger: Bind people to unbreakable contracts.
Ripper: Can strip an Oddity of their powers.
Stoneskin: Can turn their skin as hard as stone.
Metalurg: Manipulates metal.
Scribe: Can write in 'umbra ink' which makes writing invisible unless an Oddity breathes on it.

Vesper was a Harbinger and after a tragic accident involving her powers, she went on the run- leaving her family without a word. She was afraid of her powers that she couldn't control, she thought she was a monster and everyone was safer if she stayed away. After a while on the run, she found out about the Tournament of the Unraveling and she decided to enter and try to win the prize: one Unraveling and a million dollars. She thought it was her chance to rewrite her past, fix her family, herself and her life. And so, with the help of an MMA fighter called Sam, she trained and competed in the competition of a lifetime. She became a cage fighter, battling with other Oddities for victory.
"I've spent so much time... trying to find some way to repair what I am and what I've done I didn't see the damage I was doing."

Vesper was an interesting character. She was afraid of her powers and blinded by her own fear. It took her a while to realise that the solution wasn't running away or hiding but finding out how to control her powers so that they would cause no harm. She didn't need an Unraveling to 'fix' her life, she needed to own her actions, learn from them and communicate with those around her.

The reason why I have deducted stars is that I felt very bored at times whilst reading it. The novel was extremely repetitive as Vesper was constantly thinking and saying what felt like the same things about the guilt she carried over her past actions. While I can understand that she was distressed about it, her repetition became annoying after a while.

The Beckoning Shadow was a story about dealing with grief, loss and pain and worth a try if you're looking for something a bit different to read.

Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Profile Image for Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura).
505 reviews729 followers
November 10, 2018

Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review

"I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul."

Oh, how grateful I am to have been sent an ARC of this absolutely marvelous book. Katharyn Blair created a world that I instantly fell in love with. Her writing kept me hooked to every page. Her characters were ones I loved so much. Her story was so very unique and definitely not what I expected.

Vesper is our main character. She has the ability to summon your worst fears. The only problem is she isn't able to control it and it’s extremely dangerous. Her one chance to undo the mistakes that plague her is by entering the tournament of the Unraveling. I loved how the story developed. It wasnt hasty but it wasnt slow either (does that make sense? I hope it does). Even when there was no action going on I was still enjoying it. I loved how different the story was from any other one that I’ve read that involves having abilities or powers. The abilities were different and they weren't repetitive, and I especially loved Vesper’s.

The events of the book were enjoyable. I loved the world building. Katharyn Blair is an author I’m going to look out for. At this point no matter what she writes, I’m going to read. Now I’m stuck with only one thought. And that is the fact that I read this 9 months in advance. Which means that I’m going to be waiting a long time for the next book. Was still worth it. Would recommend everyone to add this to their TBR.

Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
959 reviews1,247 followers
June 30, 2019

Title: The Beckoning Shadow
Series: The Beckoning Shadow #1
Author: Katharyn Blair
Release date: July 2, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre:YA, fantasy

After all the warnings, all the lessons, all the looks over their shoulders—and the thing they should have feared the most was next to them, the whole time. Me. I was the scariest thing.

I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but it ended up being more than I could have hoped for. It was such a fresh and exciting offering to the genre that was unlike anything I've read. I literally could not get enough. All it did was leave me hungry for more. I don't think the synopsis does it justice, it only gives you a small taste of what's inside. If I could draw a comparison, the first thing that comes to mind is a teen X-men story with an underground supernatural, gladiator-style tournament thrown in.

Vesper is the main protagonist, a runaway teen trying to escape the mistakes she's made, but some things you just can't outrun. She doesn't like to stay in one place for too long, form any friendships, or draw any attention to herself. All she wants is to be left alone in the hope that she can prevent the events from her past from repeating themselves. It's a mistake that haunts her every day, when the idyllic life she once had was stolen from her. Vesper is a Harbinger, an Oddity that can tether herself to people's fears and make them a reality. The only problem is that she has no idea how to control the power that's inside her, and no longer has anyone who can teach her the things she needs to know.

Growing up she lived in complete ignorance of the supernatural world filled with Rippers, Ledgers, Dusters, Shaders, and many more uniquely gifted people. She was unaware of the threat of Wardens who police Oddities, and the absolute power that they use that's not necessarily in the best interest of those they govern. We get little flashbacks of what happened after her power manifested, and how that led her to where she is now. I couldn't help but see the irony that her power was drawing out other people's fear, when her own greatest fear was using her power. It's not until the Tournament of the Unraveling that she may have to face her fear in order to win what she most desires.

Vesper and Sam meet fairly early on in a nail biting, action packed scene. This is where we first get a sense of what she's capable of, and I...was...riveted. The power she wields is immense, with limitless possibilities, making her one of the most impressive of the Oddities. While she is near the top of the tier, she doesn't fall into the YA cliche of the chosen one, THE most powerful or rare. I found that refreshing for a change. There were a lot of kickass Oddities who presented a formidable challenge for Vesper to go up against. Not only because of their mastery over their powers but also her unwillingness to fight dirty with their darkest fears.

