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Shadowsong by S. Jae Jones

“It isn’t life that keeps the world turning: it is love.”

*3.5/5

This book was a small improvement from the previous, but it is still far away from perfect. The author solved some of the issues from the first book, but I still felt like there were some new issues too. Nevertheless, I didn’t hate this book and I still found my reading experience to be pleasant enough.

The biggest issue I had with this book was again, the writing. I had this same issue in the previous book, Wintersong. The writing was amazing I have to admit and was really metaphorical, but unfortunately, it just didn’t carry out the story very well. It simply made everything extremely confusing since the author mainly focused on making the story sound good, instead of having the ideas clearly brought out. I think that this made a huge impact on my reading experience because everything that happens we kind of have to assume it does since it isn’t explicitly stated.

This book was also sooooooo slow. Like even slower than Wintersong. I’m actually surprised I didn’t DNF this book, because usually, I cannot get through books that are this slow. I think it was mostly the fact that I was so interested in how this story would end, as there were so many twists and turns in the first book. But the pacing of this book was excruciatingly slow and it could be why I couldn’t binge this book in a single sitting.

Besides these issues, this book was actually an upgrade from Wintersong. I found that the plot tackled here was more interesting than Wintersong. We get less Goblin King, and more of Liesl’s family, which I like. Don’t get me wrong, I sort of like the Goblin King. But I feel like in order for this story to be balanced, we would also need Liesl’s family’s side of the story. Also, the aftermath of the entire Underground mess Liesl went through is actually more interesting We see that Liesl starts to struggle with her identity in the mortal world as well as the Underground, and she feels that she has lost a part of herself. This mental health struggles that she faces is quite interesting, and also pretty accurate to what could happen in real life.

The characters in this book showed a different side to themselves, and I think their drastic development from the first book was something to appreciate. Josef starts to distance himself, and we see that along with the Goblin King mess greatly affects Liesl. I also think the huge plot twist with him also played a major role in the story, also making me like it more. This book just took so many turns and twists I wasn’t expecting. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, even more than the first book, which is why I felt I liked this one better.

Of course, I always consider the entertainment factor. Did I like the book or not? And yes, I really felt like it was interesting. Every character showed a different side and the many plot twists that happen especially kept me really interested.

Overall, this book was an improvement from Wintersong, but it is far away from perfect. I think that it had the potential and surpassed my expectations for it. I don’t exactly recommend this series to anyone because it wasn’t one that I really liked that much, but if you are considering picking it up, it is worth a try.

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