Book Review: Promise of Shadows

Promise of Shadows
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: March 11, 2014
Genre: YA fantasy
371 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

Promise of Shadows came to my attention because of its basis in Greek mythology. I usually enjoy a good modernized re-imagining of mythology, and this book was no exception. Blending ancient mythology with modernized teen themes, Promise of Shadows is original as it is entertaining.

We meet our heroine Zephyr as she toils in the pits of the Underworld, convinced that she is a complete failure and an utter disappointment. She has little hope that she will ever know another fate, and little remorse for the actions that have taken her there. She's managed to make a friend, however, which makes circumstances more bearable. The author's choice to start the novel at this particular part of the story may cause some readers to have difficulty connecting with Zephyr initially; we meet her when she is not particularly pleasant to be around. The story is worth it, though- if you find yourself in this spot, keep reading.

We learn that Zeph is worthy of the emotional investment primarily because of the number of wonderful friends she has. Several other characters care for her deeply, and we see her positive attributes through their eyes. We also come to see her as a potential hero through them, long before she can see it in herself.

The title refers to Zephyr herself: she is the Promised One, the Nyx of the prophesy. She is most interesting, however, because she is an atypical heroine; instead of using godly energy, she gets her power from a darkness that is difficult to harness. Ironically, she gains control when she lets go.

I was particularly impressed with the story in this novel. The tale Ireland is telling is one that captures the imagination and leads the reader to imagine the characters in the unwritten adventures, the ones not told in this book. The world-building, while largely borrowed from mythology, is blended with modern elements in ways that are delightful.


Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?


  1. I like Greek mythology and this book doesn't sound that bad so I will give it a try.

    1. Yay! Come back and share your thoughts if you get a chance.


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