She has a tough as nails exterior on the outside, someone who doesn't need help or sympathy, but she's more than the hardened girl she portrays. She can be a softie on the inside, and it puts her somewhat at a disadvantage with the cutthroat competition she enters. She wages a battle with herself over how far she's willing to go, what lines she's willing to cross.

I’ve been so afraid of the monster inside I didn’t see the monster I was becoming.

Sam becomes her financial backer for the tournament of the Unraveling. Entry for the wildcard is steep at 10K, but their partnership could be mutually beneficial. He gets to rewind his past, she gets to keep the large cash prize. But as she trains with Sam, their bargain is surrounded with deception and betrayal. Because they're both equally desperate to correct things from their past and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The end goal becomes murky the more they get to know one another. Vesper has a huge decision to make and a lot of soul searching to do in order to reach it.

One of the best things about the book is Vesper's new group of friends from the Oddities world. They all welcomed her into their ranks with open arms, something she hadn't had in a long time.Slowly she lets them in, and eventually gifts them with her trust. But something even more compelling about their relationship was the fact that they become her opponents in the tournament which makes their friendship a whole lot more complicated.

I think I forgot, even in that short amount of time, what it feels like to be with people. Sapphira reminded me, and now Sam feels like he’s snagged on me or something. I’m caught, a little. Stuck here, drawn by the way he looks as broken as I feel.

So used to being alone and on defense, she really blossomed and found her strength with them at her back. There are some among the group that have their own secrets, and there are small hints that are dropped throughout, but I was pleasantly taken by surprise when they were revealed. I love when a plot can take me off guard with its twists and The Beckoning Shadow most definitely achieved that. Not only do the Oddities have their secrets, but there is a mystery in Sam's past that Vesper vows to help him solve. In turmoil over her growing feelings for the man who has been nothing but supportive to her, she makes it her mission to bring him the closure and answers he seeks. Not everyone is who or what they seem, and Vesper soon learns that the Wardens are the least of her fears.

The devil you know is just as bad as the one you don't.

The romance between Vesper and Sam was on the back burner through the story, delightfully slow burn. I absolutely loved Sam's character and his conflicted feelings for her added another layer of depth into the plot. Their romance was complex and progressed naturally in the story, rather than feeling rushed and unrealistic. A lot of fantasies fail to balance the romance and main conflicts appropriately, but I think Katharyn Blair did a fabulous job. I never felt as if any angle of the story was lacking.

For a debut book, this was such an impressive offering. We get some amazingly choreographed supernatural action scenes, unpredictable plot twists, and a compulsively readable fantasy story that I raced through despite the considerable page length. It was a huge win for me, and bonus, there is no suspenseful cliffy at the end. I can't recommend this book more for those looking for a new series to get hooked on. You will not be disappointed!!



Profile Image for Melissa.
563 reviews803 followers
June 16, 2019
I still have goosebumps. Guys, the ending of this book is dynamite!! Can't wait to know what Katharyn has in store for book 2!!! I jumped so fast into the story, I felt everything... it's been a long time since I cried while reading a book. The characters are vibrant, they are so full of life, I cared for them. The writing felt like watching a movie: a fast-paced and action-packed story that led me to the edge of my seat more than once.

Many many many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
June 26, 2019
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

The Buzz

Tournament of the Unraveling! Supernatural Fight Club! Now take a look at that cover... look close... You see it right?! The wrapped fist, the broken nose. Yeah! The premise really intrigued me! And the cover is somehow pretty and intriguing (if you look hard enough). I liked how our protagonist looks feminine and fight club at the same time too. I wasn't really a fan of the title, The Beckoning Shadow. I saw in the book where its alluded to and eh. I get it but it doesn't do anything for me. Something more like... "The Fight She Can't Lose" or "Learning to Control Fear" both sound much more intriguing to me.

The Premise

Vesper is homeless and a runaway. But its not what you think! She left a loving family because she can summon one's worst fears. And she can't control it. Better for her to leave rather than to hurt someone she loves. While we've seen powered humans before I loved how the teen runaway problem was incorporated into The Beckoning Shadow in an organic way. And her particular ability as well as several others were quite neat and fascinating to learn about. I can't imagine being able to pull our of someone their darkest fear and make it a reality right there on the spot! But we get a taste of that through Vesper.

We come into The Beckoning Shadow right in the middle of the oddity world. These teens aren't the first to have abilities and there used to be a group that monitored them, taking out anyone thought to be dangerous. It takes a little bit to get oriented to what happened when and what that means for Vesper now but once you do, you'll totally be as invested as she is in learning what in the world happened!! And Sam makes it a really happy experience. I appreciated that there is plenty standing in their way, #1 being the tournament, but I enjoyed their interactions.

My Experience

Soooo.... supernatural fight club. Did it work? YES! Once we got to the Tournament of the Unraveling the story really picked up. TBH I didn't really get invested in Vesper until this point. There was a bit too much telling while also trying to be obscure and not say things outright. It was an odd combo. When Sam shows up and chooses a fighter and he picks the rookie loser... I wanted to understand what he saw. I wanted to know how he'd get her to the point where she could win. Especially against a couple of oddities she met in that first 24%.

The fights and the training were some of the best parts of The Beckoning Shadow to me. I loved how this crew of amateur fighters closed around Sam, and Vesper too, because he was their friend. I felt like Katharyn Blair must have some kind of experience in a gym of this sort because it was so organic in the story. I enjoyed the different friends and how they contributed to Vesper's training.

