Also by this author: Mermaids, Dragons
Have you ever seen something you can’t explain? Did it vanish as fast as it appeared?
Perhaps that thing you saw was lurking in the shadows, and you caught a glimpse of it before it went back into hiding.
There’s a good chance, of course, that the thing you saw simply emerged from your imagination.
Or maybe, just maybe, it didn’t…
Sapphire Smyth is no stranger to rejection. When she was only a baby, her father abandoned her after her mother died. Since then, Sapphire has never felt like she belonged anywhere, or with anyone. To make things worse, her foster carers have now turned their back on her - on her eighteenth birthday. After living with them throughout her childhood, Sapphire has to find a new home. Is it any wonder she finds it hard to trust people?
Abandoned by the people she called family, Sapphire is alone and searching for some meaning in her life. Except that meaning has already come looking for her. When she discovers mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows, Sapphire soon realises that her fate is unlike anything she had ever imagined.
Dave from The Write Reads surprised us with another book tour, this time it is Shadows by R.J. Furness. It’s the first book in the Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five series. The books are short since it’s a serial, so don’t expect too many pages.
The premise is strong, but a little confusing. The prologue starts with the death of Sapphire’s mother, killed by shadows. These strange creatures come back eighteen years later to reveal themselves to Sapphire. And that’s when things don’t make sense anymore. Not for me, and not for Sapphire. She asks questions, demands answers, but refuses to listen when she’s offered some sort of explanation.
That’s where I draw the line. I know people can stubborn, especially when they’re struggling to understand something. But if her long time friend talks, and you know he cares about you, you listen. Her refusal of his help and answers feels unnatural, or really stupid.
The book ends with a cliffhanger, which makes sense since it’s a short book and a serial. Each book has to sell the next. For now it’s mostly curiosity that makes me want to read more since nothing is explained. Nothing at all. This can also be a bad thing. We haven’t had a chance yet to connect with the characters, except Sapphire, but I don’t really like her. We know nothing of the world, except a name and the presence of mermaids. I have no idea what makes mermaids so special and what they have to do with the plot. It feels too random.
I’ll give Shadows 3,5 stars and the benefit of the doubt. I really hope the second book, Mermaids, will provide the answers I want. It’s promising, but still has a while to go before I’ll actually like the book enough to recommend it.