Thursday, November 28, 2013

Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

Duplicity #1
Author: Olivia Rivers
Publication Date: 06/30/2013
Published By: Red Sparrow Press
Audience: Young Adult, 13+
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.

Until he’s murdered.

With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.

But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.

“Counting Shadows” is a YA Epic Fantasy, suitable for ages 13+.
(Picture and Summary from Goodreads)
**I received this as an eARC through Netgalley from the publisher.  In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions voiced here. I did not receive compensation in any way for writing this review.**
I don't know what to say.  Counting Shadows was okay, I mean I didn't NOT like it.

I think it was that I kept expecting Ashe to pop up. I always hold to the philosophy that if I haven't seen the body it didn't happen, meaning the character could come back at any point.  It's a fantasy novel for goodness sakes if you can't bring back a dead person what good is the genre?!  Also the way Faye is obsessed over Ashe doesn't really allow me to move on from him, I couldn't really connect emotionally with any of the other characters.  We don't get to know Ashe due to his being dead already when the book starts but we can tell how connected Faye and Ashe were through Faye's thoughts and feelings.  She is so terribly heartbroken and lost without him.  All that's keeping her going is her plan for revenge on her murderer.  So in my mind the only thing possible was that Ashe was going to come back.  In a way though this whole issue is a nod to Rivers' character development, she was able to make me fall in love with a "dead" character I've never met.

If I look past the whole Ashe aspect, the book is reasonably well written.  Though I was disappointed that we never really left Faye's chambers.  We see the outside world only twice, the second occurring at the end.  It would have been nice to have a little more world development, especially since there are all these amazingly interesting creatures; vampires, dragons, angels, and faery all make an appearance.  The pacing is well done though, it seemed I had just started when I turned the page and found myself at the end.  By that point I was so engrossed in the story that I was disappointed it had ended, I tried scouring the vast internet in search of a release date for the second book but alas could find nothing.

Even though there were things that bugged me Counting Shadows was still worth reading and I find myself highly anticipating the second installment.  Who knows maybe the things I didn't like will be completely changed or developed on.  I'm also holding to my hope that Ashe will resurface or maybe Faye can get past her grief and get to know and love Lor, I would be cool with that too ;-)



(Bio from author's website)
Olivia Rivers is a high school student, a literary agent intern, and an obsessive-compulsive reader. She has a slight obsession with Kootenai County in Idaho, and she’s pretty sure life will always be awesome as long as Irish accents exist. She lives with dysautonomia, a chronic medical condition affecting her nervous system. Portions of proceeds from her “Tortured Elements” series go toward supporting youth with dysautonomia. 


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