The Beckoning Shadow kept getting better the more I read! There is a great mix of personal angst, relationship struggles and fight club techniques that I enjoyed every page. I wish the pacing had been a little more even but it's certainly a roller coaster ride of action.

Why you may enjoy The Beckoning Shadow too?

-Fight Club!
I loved the battles so much I wish there had been more. More levels and more struggles to get better. It was a highlight of the book.

-The Power of Fear!
Really cool ability. I loved it so, so much and wanted to see it in action even more. As she became more confident I really loved how she came into her ability.

-The Chronicler!
Each ability had a name and I really loved this one. We learn about it, meet one or two and come to understand the power of knowledge.

-The Friendships!
There are oddities and fighters and they give Vesper a chance to see that she isn't some freak but a real person who can find happiness.

-Their History!
There is so much history wrapped up in Vesper's past, Sam's past, the past of the oddities and even some of the other oddities pasts! And its all woven together in the present tournament.

The Beckoning Shadow sucks us into a world we're familiar with and gives us a new way to explore it... a supernatural fight club! Can you imagine having powers and being able to win a chance to unravel one mistake that totally changed your life?! Yeah... you need to read this book!!

⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style
⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building
B+ Cover & Title grade

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews...

Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
Profile Image for Rian *fire and books*.
494 reviews143 followers
June 19, 2020
I’m as shocked as all of you are. I had this on a challenge list for 2020 and this was part of the “10 Books I Think I Won’t Like” list.

And look where we are... eating some crow.

Well so be it. This book is really good. If you want a main character that makes you think of Rogue and if the X-men were part of a world similar to The Darkest Minds this book is for you. It definitely leans more X-men, but whatever. You’ll get what I’m saying when you read this.

It has a solid MMA plot line and a great villain; not to mention a main character fighting herself and her magic.

There are a hundred different Oddities each with awesome and unique powers. Metallurgy, disappearing, fire, razor blades in their skin, And of course, ones who steal powers. Some of them are dicks... but some are pretty awesome. Which leads me too...

A FOUND FAMILY CAN I GET AN AMEN! Aldrick, Sapphira, Abigail, Wex, Roy, Sam, hell, even Duncan. Ugh. My heart. What a solid group to make you smile.

I am sad for the author cuz from what I can see it looks like book 2 either got cancelled or delayed. But you shouldn’t be scared to read this! The book ends in a sufficient way that you have answers. Sure, there’s a lingering... something, but that’s what happens when shit blows up in humans faces.

And sometimes you as the reader don’t always need answers.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,740 reviews224 followers
October 31, 2018
I have to say that I enjoyed aspects of the book more than the book itself. What I mean? I mean that while the plot maybe nothing completly new or 100% original, as it reminds me a lot of XMen with magic powers, it does have a great character development in which I put most of my attention.

I loved how almost all the characters - if not all of them - come from a dark place and are broken somehow. That holds even truer for Vesper, our main character and the voice of the narrative. She holds responsible for something that happened on her past, feels like she is a monster, full of darkness and fears her own powers so much that she can't think about controlling them. It takes for her the chance to save someone else, to find more people like her and to have a destination set on her mind to began exploring her powers and learn how to control them.

The rest of characters she encounters also have their own share of pain, like Sam, who is looking for a lost girlfriend, or one of the closest she friends she makes, who just wishes she was normal.
So, for me, the most important thing about this book was the myriad of characters, and their reasons for being who they are, and the pain and shadows they carry. And how far they all come from the first time we see them on page.

The writing quality is pretty solid too, and the author buils a world where people who are "normal" prosecute those who have magic (one of the main points it made me think a lot about mutants), but she owns the world and the way she builds it makes you feel like you already knew about it all, it's so greatly sewn into the story that everything falls into place and you don't feel lost while reading.

Maybe the idea is not 100% original, persecuted people who fight in a ring similarly to the Fight Club thing, but the temptation held over their heads is a chance to undo something from their past, but what it lacks for not being 100% original it more than offers in the intellectual part of the book: learning from our mistakes, see what was in our hand to change or not, learn from what happened, letting go and moving on. A lot also on women place in nowadays world, nice lessons on friendships and trust, too. Also, the power of forgiveness and acceptance.

Profile Image for Miniikaty .
534 reviews118 followers
September 12, 2020

RESEÑA COMPLETA: https://letraslibrosymas.blogspot.com...

Estamos ante una novela de fantasía juvenil o urban fantasy que aunque no es lo más original del mundo si tiene puntos muy acertados y que le dan un aire un tanto diferente. Además, tenemos bastante acción ya que las luchas en las que se ve envuelta Vesper son descarnadas y donde más se puede visualizar los diferentes tipos de poderes; también hay cabida para la amistad, la familia, el amor y una pequeña cantidad de intriga que te mantiene pegada a sus páginas.

