*I received an ARC from the publisher in advance. Therefore this is an honest review and no monetary exchange was involved.
Published: April 8, 2014
Number of pages: 392
Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Genre: fantasy, adventure, romance
Verdict: 2 hoots out of 5
Twin sisters, Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Their mission is to enter the Forest of the Dead on their sixteenth birthday and perform the secret rites for the spirits. But something goes terribly wrong as the sisters’ witness horrifying discoveries including sudden appearances of mythical beasts from old fables coming to life. The sisters must use the courage they have to travel through unknown territory while fighting off dark creatures and enemies. But they’re not alone as they befriend new companions along the way and together they travel to the empire for answers.
First of all, I want to apologize for not publishing this review last week as I promised. Life got in the way of things and so did my reading and that is how I ended up publishing this review late, but just in time for the Sea of Shadows official release. You can find Sea of Shadows where books are sold including Amazon.ca.
Second of all, this is the first YA book I’ve read by Kelley Armstrong. I’ve read her other books for older adults but never her YA books, so when I heard that she was writing a new trilogy for younger adults, I immediately added Sea of Shadows to my reading list. And lo and behold, I received an ARC after winning one of her Tumblr contests last month. After spending almost 2 weeks reading her new book (damn life stuff), I’m finally able to publish my review for her first book in Kelley’s new series: Age of Legends. So here it is!
I love the female characters and their unique qualities: Moria and Ashyn are identical sisters and yet they have opposite personalities. Moria is feisty, steadfast and trained to be a warrior since her youth. Ashyn is much wiser and kinder but can be timid and naïve. Both the Keeper and the Seeker must work together to put the spirits to rest in the Forest of the Dead but when their mission turns into a disaster, they become a stronger team as they journey into the Forest searching for answers after witnessing strange occurrences in Edgewood. As the story evolves so do our heroines: Ashyn learns to be braver and Moria slowly shows her softer and gentler side.
There are lots of fighting scenes and romances between the sisters and their male companions, Gavril and Ronan who escort them during their travels and challenge our heroines. The story begins strong but slow, midway through there are heart-pounding fight scenes between demons, evil spirits, and a gigantic thunder hawk, but in the end I expected more. There were scenes that dragged on leaving quite a few boring parts in the story. The first book ends with a lot of questions than answers but this didn’t surprise me after reading her other series. Kelley loves to keep her readers suspended until her next book comes out.
Overall, I love the heroines and the bubbling romances and sudden betrayals, but the story just didn’t pull me in as I hoped it would. I love Kelly’s concept of the Keeper and Seeker and this unique world that she built, and I will read the sequel just to see how she puts the trilogy together.