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Monday, May 17, 2010

Shade by Jeri Smith Ready

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Shortly after beginning Shade, I found myself quite intrigued. Jeri Smith Ready had not only created an interesting basic idea – the Shift – she’d also fabricated a great mystery for Aura to unravel – a mystery that seemed to hold great potential. I was immediately excited to uncover the secrets surrounding Aura, and how they related to Zach.

Even with this wonderful plot, I was not as blown away by Shade as I had initially thought I would be. It had a lot of great potential and two promising storylines. The only problem was that both storylines held different tones. One was full of excitement and surprise, while the other was more somber and methodical. I really wanted to know more about the former one, but Ready instead spent a great portion of the novel exploring the latter.

While I understand the need for Logan’s presence in the book and found the dynamic of his and Aura’s relationship interesting, overall I found him to be a bother. Yes, he had his own air of danger and mystery and his presence added another layer to Aura’s character (not to mention many complications). However, his storyline did not mix with that of Aura and Zach’s, and the switching between the two was rather exhausting.

The mystery of Aura and Zach’s tangled pasts was by far my favorite aspect of the story. I wanted to know more. I wanted to unlock the secrets. However, just as their story would be moving forward, Logan would reappear on the scene and the storyline would veer off, heading back towards Logan’s ghostly existence and the impending trial. Don’t get me wrong, his storyline was interesting. It would’ve been perfectly acceptable had it been the only one present. The issue was that it was overshadowed by the mystery, secrets, and deception that Zach’s possessed, making it appear lackluster by comparison.

I could very well see the two storylines established in Shade coming together in a future novel, which I’m sure would culminate in a great story. But, as there currently is not a sequel out, I can only look at what was presented in this book. That said, overall Shade was an enjoyable read, although a bit disappointing at times, and I look forward to seeing how Ready unites the divided storylines in Shift, due out May 2011.

3.5 stars!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review! It is a challenge to blend together multiple sub plots and story lines. This looks like an interesting novel.


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