Lo cierto es que esperaba que la trama tirara por otros derroteros y al principio no me terminaba de convencer el rumbo de la historia, pero luego poco a poco me fue ganando y aunque no ha llegado a superar las expectativas que tenía sí que ha sido una novela muy amena, con momentos bastante chulos y personajes interesantes.
Profile Image for Fiebre Lectora.
1,871 reviews576 followers
October 7, 2020
Una sombra latente era una historia que prometía encantarme, por los superpoderes, la intriga y la acción, pero la verdad es que ha sido un libro que se ha quedado algo descafeinado y que me ha dejado bastante indiferente.
Reseña completa: http://fiebrelectora.blogspot.com/202...
Profile Image for Adah Udechukwu.
621 reviews83 followers
July 23, 2019
I expected more from The Beckoning Shadow. Hopefully book 2 will be better.
Profile Image for Lau_Marlau.
99 reviews97 followers
November 30, 2020
En realidad 4,5/5 🌟

Una historia que arranca con mucha acción y que desemboca en un final absolutamente trepidante 😱
Me ha gustado mucho y os lo recomiendo si os gustan las distopías y las protagonistas con fuerza y tenacidad.
Próximamente reseña en https://rincondemarlau.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Namera [The Literary Invertebrate].
1,195 reviews2,947 followers
December 27, 2018
I liked the writing, and the heroine, but there were too many tropes I disliked for me to truly enjoy this book.

For one - the hero is completely hung up on his dead girlfriend. This is a COMPLETE NO-NO for me in any romance whatsoever. This discovery utterly ruined any interest I could have had in their romance. He thinks about her to the extent that a vision of the girl shows up while he's kissing the heroine, because he still thinks about his ex. Goodbye.

Also, there were moments of sheer ridiculousness. The heroine has been on the run from her family for two years, giving them immense pain. And then - when they finally get her again - they're perfectly willing to have her live with a random boy? She, the selfish cow, would rather live with Sam than the family she 'loves' and has tormented by disappearing from for two years? Yeah, no.

The worldbuilding also felt a little flat. It was strangely hard to visualise certain things from the author's description. This book was supposed to be a mash-up of Fight Club and The Young Elites, which I guess it vaguely was, but without the compelling writing of either book.

That's not really my primary complaint though; I'm just annoyed over the ruination of the romance.

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Profile Image for Melanchallina.
195 reviews110 followers
October 1, 2019
Кэтрин Блэр "Манящая тень" (Аномалы #1/2)

5 из 10

YA, городское фэнтези
POV: от первого лица, женский
Геометрия чувств: прямая (он/она)
Отличительные черты: люди с сверхспособностями, подпольные бойцовские бои

Что ж. Рецензенты «Манящей тени» дружно хвалят книгу и обещают, что она зайдет всем поклонникам Марвел, и Людей Икс. Рецензенты не врут, автор явно вдохновлялась популярными нынче темами супергероев, да вот только на деле смотреть фильм это одно, а читать YA на подобную тематику совершенно другое. Глядя фильм или сериал зачастую видишь косяки, но забиваешь, потому что дыры в сюжете и логике умело прикрывает сама идея, харизма персонажей или игра актеров, а вот в литературном произведении закрыть глаза на промахи автора довольно сложно. Поэтому «Манящая тень» у нас скорее «Одаренные», чем сами «Люди Икс». Чувствуете разницу?

Читателю представлен современный мир, где среди людей живут мутанты аномалы или другими словами люди, обладающие какой-то определенной способностью. Аномалы довольно редки и живут в тени, поэтому многие даже не верят в сам факт их существования, считая их чем-то вроде леших и кикимор. На самом же деле аномалы вполне себе реальны, как и охотники на них, которые стараются уберечь мир людей.

Веспер Монгромери, главная героиня, Предвестница. Это значит, что она способна воплощать в реальность человеческие страхи. После несчастного случая, произошедшего по ее вине, девушка сбегает из дома и ведет бродяжнический образ жизни. Ее новые правила жизни просты: не привлекай к себе внимания и никому не доверяй. Ее цель? Держаться как можно дальше от Смотрителей, аномалов, которые защищают мир людей от опасных представителей их вида.

По абсолютной случайности Веспер оказывается участницей подпольного Турнира, победа в котором может исправить ошибку, совершенную ею два года назад. Ошибку, которая стоила ей нормальной жизни. Участие в Турнире сталкивает ее с Сэмом Харди, бывшим боксером ММА, который, преследуя свои цели, вступает в союз с Веспер. Теперь ради победы Веспер не только учится управлять силами, которые ненавидит больше всего на свете, но и должна понять саму себя, как далеко она готова зайти ради приза?

Мне понравилась общая идея книги, сцены тренировок Веспер, а также картина самих боев, однако во многом книга все же сыра и непроработана. Веспер, поначалу весьма хороша. Она саркастична и умеет неплохо (но неидеально) постоять за себя. Однако где-то к середине книги, начинаешь осознавать, что у нее весьма раздражающий недостаток… а именно она любит раздуть из мухи слона. Сама придумала, сама обиделась. И вроде как и хочется оправдать это тем, что она подросток, но все же… нет, просто нет, возьми себя в руки, блин! У героини нет особого развития и большую часть событий она проводит жалея себя и страдая из-за произошедшего, вместо того, чтобы попытаться найти решение проблем (которые, я напоминаю, не так уж и нерешаемы). Именно поэтому симпатия к героине довольно быстро сменяется раздражением.

