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Review: Shadowspell by Jenna Black

WARNING: If you haven't read Glimmerglass, the first book in the Faeriewalker series, then you probably shouldn't read this review.

Shadowspell by Jenna Black

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Publication Date: January 4, 2011

Source: borrowed/Public Library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kindle
Next: Sirensong (Already out)

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

I was a little weirded out by this installment. I was confused, upset, bored a time or two, and just plain astounded--though, not exactly in a good way. I still stand by my original feelings for book one: I only liked this sequel.

It's that Dana again, that's been giving me trouble. I'm pretty pleased to announce that my feelings for her have solidified, as I mentioned they probably would after reviewing Glimmerglass. And those feelings mostly slide under the dislike category. I know, so disappointing! But, it's not my fault, honest. It's just that Dana annoys me more than she amuses me or entertains me. More, it's not I like I can connect with her. Sympathize with her, maybe. After all, she hasn't had it any easier in Avalon than she did in the States. But, whatever connection I could've had disappeared after every stupid move she made. To me, Dana is heading dangerously close to the Too Stupid To Live slot. And I have a thing for those types of characters--a bad thing.

However, Dana is NOT the only one that aggravates me to no end. Nuh-uh, no. The characterization is shady at best. Ethan still hasn't gotten any points with me, other than for being hot, which doesn't really count.  I still couldn't get into Kim, either, Ethan's sister and Dana's best friend. She didn't come off as BFFish to me.

Surprisingly, though, Keane wasn't the only character I enjoyed. The Erlking. Now, THAT is hot, wicked stuff. His whole attitude screams Mess with me at your own risk. You do NOT want to tangle with him. He's bad news, but the delicious, irresistible kind. He's self-serving and cruel, certainly, but he's just so good-looking and there's something about him that I can't turn away from. And while I found his bargain with Dana a tad creepy and a bit confusing--I mean, that is the key to his gaining more power..? Granted I've seen similar processes, but still--at the same time, the idea had appeal.

Even so, with ridiculously gorgeous men swarming the story, I feel like Dana may be spreading herself a bit thin. All these guys under her belt--not that she's done anything with ALL of them, but you know she has feelings for all of them-it seems like a lot to... er, handle.

I was driven to further disappointment, when, again, I didn't get the kind of action I desired. *KIND OF SPOILERY* And, STILL, the faerie queens remain these elusive puppet masters. I wanted to meet them, feel their deadliness. Maybe have some action sequences thrown in. *END OF POTENTIAL SPOILER* Alas, that did not happen. The entire story itself makes me want to scream, WHAT IS THE POINT? Because, nothing has been done about the fact that--yes, as established repeatedly--Dana is a Faeriewalker, with the power to do immense damage for good or evil. Sexy boys and perilous, nutty aunt aside, there's not much happening for this series. I want some QUESTING. Battles. Kissing, but with a guy I actually like (Keane, anyone?).

Why am I still planning on continuing with this series, you ask? (You must be looking at me as though I was a head-case, for pursuing this series despite everything else.) Because of the world-building. That tantalizing potential for so much more. For adventure. For hazardous quests and threatening faerie politics. AND to root for my guy... which is, at this point, still Keane. That possibility for all of this is what is pushing me to go forward.

Sirensong has to be better, or else I doubt I will continue after that.

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