I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Shadows and Fire by Jennifer Fales
Published by Outskirts Press on November 1st 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
Reading Challenges: Blogger Shame Challenge
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Shadows and Fire In a parallel future, mankind creates its own worst nightmare: hybrid beings that barter for peace at an unspeakably high price for humans. The Lottery an agreed-upon system between the human church and government, and a council of hybrids randomly selects human breeders and laborers. Struggling with and against The Lottery and the uneasy truce between humans and hybrids, a tortured man seeks redemption, and a family is torn apart but determined to reunite, even as a growing resistance gains steam. With Shadows and Fire, first-time author Jennifer Fales the power of the individual, the strength of family, the unbreakable bond between siblings and the power and support found in the extended family in the face of a powerful and corrupt system.
This book was okay, I guess. A lot confused me. The supernatural people confused me. I was never quite sure what they were supposed to look like. They were often described as being their animal, so Maltha was a dragon and Finch was a rat, for example, but then they would be described as having hair or clothes or body parts that make me imagine a human. So mostly I was picturing some animal-human hybrid, or like humans with heads of animals, and it was just unsatisfying not knowing what it was supposed to be. And then there were times I didn’t really know what was going on, either. First off, at the beginning, there’s this short info dump, and then we start, but things still don’t make sense to me. There’s a lot of procedure and terminology that hasn’t been explained. For instance, I don’t think they ever made it clear that “craft” was car, or some type of vehicle…so I missed that the first few times it was mentioned. Other things weren’t so clear, like when Father Augustin was first described, he was retired and had “aged well,” apparently, so here I’m thinking this buff old man. (He is described as being buff, though.) But then another character starts falling for him (not very realistically) and there are more subtle hints that he might in fact only be middle-aged. It’s just all so confusing.
And then there’s Maltha, who apparently has a heart of stone but throughout the book I only ever see her as affectionate and caring. There’s Lilith and Laydon, who apparently have some sort of telepathic (and telekinetic) connection. Only Lilith is seemingly a human and Laydon is…well, I don’t know what the hell he is, or why he ended up under the dome while Lilith was outside of it. I don’t know how he ended up staying with Aamon and Maltha (is he a prisoner, or isn’t he? Why?). I guess the plot was sort of intriguing, but took too many random turns. It’s like it wasn’t quite sure what it wanted to be. One minute it’s fantasy-quest, the other it’s buddy-cop crime-solving mission. I will say it wrapped up well enough, but perhaps a little too well—all the storylines converged and they gave a clear picture of how things were going to proceed, but I had absolutely no desire to read on. True, the second book might reveal a bit more than this one did, but I wasn’t sufficiently hooked. It wasn’t that I had absolutely no investment in Lilith at all, or even Maltha—I liked them both, but I was content to leave things where they were. They’d get worked out and I didn’t really care how. Too much weirdness and confusion for me.
Another good thing—it made a short book not feel like a short book. There was a lot going on, so I read it more slowly than usual, and it took a while to get through. I felt like it was paced well and there was enough plot to make up a sufficient book.
reaction upon finishing
Well then, that solves that
this book in one word