У романтической линии тот же недостаток. Герои пляшут вокруг одной и той же проблемы, но никак не могут сойтись. Причем, основная проблема тут в героине, которая, опять же, снова придумывает себе проблему там, где ее нет. Хотя, должна признать, что Сэм милашка и довольно неплох для главного героя.

Мироустройство неплохо, но мне не хватило его раскрытия. Было ощущение, что автор приоткрыл дверцу, но не готов впустить читателя внутрь. Возможно Блэр сделала ставку на следующие Книги, но что-то мне подсказывает, что большего ожидать не стоит.

Стиль весьма неплох, но сразу заметно, что это дебютная книга, написано легко, часто встречаются повторы, будто автор боится, что у читателя проблемы с памятью.

Также насчет сюжета… Не ждите чего-то неожиданного. Все довольно предсказуемо и опытный (да и не очень) читатель YA сразу поймет, кто есть кто и что его ждет впереди.

Кстати, на мой личный взгляд, было бы лучше оставить книгу одиночной. У нее весьма законченный сюжет без эффекта «срочно мне вторую книгу!» и продолжение кажется немного лишним.

В общем и кратко – «Манящая тень» неплохая история, но откладывать ради нее другие книги не стоит.
Profile Image for Patri.Bucher.
384 reviews147 followers
November 19, 2020
Patri: Una sombra latente me ha parecido una muy buena lectura. Al principio, por la sinopsis, me recordaba a Renegados, pero para nada ha sido así. La historia está muy bien pensada, creo que la trama contiene muchos elementos para que sea amena y te mantenga enganchada a la lectura, aunque a veces se hacia previsible, o hubiera cambiado alguna cosa, me ha gustado mucho este mundo de anómalos, las batallas con poderes, las conspiraciones, incluso la pequeña parte de historia creada que tiene. Sin duda lo recomiendo como una lectura juvenil fresca y ágil.
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
618 reviews76 followers
November 6, 2019
"I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul."

Vesper can summon your worst nightmare and turn it into reality. One wrong move with her powers ruined her life, forcing her away from those she loves. After being on the run, Vesper inauspiciously stops in San Francisco, a place where her enemy, the Wardens, supposedly rule, terrifying her to no end. But when she falls into a world of people like her, Vesper is met with a chance to enter the Tournament of Unraveling, and if she wins she could change her life completely. As Vesper teams up with Sam, a former MMA fighter to train for the competition, she's forced to not only confront, but master her powers. Will she dominate her powers or will they destroy her life once more?

A story of a girl battling both against and for her past. One soul realizing she's not the monster she thought she was.

Trigger warning for gore and violence.

Broken inside and scared for her life, Vesper kept everyone at a distance. Despite her hard shell, she had a magnetism about her, drawing everyone she met to her. Vesper's heart shown like gold as she refused to maliciously go after her opponents' deepest secrets. It was heart-wrenching to watch her grapple with her powers, which made me cheer all the harder for her with every victory, both internal and in the arena.

When life gets you down, sometimes the best medicine is a friend. Vesper's worst enemy was herself, as she believed that her powers made her dangerous to anyone who dared to get close. But when she met other teens with Oddities, they dismantled the lies she told herself. Vesper couldn't have been more surprised as they slowly broke down her walls, sharing their own grief-stricken stories, showing her that there was no reason to ostracize herself. Both inside and outside of the ring, these teens not only helped Vesper to evolve and conquer her fears, they popped off the pages as they dealt with their own struggles.

A flipped but even better version of Sky High, following an anti-hero, this book was a rollercoaster of action and emotions. In one very much like our own, Katharyn Blair unleashed the world of The Oddities, where just because you're different didn't mean that you weren't human or unworthy of happiness and love. The powers her characters grappled with were easy to comprehend and immensely fun to watch as they clashed between the covers. Vesper's newly discovered world could have used a little bit more color, but she and her friends were full of life. Flashbacks were beautifully utilized to make Vesper feel incredibly realistic and let you feel her heartbreaking pain right alongside her. This novel was also a reminder that what you assume is not always true, especially when it comes to other people's emotions. Perfectly paced, I never wanted to put this book down.

Remember that even if the shadows beckon, you're a light that deserves to shine.
Profile Image for Sandra Lawerson.
422 reviews165 followers
August 17, 2020

En un mundo donde los anómalos son temidos y perseguidos, mantenerse en las sombras puede ser la única oportunidad de sobrevivir. Al menos, así lo es para Vesper Montgomery. Vesper, quien hasta hace poco iba al instituto como otra chica cualquiera, es una fobos. De todos los anómalos, quizás los fobos son los más impredecibles y peligrosos, sobretodo cuando no sabes cómo contener o controlar tu poder. Cuando Vesper descubre lo que es y lo que es capaz de causarle a sus seres queridos, decide tomar la decisión de dejar atrás su anterior vida para siempre y empezar una completamente nueva, desde cero. Huyendo de casa y sin tener ningún plan extraordinario, el viaje que la llevaría hasta el anonimato y a una vida tranquila se ve truncado cuando debe hacer una parada de emergencia en una ciudad que pronto la pondrá a prueba. Vesper se ha prometido no usar nunca más sus poderes pero, cuando su vida corre un peligro inesperado, Vesper sabe que deberá usar todo lo que tenga a mano. Será entonces cuando conozca una competición clandestina de anómalos que podría ser la solución a todos sus problemas. Sin embargo, el torneo de la restauración no es tan sencillo como parece, no es un lugar para cualquiera. Solo los que ya no tienen nada más que perder compiten ahí. El precio merece la pena: elegir entre ganar un millón de dólares u optar por la posibilidad de reescribir el pasado. Lo que más ansía Vesper es regresar a su vida normal, donde sus poderes no han causado ningún daño a su familia. Y, con la ayuda de Sam, un corriente dispuesto a ayudarle a entrenar y ganar, y junto a sus nuevos amigos anómalos, Vesper podría tener una oportunidad. Pero confiar en un poder limitado no es tan fácil y, pronto, la vida de Vesper desembocará a algo mucho más peligroso cuando el pasado está empeñado a chocar con el presente para cambiarlo todo para siempre.

