These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Review: Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows Out of the Shadows by Ashlee Nicole Bye
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going to be completely honest with you here; I had a little bit of fear when I started this one. You see, the synopsis of Out of the Shadows grabbed me hard. I was all kinds of excited to start this one. Despite the writing being flawless, it took me a while to get into this one. I can easily assign blame for why this happened – I had too many Shadowhunter feelings. I realise it says this book is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, but at first I feared there would be too many similarities. We had meetings in bars. We had a hidden world of the supernatural. We had the Shadowland, which sounds far too much like Shadowhunter to be mere coincidence. Thus, a part of my brain went on the attack. I had a serious ‘uh-oh, lack of originality’ moment.

Fear not, this feeling of mine was so wrong. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I was so wrong about a book.

Whilst there are bits and pieces throughout that reminded me of other young adult fantasy novels, this is an all too common occurrence nowadays. It is so rare to find a book that is one hundred percent original. This one, though, is pretty high up there. After reading a few chapters, once the story got hold of me, I found I was pulled into a unique world that left me wanting more. Upon finishing, I have one very serious question: when can I get my hands on book two? It was such a turnaround, my initial view of ‘okay this is somewhat interesting’ transforming into ‘oh gosh I need to know what happens next’. In other words, if like me you can be somewhat judgemental and require a bit of persuading when it comes to books, I suggest you give this one the chance to really get a hold of you. I assure you, it is a well worth the read.

As I’ve already stated, it’s flawlessly written. Ashlee Nicole Bye really knows how to write a story. She has her own voice, the kind that pulls you in and really makes the world come to life. There are so many emotions throughout, taking you on a rollercoaster ride. You get inside the minds of the characters, and you come to really connection with them – both the good and the questionable. Not to mention the humour. Humour is always wonderful in stories, and it’s well done in this. It isn’t so overdone that you’re reading a comical book, but there are certain scenes that will cause you to have a good giggle. One character in particular I wish to see more of in the future, mainly because this guy really had me giggling.

It’s not just the writing that is wonderful, though. The world building is also beautiful. At first I was unsure, but as the story developed so many things came together. It’s one of those stories where you need to work to understand what it is you’re being given, one of those stories where you need to look for the connections that exist. I’m not saying it is hard work – far from it – merely that if you look hard you get to see how well everything is brought together. There are wonderful surface connections, but when you take a moment to breathe you can really appreciate what is going on below the surface. I cannot say this enough: the world building is fabulous, developing well beyond my initial ideas of what we would be given. Moreover, there is still so much I need to learn more about – things I cannot wait to read about in the future books.

Plus the characters. Oh how I came to love them. Although there was a couple of clichés to be seen, each was an individual and I came to love them all. Good or bad, I found myself loving them. Not to mention the development that occurs – and those character twists. Damn, things developed in this one and I loved it. I really could rant and rave for a long time about how I enjoyed the progression of the characters in this one, but I won’t. I honestly do not believe I’m capable of fangirling without giving spoilers, such are the feelings I’m dealing with. Just know some of the character arcs will leave you with a ‘hot damn what happened’ by the end. They’re just so good.

In all honesty, the only thing I really wanted by the end of the story was more. There was so much happen in this one, it wiggled deeper into my heart than I’d anticipated, and now I’m left feeling empty. I feel as though it was a rather short read for such a wonderfully developed world, with so many stories going on. I know it was just an introductory book, the first in the series, but I would have liked it to be a bit longer. Yes, I’m interested to see where every arc goes; however, I would have liked a better indication of where some things were heading.

Not to mention that epilogue. Seriously, damn, what’s next?

Overall, this one turned out to be a wonderful read. The sooner I get my hands on the second Shadowlands book, the sooner I will be a happy fan.

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  1. Thanks so much for your wonderful review! I'll try to make the next book longer! 😄

    1. Thank you for the wonderful book! Honestly, what works length wise for you is what is perfect for the story. No need to try and lengthen it just to appease me, aha. (: