Early Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams
The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams
McKenzie Lewis #2
McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…
McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.
With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.
Now that the malicious king of the fae is out of the picture and the Rebels have taken over the palace, McKenzie had hoped to finally be able to get back to her normal human life. But she should have known better as the king's remaining loyal fae have brought them to civil war, and the Rebels need McKenzie's shadow reading skills more than ever. Those skills give her the ability to track the fae's moments, an incredibly rare and coveted gift, at least by the fae that is. McKenzie used to wish she could give it all up and just be a normal girl, but that may have changed now that the Rebel Aren has caught her heart. Together, they are sucked further into the war, with the fate of the Realm seeming to rest on their shoulders. One wrong move and everything they worked so hard to gain could come crumbling down in an instant bringing death and destruction to everyone she
In this genre, most books seem to either have a high focus on the action and the emotional aspects being a much smaller backdrop, or the reverse with the emotion being in the forefront and the action taking a back seat. Then there are some books where things are a little more balanced, but things aren't quite pulled off well enough to keep the reader sucked in consistently. The Shattered Dark is one of those books that strives for balance, but where many books fail, it succeeded. In between bouts of heart pounding action the emotional aspects of the book left me staggering. Despite my grumblings about being put through an emotional ringer, these are the types of books that leave a lasting impression, and The Shattered Dark is no exception.
While reading The Shattered Dark, I found myself in position that I am rarely in, as I cannot seem to decide between the two men in McKenzie's life. Typically I choose a guy early on, and barring him finding a way to royally screw up, I don't change my mind. However, in this case, I just can't seem to pick between the two and it has me rather torn, even if McKenzie seems to have largely made up her mind. Granted, I don't think her decision is as cut and dry as she thinks it is due to some of the circumstances that happen in this book, but only time will tell. That being said, I am much more impressed with the McKenzie in this book rather than the one we met at the beginning of the first book. She has come so incredibly far in her maturity, it's astounding. She no longer blindly follows, but takes the time to seriously weigh her decisions before she makes them. Of course, she still has that fierce loyalty that endeared me to her, but this time she's aligned herself for the right reasons making that loyalty even stronger as she thoroughly proved in The Shattered Dark.
I have to admit that while the large part of this book was solid five star material, the beginning was rather rocky, just keeping me from giving it that perfect rating. It's just that things were rather chaotic as the story was branching out in several different directions before I had a real handle on anything. However, after a few chapters, and once the opening plot threads were settled in and everything became more clear, I was thoroughly hooked. While the ending wasn't really a cliffhanger, it still left things in a place that I am desperate to see what happens next as there are so many possibilities now it's amazing. Every bit as good as the debut, The Shattered Dark is an impressive read that will keep you up until the wee hours of the morning. Trust me, run, do not walk to your nearest bookstore and snatch this puppy up. You won't regret it.