Una de las cosas con las que más disfruto a la hora de leer es encontrar nuevas voces. Autores u autoras desconocidas que acaban de publicar su primer libro, descubrir su pluma, su idea y su ilusión por ver su libro en manos de otra gente. Este año ya he tenido la oportunidad de toparme con historias muy buenas de autores o autoras que se adentraban en el extenso e impredecible mercado literario, y en esta ocasión, le ha llegado el turno a Katharyn Blair. Siendo completamente sincera, hasta que la editorial no anunció este libro en redes sociales no lo conocí. Pero me dio muy buena espina ya por entonces. Una sombra latente se avecinaba como un libro nuevo donde la gente con superpoderes volvía a la carga. Y ya sabéis lo que me gusta a mí una buena dosis de batallas épicas con chispas por allí y explosiones por allá. Puede que, como idea, no resulte demasiado original. Pero, en el proceso, Katharyn ha añadido un extra que, sinceramente, ha sido un gran soplo de aire fresco.

Usando en todo momento una narración en primera persona a través de la perspectiva de Vesper, nuestra protagonista, Una sombra latente es un libro que, nada más abrirlo y degustar sus primeras páginas, te deja con la sensación de que estás ante un inicio potente y prometedor que, sin darte cuenta, va a conseguir engancharte y atraparte en su historia. Caminando a través de una introducción en la que se nos cuenta, de manera breve y superficial, que en esta sociedad hay gente con superpoderes, buenos o malos, pero también una facción oscura que todavía es un misterio, la autora va a ser directa desde el minuto uno y, gracias a ello, pronto se disfruta de unas escenas cargadas de acción, donde los poderes de nuestros protagonistas, y de algunos personajes secundarios, van a estar en todo su apogeo, dando momentos de plena batalla que nos hará correr de un lado para otro con tal de sobrevivir y no caer en las manos de las personas menos adecuadas. Escenas cargadas de tensión y de pura adrenalina, los primeros compases de la lectura serán muy buenos e intrigantes, una manera de presentar de manera suculenta el entrante de un menú que todavía nos tendrá que dar el plato fuerte y principal. Creo que Katharyn dosifica muy bien la información que da en estos momentos, dejando detalles allí o aquí pero sin soltarlo todo de sopetón. Por ello, y a medida que vamos avanzando, la historia de Vesper y todos los que se encuentran a su alrededor se va ampliando, teniendo incluso viajes esporádicos en el pasado, hacia los recuerdos, que nos ponen en el punto de partida de Vesper, junto a su familia y junto a la primera vez que sus poderes salen a la luz. Poco a poco algunas preguntas empiezan a tener respuestas, algunos rompecabezas empiezan a encajar, pero pronto todo esto se verá ensombrecido cuando llegue el primer giro argumental, llevándonos directamente a la verdadera misión de Vesper y lo que va a guiar, a partir de ese momento, la historia.

Cuando leí la sinopsis del libro me sorprendió encontrar que, dentro del argumento, existía una competición que, por aquel entonces, aún no estaba muy segura de cómo iba a cuadrar eso en esta historia. Pero os tengo que decir que ha sido ese punto diferente, original y novedoso por el que esta trama, que puede parecerse a otra cualquiera del mismo género, consigue sobresalir de alguna manera. Y es una competición que le da mucha vida a la lectura, sin dudarlo, desde que asoma su cabeza. Es un escenario perfecto y sumamente emocionante. Un lugar que vuelve a dar dosis de una acción vertiginosa, llena de peligros, de enfrentamientos duros y brutales que puede sacarte incluso algún gesto de preocupación. El ser también un escenario para seguir ahondando en los tipos de poderes que existen, haciendo una exhibición para mostrar algunos de ellos en todo su esplendor, ha sido un completo acierto. Eso ha hecho que la lectura sea fluída y para nada aburrida, rápida y teniendo siempre algo a lo que mantenerse enganchada.

