Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong Book Review

Image courtesy of Goodreads.
Two young girls have the ability to talk to the spirits and a duty to protect their people from angry, unresolved spirits. Does this sound appealing to you? Then you might just want to check out Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong.

I love the Darkest Powers trilogy and am I fan of the Darkness Rising trilogy, both of which were written by Kelley Armstrong. When I found out that Armstrong had written a “breathtaking fantasy,” I knew I had to read it. The conviction that I needed to read it was solidified when I read the synopsis.

“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.”

Forest of the Dead? Girls tasked with quieting the “enraged souls of the damned”? Monsters of legend? This book went right on my wish list. Thankfully Santa was nice enough to bring it for me and I was able to read it over winter break.

I will be honest: I expected more from Sea of Shadows than I actually got. The beginning and end were really intriguing, but I felt like the middle, even though full of interesting tidbits, was a bit slow.

Sea of Shadows jumps right into the action with Ashyn, the Seeker, heading into the Forest of the Dead to resolve the spirits of the damned. Spooky stuff happens; people disappear, things are seen, blood is spilled, and suddenly the dead are rising and wreaking havoc in the sisters’ town. Unfortunately, it’s when the sisters are separated and heading across the Wastes that things start to slow down. The death worms and the thunder hawks are interesting occurrences, but things are just… dull. And, might I say, a bit repetitive. The sisters are trying to find each other and both keep company with dubious individuals. They wander the desert. Things pick back up when the girls get into the Imperial City.

For me, a book can be intriguing by having one (or more) of the following: strong, believable characters; good romantic chemistry/tension between characters; great plot twists; an awesome ending. (I’m sure there are more things that I could add to that list, but it’s all I can think of for now.) I really like the ending of Sea of Shadows (and it also has good plot twists), so, even though the middle was a bit slow for me, I still like it. It’s a good story and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel, Empire of Night, which is supposed to come out in April (2015).


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