Book Reviews

Review: “Shadowspell,” Jenna Black

June 5, 2011
Review: “Shadowspell,” Jenna BlackShadowspellby Jenna Black
Series: Faeriewalker #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on January, 2011
Genres: Faeries, Fantasy
Pages: 295

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 had heard Shadowspell was better than its predecessor, Glimmerglass. Like so many times before, my opinion seems to go against the majority. Shadowspell was just the same (if not worse) than the first and I found myself struggling to get through the stupidity of the lead character, Dana. The second half of the book was better – if not entirely ridiculous at the same time!

I like to thing that the Faeriewalker series suffers from ‘Hush, Hush’ syndrome. The books are like a train-wreck, and you’re uncomfortable watching but somehow you just can’t look away. I’ll advise you now – don’t read these books unless you know 100% you’re going to love them or you’ll be sucked in like me and so many other readers. While I don’t particularly enjoy my reading experiences with the Faeriewalker series, the gorgeous covers and ridiculous scenarios make me want to find out what’s going to happen next.

Another thing Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and the Faeriewalker series have in common is a completley ridiculous ‘heroine’. I say that lightly because Dana is in NO WAY the dictionary definition of the term. She’s stupid and unable to make correct decisions. I wanted to hit myself over the back of the head so many times with my copy of the book. I thought after Glimmerglass she’d somehow ‘wisen up’, but alas, it wasn’t to be. Dana is even more stupid (if that’s possible) this time around.

A big talking point in reviews for this book is the ‘agreement’ made between the Erlking and Dana. Oh, lord. I won’t go into it because it will spoil a whole lot – but let’s just say I stared open mouthed at the pages. What on Earth? Totally wasn’t expecting these books to take a turn in that direction, but whatever.

As much as I can rant about these books -there is (also like Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick) something that keeps me reading them. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment, or maybe I just want to see where this train wreck finally settles… but Sirensong is coming out soon and somehow the synopsis (heh) is sparking my interest. Though my expectations for Dana’s intelligence aren’t getting any higher, I think I’ll pick it up only to see where this story goes.

The handful of redeeming characters (Kimber, Keane and Finn) sadly took a turn for the worst in this one, too – especially Keane, who *gasp* may have feelings for Dana! I don’t know what’s so damned irresistable about her, but that’s another point of anger I won’t go into. The climaxes of the ‘battles’ and ‘major problems’ also prove to be lackluster and quite laughable. I swear the villains have no crafty plots to think about.

I’m giving this book a 3 star based on a few factors: pretty cover, fast-paced last few chapters (though irksome in some ways) and even though dwindling in respect: Kimber, Keane and Finn. This book was seriously in the red zone for a 2-star rating for quite some time.

Recommended to: I don’t feel right recommending these books to anyone. Instead I’ll issue you a warning: DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE COVERS!

About Jenna Black

Jenna Black is your typical writer. Which means she's an "experience junkie." She got her BA in physical anthropology and French from Duke University. Once upon a time, she dreamed she would be the next Jane Goodall, camping in the bush making fabulous discoveries about primate behavior. Then, during her senior year at Duke, she did some actual research in the field and made this shocking discovery: primates spend something like 80% of their time doing such exciting things as sleeping and eating.


  • Reply Alexis June 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the honest review. It made me laugh out loud. I’m thinking this series is not the one for me.

  • Reply Cory K June 6, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Great, honest review. I probably won’t be picking this one upppp. Don’t be a stranger; stop by my blog and say hi! I’m not sure if we’re fellow followers, but I follow you!

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    Cory @ Anti-Drug Reads

  • Reply Aly June 6, 2011 at 3:27 am

    LOL from the previous comment and the rating i’m assuming the book isn’t all that great? Had to skip the review since I haven’t read the first book, but from what I hear the first isn’t all that good either. :P

  • Reply Alice [Small Town Book Blog] June 5, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Oh dude, I KNOW! I was like– think before you make that agreement!! There has to be something MORE to it!!, but Dana is a stupid akjhaksjh. That is all. I wanted to slit her throat or something. -.-

    But I am looking forward to the next book to see how Dana will be able to get out of the stupid agreement or whatever. Sheesh.

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