Sin embargo, desgraciadamente no todo va a correr bajo esa misma dirección. Y es que, aunque Una sombra latente, como digo, tiene un inicio bueno y una ambientación interesante que es verdad que poco a poco va a ir dejando nueva información por aquí y por allá, intentando crear una red de subtramas que lo van a complicar todo, llega un punto en el que el tema de las luchas, de la competición y del entrenamiento se alargan demasiado, haciendo que, inevitablemente, exista un punto en la lectura que te da la sensación de estancamiento, páginas que suenan algo monótonas y repetitivas y que podrían haberse resumido sin ningún tipo de problema. La ambientación se va distorsionando y dispersando, sobre todo de cara al final, llevándose consigo muchas explicaciones que se quedan en el aire y que, desgraciadamente, se echan luego en falta. Choca un poco que aparezcan, de repente y en demasiada abundancia, fiestas y celebraciones, momentos que le restan mucha de la seriedad con la que llegan esas escenas que ya apuntan hacia el gran desenlace, como si no hubiera un enemigo que está a punto de cambiar el mundo para siempre y para mal. Creo que la autora se enfoca demasiado en temas que ya deberían de haberse quedado resueltos con anterioridad, perdiendo un poco el rumbo y el hilo de la historia que nos precipitan a un final demasiado conveniente al que le falta un punto más de cocción para que realmente hubiera sido algo impactante, con mucho peso y realmente difícil de lidiar o vencer.

Así pues, aunque la primera mitad del libro es bastante prometedora, con escenas cargadas de dinamismo y mucho movimiento, y con cabida a exponer todo ese mundo de los anómalos que tan intrigada me ha tenido, creo que la ambientación podría haberse explotado mucho más, como que me da la sensación de que no se ha aprovechado del todo. Como digo, la idea que presenta Katharyn Blair está muy guay, a mi todo el tema de la gente con superpoderes me encanta y disfrutaba todo eso de conocer a los diferentes tipos de anómalos que tenemos y sus poderes. Sin embargo, no es algo que tampoco se haya creado con mucha profundidad, y ahí es donde más me ha fallado este tema. Tenemos lo justo y necesario para comprender las dos facciones, tanto la de los anómalos, con sus propias características, su propio funcionamiento, y la de los corrientes, pudiendo tener también algo distintivo de ellos, creando esa burbuja sobre la que se va a sentar el argumento. Pero me he quedado con ganas de ir más allá, especialmente en el universo de los anómalos. A lo largo de todo el libro podemos conocer bien qué son los fobos, gracias a que nuestra protagonista es una de ellos, así como otras especies de anómalos entre los que nos veremos rodeados pero, con la promesa de que es un mundo complejo y extenso, al final te das cuenta de que solo llegas a tocar cuatro tipos, más o menos. Me hubiera gustado tener una exposición mayor, un desarrollo de esta parte mejor formulado, con las cosas bien claras y haciendo que realmente la parte de los anómalos se vea como algo impresionante. Este fallo se traslada también a la trama central, donde las subtramas no se quedan bien creadas, dando ese final tan precipitado del que ya he hablado y que carece un poco de sentido en algunas partes. Falta explicación, me vuelvo a repetir, y por eso me ha dado tanta pena observar que la autora se estancaba demasiado en momentos que no tenían demasiada trascendencia, en lugar de dejar mejor cerradas cada una de esas subtramas.

Junto a ello, la mayoría de los personajes y el romance tampoco han funcionado del todo conmigo. En primer lugar, Vesper como protagonista no ha estado mal. Es una chica con un caracter muy marcado que, desde el principio, ha tenido muy claro qué es lo que quiere. Me ha gustado descubrir una evolución clara en ella mientras se avanzaba en la historia, teniendo una Vesper que comenzaba con miedo a quién era y acabando con una Vesper mucho más valiente que se acepta a sí misma. No obstante, me he quedado con ganas de saber más de los otros personajes que formarán parte de la vida de Vesper. Sus nuevos amigos, y compañeros, los otros anómalos y los humanos corrientes, no he sentido apenas conexión con ellos y me hubiera gustado acceder mejor a sus vidas. Es por eso que el romance no me ha terminado de cuajar. Lo he visto algo precipitado, de nuevo andando sobre el instalove, unos sentimientos que aparecen de repente, sin un desarrollo adecuado por su parte. No me lo he creído y, para mí, ha sido uno de los causantes por los que la historia se ha repetido tanto en ocasiones, así que no me ha terminado de gustar.

En resumen, Una sombra latente es un libro que parte de una premisa que ya se ha explorado en numerosas ocasiones en otro tipo de formatos pero que, igualmente, genera esa expectación y esa emoción por las que te lanzas a leer una nueva historia de personas con poderes. Con una competición clandestina que ha servido de apoyo para ir comprendiendo mejor esta sociedad, al final la historia va perdiendo parte de su fuerza y magia, llegando a un final que, aunque me ha sabido a poco, no ha estado tampoco mal. Simplemente, buscaba un paso más.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,390 reviews652 followers
July 16, 2021

***3.5 Stars***

I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

This was a solid, enjoyable debut.

Told solely from Vesper's point of view, we're taken on a journey of self-discovery, forgiveness, and what it means to belong.

"...you can't be at war with other people and yourself at the same time. You can't get into the cage with two opponents."

After losing control of her newly discovered powers and nearly killing her family, Vesper runs away from home and has been away for 2 years. While on the run she crosses paths with Sam and unleashes her power in a moment of desperation, which leads to her running into a whole crew of folks like her roaming around.

Known as Oddities, up until a couple of years ago, they've lived in the shadows, hiding their magic and who they are from Baselines (regular humans).

