Title: Shadows (Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five, #1)
Author: R. J. Furness
Publisher: Orgo Press
Published date: March 19th, 2019
Length: 104 pages
Content/Trigger warnings: violence
Thanks to Dave @ The WriteReads and the author, for providing a review copy of the book as part of the blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.
Be sure to visit other blogs that are discussing the book.
This is the first book in the serialised novel. For me, this is a new way in reading and publishing books, even though it’s been done since forever. Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens did it, so it must be a good thing, right?
Well, let’s just say knowing how hard I find it to wait for the next book in a series I was doubtful that this would be the right way to experience a story for me. I’m horrible at dealing with not having the next book in my hand right that second.
That said, I’m also horrible at waiting to start a series until at least the sequel is out so I am not unfamiliar with that feeling of despair.
I loved that R.J. Furness included why he chose to publish his story this way. It made it just a little more special, understandable and personal for me.
But enough technicalities, we’re here to talk story, right?
*Synopsis was taken from Goodreads
Have you ever seen something you can’t explain? Did it vanish as fast as it appeared?
Perhaps that thing you saw was lurking in the shadows, and you caught a glimpse of it before it went back into hiding.
There’s a good chance, of course, that the thing you saw simply emerged from your imagination.
Or maybe, just maybe, it didn’t…
Sapphire Smyth is no stranger to rejection. When she was only a baby, her father abandoned her after her mother died. Since then, Sapphire has never felt like she belonged anywhere, or with anyone. To make things worse, her foster carers have now turned their back on her – on her eighteenth birthday. After living with them throughout her childhood, Sapphire has to find a new home. Is it any wonder she finds it hard to trust people?
Abandoned by the people she called family, Sapphire is alone and searching for some meaning in her life. Except that meaning has already come looking for her. When she discovers mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows, Sapphire soon realises that her fate is unlike anything she had ever imagined.
The book throws you right in there. You start with Sapphire walking in a park at night because her foster parents told her that she wouldn’t be able to live with them anymore. She is in a mood. Understandably. Her whole world was just turned upside down.
The writing is very well, you can see her stalking along in the darkness and fell her anxiety while sitting and shivering in a cave. It’s all very visual and I quite enjoyed it.
Now, this being a serialised novel this part was only around 100 pages long. So we don’t really have that much time to really get to know Sapphire, but I think we could get a good enough idea. I don’t want to say too much since it’s already pretty short, but there was a scene which I felt Sapphire just changed her whole personality. That really pulled me out of the story because for me it was very out of character for her. But then again, I don’t really know her yet, do I?
I am looking forward to exploring her character and her relationship with her best friend Ben more.
There is a lot happening in this first part. We get introduced to the world and most importantly to the shadows. I really like the concept of them and am quite curious to know more about them. We just got a glimpse of what they are and what they are capable of. Are they friend? Or enemy? Or both?
It stopped right when we may get more answers, expertly chosen to keep you on your toes and reaching for the second part.
It definitely shows promise and I am gonna read the next three parts. Luckily for my impatient self, they are already available.
All in all, it was a fun and quick read for in-between heavier books*. I really liked the concept of the shadows and the groundwork was laid for a promising series.
That being said, I don’t think this way of reading is really for me. I need more time with the characters, more time to immerse myself in the world, it’s rules and quirks, more time to melt my heart so I actually start caring for the characters’ troubles.
But I also can never watch just one episode on Netflix so if you have that kind of restraint this may very well be the new way for you to read novels.
*that could pass as a murder weapon from weight alone (not even talking about the potential emotional trauma)
R. J. Furness has been passionate about great stories since he was able to read. At an early age, he would frequently create new characters, worlds and creatures, then write crazy tales all about them. However, until now, he has always kept those ideas completely secret. After having a lifelong interest in animals, music and anything spawned from pure imagination, R.J.’s first love are now his wife and children. Over time, he has also developed an overwhelming desire for mugs of tea and good biscuits to dunk. He lives in Southport, England, with his family, a dog and several fish, chickens and quails.