Shadowcry (The Secrets of Wintercraft) by Jenna Burtenshaw
Kate Winters has been living a quiet life in her small town with her uncle Artemis, content as the village booksellers. But their sleepy little town is overdue for a visit from the harvesters, wardens from the city of Fume who abduct people and sell them as servants and soldiers for the war front. The most hunted and prized prisoners are the Skilled, humans with the ability to see into the veil, the world between worlds. The Skilled also possess powers to heal and see the future. Unfortunately for Kate she comes from a long and distinguished line of Skilled, and some very dangerous people know it. They will stop at nothing to capture and harness her power for their own agendas.
I found Shadowcry a bit of a drag. It literally had no life to carry you through the plot development and world building. I forced myself to finish it. For me there was nothing really to latch onto. The characters seemed to bumble through the story, Kate was too naive, too stubborn, not at all clever, or interesting to be likeable. Well she might be interesting but the author didn’t really elaborate on her character or much of any other. Edgar her not-so romantic lead seemed sweet with his bungled attempts to save Kate, but there were so many gaps in his description I’m not even sure what he looks like or if he’s a brave, or a fool, he comes off less as a hero and more of a contradiction. I like Artemis for a moment, but then the author makes a point of casting him as a coward and close-minded, and not worth saving, which makes Kate look dumb for doing the right thing. I get that she wanted to create flawed characters, but those flaws only work if the people are endearing. The bad guys Silas and Da’ru were more fleshed out. Silas most of all, since his situation was more interesting than most being not quite alive yet unable to die. But these are the villains and I don’t want to get to know them better than the heroine. The pet crow should not be my favorite character, which (sadly) it is. Overall I found the cast annoying.
Shadowcry made me want to cry. The concept was promising, I thought it was going to be a twist on necromancy, but with an overly imagined world and underly developed characters the book falls flat. It was written well, but becoming immersed in such a dark and dreary world with no romance or interesting personalities to add color and life to the story it turned out bland, especially when a majority of the action happens in the last two chapters. Those Who Still Wish to See the Dark, Be Ready to Pay Your Price. In Boredom.
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