Thursday 23 April 2009

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Review: Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Cast in Shadow by Michelle SagaraCast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara - Seven years ago Kaylin Neya left Nightshade, the home of criminals, prostitutes and the poor, when children with strange patterns on their were being murdered. The same patterns that had appeared on her skin.

Seven years has passed, and Kaylin is now a Hawk in Elantra; she can read, write, and fight, and as a Hawk, polices her new home. But when children start dying again, with the same strange patterns on their skin, she is ordered back to Nightshade to investigate the murders and face her past. Accompanied by someone she'd rather not see alive, a Dragon lord, and a device to control her mysterious powers no-one understands, she goes to find and stop the killer. But no task is ever easy.

I had some problems with this book. It sounds exciting, and the premise is pretty good, but for some reason, it just didn't hook me. Reading is something I enjoy, and look forward to doing, but with this book, there was always something better on TV, as bad as that sounds.

Don't get me wrong; the book isn't boring, it isn't exactly slow, and it's full of suspence, but there was something missing I can't quite put my finger on. I wasn't hooked, I didn't need to know what happened right away - even when the action was taking place. It just didn't grab me.

Saying that, I loved the characters. Kaylin was a good mix of strength, determination, and fear. Tiamaris, the Dragon lord, was an enigma that kept you wondering. Severn, a blast from the past for Kaylin, was kind of hot with his "we do what is right" attitude. Lord Nightshade was strange, and oozed what I can only describe as evil, but he was still appealing. Even Lord Grammayre and Marcus were pretty cool in their strict, bossy way. The book was written really well, and there were a few giggles coming from me while reading.

There were some things about this book that really annoyed me though. Severn and Kaylin knew each other before, that is made obvious from the moment we meet Severn, but it takes pretty much half the book before we find out what the hell happened way back then. It's hinted at all the way through, but there's no explanation until over halfway, and you're left guessing the whole time. I wouldn't mind, but this book is 506 pages long, and when you're not hooked, it takes a while to get there, and gets infuriating!

Also, when conversations are being had, and Kaylin realises she is thinking the same thing as whoever she is speaking to, the conversation stops - even though the readers are in the dark, and have no idea what they're thinking. At least I didn't.

There's also the issue with the strange patterns on the skin, and all it involves. It's explained, but either it's not explained well enough, or I'm just stupid, because I couldn't tell you what that was all about. Not really. I just didn't get it, and it was so confusing.

If anyone has read this book, and gets what was happening, please let me know! I might like the book better.

The book wasn't bad though. As I said, the characters were great, it was well written, and the premise is pretty awesome. It just seems I'm a little slow. If it hooked me, and things were explained in nice simple terms I think I'd probably love it, because even now, thinking over some of the twists and turns, it was a good story.

My suggestion for you? Check out some reviews from those who aren't simple, and then buy it! ;)

Published: 2005
Publisher: Luna
Buy from Amazon US
Michelle Sagara's Blog

Other reviews:
Today's Adventure


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