Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered — and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin.…
Since then, she’s learned to read, she’s learned to fight and she’s become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she’s made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.
But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can’t trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers — powers that no other human has. Her task is simple — find the killer, stop the murders…and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies!
Full disclosure: I only made it through 48% of this book.
I’ve been looking forward to diving into this series for years, years, and when I finally did I am left with nothing but disappointment. You may ask why it’s taken me so long to read it if I’d been so looking forward to it.
Fair enough. As excited as I get about books, I sometimes am too scared to start, too. Especially when they’re a part of a series, a long series, and a much beloved series, at that. So it took a group buddy read planned for October to get me to start this. But I was excited! Here was the push I needed to start my dive into this (apparently) amazing world.
Unfortunately, I hit a brick wall. Maybe it’s just me, I don’t know. But I crashed up against bad storytelling, bad characterization, and bad writing. Honestly, that I managed to make it nearly half-way through is a bit of a miracle considering how frustrated I was the entire time I was reading – and it did take me nearly a whole month to make it this far. In the time I took me to read half of this book, I’ve started and finished twelve other books.
Apparently, pure stubbornness kept me reading long past the time for me to quit. Most of that obstinance came from the fact that I was sure, absolutely sure, that if I could just make it past the first-book-syndrome thing Cast in Shadow had going on, I’d be rewarded beyond measure. There’s a good story, a good world, in here somewhere, dying to get out. I can sense it just beyond all the not-telling, flat characters, and confusing (or non-existant) descriptions.
But that’s the problem. It’s too far out of reach. I spent the entirety of my time reading this novel screaming for someone to just tell Kaylin something as it related to her. And everything in this book relates to her somehow, but guess who doesn’t know anything. Kaylin. Yup. Exactly. Everyone else knows these important things that will (apparently) affect her life greatly, but no one thinks Kaylin needs to know. And what’s worse? Kaylin doesn’t EVER demand to know! I mean, why should she? It’s just her life. *deep breath*
If that weren’t bad enough, I still don’t get this world. I don’t even understand enough to give a confusing idea of what it’s about. Seriously ….. I’ve been trying to get it. I’ve read and re-read passages in an attempt to understand. I don’t get the heirarchy, I don’t get the structure, I don’t get the rules, I don’t understand any of it!!
And I’ve got nothing to say about the characters because they’re all about as flat as a piece of cardboard. Kaylin’s alternatively kick-ass, healer, and damsel. Whatever the moment calls for. Everyone else, except perhaps Nightshade, I just don’t care about. I don’t even really care about Kaylin if she can’t be bothered to care about herself either.
So, maybe it’s me. I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t care. I can’t go any further.