Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book review: Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

A sneak peak into Rising Shadow's dramatic beginning:
New Year's Eve
Approach to the Golden Gate Bridge
Marin County, California

Suddenly, the road ahead of us was a mosaic of red brake lights, and traffic slowed to a stop. “What is this?” Rebecca shrieked as she hit the brakes.

I really need to learn to never judge a book by it's cover(but that's really difficult). The cover on Rising Shadow really didn't pique my interest but I liked the blurb so when I saw that International Book Tours where hosting a tour I decided that I wanted to read the book.

The book arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday last and I started reading it immediately. I knew I was in for a great action adventure when the main character took off flying on the books first page!

What's this book about?

I think I'll let the description from Goodreads do the talking this time:
Ashlyn Woods just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor. Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated. And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.

My thoughts:
With the Soterian legend(based on the ancient Greek goddess Soteria) Jacquelyn Wheeler has written a brillian start to a new series, there will be five books in total. The story about Ashlyn and her fellow Soterians is unique in the young adult category, which right now is mostly all about vampires, werewolves and angels. Not that I complain about the latter but it is very refreshing to read a book with a supernatural theme without the usual creatures.

Rising Shadow is very much a story driven by it's fast paced plot but I don't think there's much weakness to the characters for it. I felt I connected with, Ashlyn, she was a protagonist to my liking. It's wonderful to read a book where the main character has a rather large dash of common sense. There seems to be a whole bunch of characters out there who rushes head first into dangerous situations without bothering, at all, to use there brain.

The evil in this book is brought on by an election. In my opinion that was a really clever twist and one I've never seen before in this genre. Perhaps Jacquelyn's novel will get young people to take more interest in politics? If so that's great, that being said you don't have to be into politics to read and enjoy this book.

Conclusion: Rising Shadow was a fast packed, action packed YA fantasy which was really hard to put down. If I had the time this was the kind of book I would have devoured in one sitting.

My rating of this book:
4 stars out of 5.

Want another opinion on this book? Check out the reviews written by some of my book blogging friends below:

A taste from Katie's review over at her blog Sophistikatied Reviews: 
Overall, I really enjoyed this. Complete with a cast of butt-kicking characters, awesome powers and realistic missions that balanced out the real evils of the world- Rising Shadow is definitely worth checking out!  

Want to know more?
Visit Jacquelyn Wheeler's homepage
Jacquelyn on Twitter 
Follow Jacquelyn on Goodreads

This book can be purchased or you can download it for free on The Soterian homepage.The sequel is called Merger and was released in the middle of March this year.

Worth mentioning: 
Jacquelyn donates 20 % of her royalties to charities(you can see which ones on the homepage).

Pages(hardcover): 378
Publisher: Jacquelyn Wheeler
ISBN 13: 9780982516010
I received my copy from:  International Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. Book sent to the next person on the tour.