Nov 1, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams (McKenzie Lewis #2)

Urban Fantasy
October 30 2012
Mass Market Paperback
304 pages
Ace Books
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – McKenzie Lewis

From Goodreads –
McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

———-

Does this ever happen to you while you’re reading:  You are reading along and think to yourself that not a whole lot of advancement is happening to the story until you get to the end and while looking back on the book you realize that actually a whole hell of a lot happened?  That is what happened to me when I read The Shattered Dark, the second book in Sandy Williams’ McKenzie Lewis series.  This book is a typical book two meaning it just trudges along not solving anything really (because why would it – we want the series to continue past this after all) just tugging you along for the ride…but WHAT a ride!  I know that this all doesn’t make such sense so let’s see if I can make things a little clearer for you all.

The story starts off with a bang!  A great action sequence that sucks you in right away.  McKenzie is back on Earth, in her apartment, gathering a few of her favorite things before going off to her new place.  Of course, things don’t go smoothly and the action scene ensues.  During this scene, McKenzie also notices that her only human friend, Paige, is missing.

We continue on with the ‘where’s Paige?’ plot line but also a whole bunch of others.  Lena is trying to convince the nobles in the Realm that she is a good choice as ruler, Aren and Kyol are working hard in their new positions, there is an interesting scientific development that is threatening to affect the fae and there are more fights and more battles mixed in too.  When I got to the 85% mark, I was wondering where things were really going.  I assumed things were being sort of explained and prepping for book three and that would basically be what the book was meant to do…until McKenzie looks out and sees blood on the floor.  Then holy jumpin’!  It’s action action action action OMG and oh no and heart breaking then…Shut. Up.

I’m telling you, it’s not the sort of ending that makes you want to throw the book across a room but it is the sort of ending that leaves you thinking about all the ramifications that what happened will lead to.  It will have your jaw hitting the floor and you having to pick it back up in about thirty minutes after things finally sink it.  It’s the sort of ending that makes you curse the fact that book three isn’t due until January 2014!

I really enjoyed McKenzie in this one.  I like how she grew from book one.  She is feeling more comfortable with herself and with her role…even if she’s sort of making up her role as she goes along.  She’s taken on some responsibility that she really doesn’t need to but that speaks of her heart and of her loyalties.  She wants what is right; not only for herself but also for the fae she has come to call her friends.  And she is really looking forward to being able to go back to her ‘normal’ life.

We don’t get to see much of Kyol in this book but when he does appear on the page, it’s hard to forget.  He is just so… *sigh* I wanted to give him a big hug through the whole book!  He’s not all mopey or anything, just… *sigh*

Aren is just as yummy as in the first book.  There is a bit of a love triangle in book one and I can’t say it goes away in book two but there was a ‘decision’ made at the end of the previous book so it’s not really a focus in this book.  I have no idea who I want McKenzie to end up with more – Aren or Kyol.  I like them both and feel she would be great with either.  Sometimes I may lean a bit towards Kyol and other times if may lean a bit more towards Aren.  If someone asked me who I’m rooting for I would have no idea who to say.  What I do know is that Aren is a strong character and, even though we did learn quite a bit about his past (and some of these things were doozies), I still like him.  I don’t focus on his character ‘back then’ – I think about how he is now and how he has shown his loyalty to McKenzie and to his cause.  As I said, McKenzie and Aren’s / Kyol’s relationship is not a ‘main focus’ this time around but I did not feel disappointed because there is still quite a bit of romantic tension and sweet Aren/McKenzie scenes.  And maybe even a Kyol/McKenzie scene or two also 😉

Yeah…all that to say I have no clue who I like more for McKenzie so don’t ask…lol

Lena got quite a bit of page time and I like where her character went in this book and where it seems to be going.  I am very curious to see how Sandy writes her in the next and final book.

There is a bit of repetition here and there but not enough to really bother.  And, as I said, the pace varies from good to ‘hold-on-to-your-seats’.  I can’t say that I once felt the book was slow.

Overall The Shattered Dark was a great continuation to the series.  The world continues to fascinate me and the characters continue to draw me in.  I feel if you liked book one then this book will make you quite happy.  And that ending!  I cannot wait to see what Sandy has planned with that.

4.5 stars

Giggle worthy quote

“God, this man loves me, and all I can do is stare at him, feeling my heart jump against my chest.  Every time I start to question why I want to be with someone like him, he shows me why.  He shows me he loves me, and underneath his half smiles and his laid-back attitude, he’s considerate and caring.  Maybe I shouldn’t be asking why I want to be with him.  Maybe I should be asking why he wants to be with someone like me?

‘You’ve only known me a month,’ I say, placing the photo album back on top of the chest of drawers.

‘Yes,’ he says, giving me a small smile that suggests he knows where I’m going with this.’

‘How can you be so sure of the way you feel about me?’

‘You’re human,’ Aren says.  ‘You’re the weakest person I know.’

The warm, fluttery sensations in my stomach disappear.  ‘Geez, thanks.’

He laughs and takes my hands in his before I turn away.  ‘And that makes you the strongest.  The most courageous.  When I found you on your campus, you fought me.  You didn’t give in even though you knew you were outmatched.  I was halfway in love with you before we reached Germany.’

And the sensations are back.”

Books in the McKenzie Lewis series –
The Shadow Reader
The Shattered Dark

  1. I agree for the end, I was so shocked, too bad it was a e-copy I’m sure I would hve thrown it lol. But I agree as well it was a great book. Now I really want more!

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