Vesper hates her powers, feels it's a curse that she's bound to. When she finds out about the Tournament of the Unraveling, which has a grand prize of unraveling a past event from your life, she jumps at the chance to participate. Shed her powers and erase that night where she nearly killed her family . . . sounds like the answer she's been looking for.

After losing in her first round match, she's knocked out of the tournament and all hope is gone . . . until Sam steps up and offers to sponsor her as a wildcard. He'll teach her to fight and put up the cash to re-enter her, if she takes the deal he offers.

But things aren't as easy as they seem. As she grows closer to her new friends, and Sam, she begins to unravel what's really been going on with the Oddities these past couple of years and what connection Sam, a Baseline, has to them.

That's the thing about being haunted. Once you're marked as deeply by scars of your own making as I am, recognizing those same wounds in others becomes a lot easier.

Like I said, this was a sold and enjoyable debut. I liked the foundation of what was here, and though the story didn't quite live up to its potential, I still found myself glued to the pages. I'm a big fan of the found family trope, and what I got here hit the spot.

The magic system and world building was intersting, but underdeveloped and at times a bit confusing. I think the author tried to do too much . . . too many different types of magic (a ledger, a shifter, a harbinger, a demo, a ripper, a fire fury, a duster, a miasma, menders, slitters . . . and YOU get powers, and YOU get powers, and YOU get powers) it just want on and on. If she would have stuck to a core group to build the story on, it would have been immensely less confusing.

Also, this book would have benefited with a fat trim. Way too repetitive with Vesper's guilt about her family, and her hatred of her powers, and her wish to return to the past. And too many mentions of what her life was like, or would be like, if she wasn't in this situation. You could easily slice away at least 50 pages out.

And about halfway through the book, I was getting a bit annoyed with Vesper's funny one-liners and zingers that screamed LOOK HOW SASSY I AM! At first I did enjoy them, but sometimes less is more.

Don't get me wrong, I gripe because there's potential here. It just got bogged down by rookie mistakes.

Even though this is listed as Book 1, it's basically a standalone. It wraps up the story but leaves the door open for more.

Will I check out more from this author? You bet!
Profile Image for Leah.
150 reviews
September 13, 2019
3.5 ⭐️ This was a nice blend of YA fantasy and contemporary romance! A fun, quick read. Kind of interested to see how the next book progresses
Profile Image for Christy.
1,505 reviews258 followers
July 15, 2019
A unique and interesting urban fantasy (we have so few in YA) that is great for fans of Marie Lu’s The Young Elites - just add MMA! Loved seeing young women take down the patriarchy one vulnerable punch at a time.
Profile Image for ᒪᗴᗩᕼ .
1,496 reviews147 followers
December 13, 2020
❐ Overall Rating 4¼ | Narration 4¼
❐ Narrated by Amanda Dolan
❐ Listening Length ➯ 11H 29M
❐ The Beckoning Shadow #1
❐ Superhero/Freaks
❐ Part Urban Fantasy, Part Science Fiction, Part Contemporary
❐ With some romance

So...the comparison to X-Men is spot on...like if the X-Men (so sexist) were to enter an MMA fighting contest to see who was left in the end. I wasn't entirely into this...but that was probably all me...when you listen to about a book a day....sometimes certain books fall through the cracks. Looking back on it, I still think it was a solid story and if she never writes the second book in the series; I can say that this ended in a way that gives perfect closure. Yes, there is some romance, but it really takes a back seat to the friendships that are cultivated throughout, and those are what really shines in this story. The narration is not quite a favorite...but it's solid.
Profile Image for Lucía Cafeína.
1,516 reviews178 followers
September 29, 2020
Me encantan las historias de gente con superpoderes, y más si cuentan con acción, pero en este caso, lo cierto es que se me ha hecho bastante lento, y si bien la historia prometía mucho, al final ha resultado bastante previsible y poco emocionante.
Profile Image for Sandra Uv.
1,048 reviews244 followers
July 29, 2020

“Hacer algo monstruoso para proteger a un ser querido no te convierte en un monstruo. Te convierte en un ser humano.”

Una sombra latente ha sido mi primer contacto con la autora y me ha resultado una lectura bastante entretenida, con unos personajes destacables, aunque peque de falta de originalidad.

-Reseña completa: http://addicionaloslibros.blogspot.co...
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,164 reviews458 followers
June 19, 2019
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5-4


The Beckoning Shadow is Katharyn Blair's debut novel. And, even though Goodreads claims this is part of a series, it's not. With the story tied up neatly in one book, readers with series fatigue will be hyped for a one-and-done read. 17-year old Vesper Montgomery has been on the run for 2 years since an incident that happened to her family still weights heavily on everything she does. Since the resurgence of powers in the world, there are those called Oddities. Vesper is one of those Oddities. She can literally summon your worst fears and turn it into reality.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Rachel007.
413 reviews47 followers
September 21, 2019
Ah this book was so good. I read an early draft and it's perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver, Saba Tahir, Victoria Schwab, and The Magicians. The worldbuilding is just so new and different. Looking forward to reading the finished copy in 2019!!
Profile Image for Troy_Reads.
79 reviews108 followers
Want to read
June 25, 2019
I just won the Goodreads giveaway for this book! This is one of the books that I actually wanted to win, too! So excited to read this!
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