The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams
Series: Shadow Reader #2
Source: Personal shelf
McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…
McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.
With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.
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This is going to be a quick post because I’m just back from my trip but I wanted to get some content up on the site.
If you want a bit of context for this trilogy, check out my review of the first book in the series, THE SHADOW READER, over on Tynga’s Reviews by clicking here.
In THE SHATTERED DARK, we see the aftermath of a successful rebellion. It’s not all roses and fairy dust — in fact, in many ways things are more dangerous for McKenzie now, which is great from a reader’s standpoint. The more peril the better, in my opinion. And Williams does a commendable job of raising the stakes, growing the world, and developing the characters and their relationships. Everything happened quite quickly in THE SHADOW READER, and the pace is still rather frenetic in THE SHATTERED DARK, but there’s a bit more time for the feels and the reveals. Some of the reveals are absolutely shocking and had me completely surprised, which is always great. We get to see some unexpected links between characters, which I won’t give away because I’m not a fan of spoilers. 🙂
There’s a lot of plot in this novel. Nothing is secure for the rebels and watching them adjust to being on the defensive is quite fun. They won the initial battle but other things are far from settled, which means things are still quite political. McKenzie is largely left out of the back and forth but she’s still an important tool in the rebels’ arsenal and is required to use her skills to help them keep the castle. More interesting than this, for me at least, is the insights we get into her relationship with Paige. McKenzie’s largely been isolated in the human world, distant from her friends and family, except for Paige. And then Paige got roped into the game and the stakes become that much more personal for McKenzie, especially as she comes to realize just how enmeshed her friend is with the other side of the war.
Williams has set us up for a truly climactic finale in THE SHARPEST BLADE. I’m quite looking forward to delving into this novel in the near future.