Book Review: Sea of Shadows
By: Kelley Armstrong
Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Page Count: 416
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Typically I adore Kelley Armstrong's writing so I had extremely high expectations for her new series, Age of Legends. The description of this one and the lovely cover lured me into the pages, but it took a lot of focus and willpower to keep me reading. I do feel this is a strong case of "It's not you, it's me". The writing and characters are exactly the sort I have come to expect from Armstrong, but the deviation into a more fantasy based plot wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped. I fully admit that fantasy if this sort isn't my cup of tea, but I do feel this one will appeal to those who enjoy it more than I do. I prefer my fantasy with a heavy dose of paranormal. Sea of Shadows certainly has some paranormal elements, but it is a far cry from what I was expecting.
Part of my frustration with this one was that we are immediately thrown into the action with little explanation. I was 40% into the book and still didn't really understand what was happening. I didn't like feeling lost and I would find myself putting this one down. A large part of this could be blamed on the fact that I had trouble visualizing everything. I need to be able to see the novel unfold in my mind and when I can't do that, I find I have trouble enjoying the story.
I did think the lore behind the forest as well as the Keeper and the Seeker were fascinating. I love how creative Armstrong is when she is creating her worlds and plots. In addition to the lore, I enjoyed the relationship between Ashyn and Moria.
All in all, I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this one more. There were moments I loved and moments that dragged for me. I never truly settled into this one.
One Last Gripe: I had a difficult time truly caring about Moria's love interest.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: The lore surrounding the shadow stalkers
First Sentence: After three days of tramping across endless lava fields, Ronan quickened his steps at the sight of the forest.
Favorite Character: Moria
Least Favorite Character: I didn't have one.
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.