Sunday, December 13, 2009

Book Review: Rising Shadow Jacquelyn Wheeler

Title: Rising Shadow
Author: Jacquelyn Wheeler
Pages: 375 pages
Book acquired from the author
**This book is available as a free download on her website(see my contest for the book giveaway)

Let me start off by saying that this is the first book in a five book series. I really think you have to know this when you begin to read this book. The reason being is that if you read the book trying analyze and predict what will happen with the characters, then this book will really grab your interest.

I enjoyed this novel. I felt like I was reliving my childhood days of superheroes with the exception that these are college students who don't dress in costume or have corny catchphrases. But....these characters are learning about their abilities and powers and realizing that they are in a big battle of good vs. evil. The author has intertwined politics into the mix. I really felt like this was a modern twist of Superman or Batman just without the items mentioned above.

Here is a quick summary of the novel(copied from

Ashlyn Woods just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor. Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated. And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.

This book contains everything to grab the interest of the YA world. Their are crushes, romance, supernatural powers(what I would not give to be an Alchemist), battles, good vs. evil concept, and of course the college life.

This book was a nice breath of fresh air as it dealt with supernatural powers, but did not use zombies, vampires, or any of other supernatural characters that have been flooded into our reading world.

As stated before, if you read this first book knowing there are four more books, then you realize that much is left unstated. It causes you to really create some ideas of what will happen. Who will be the traitor? Who will be killed? What will cause the shift in the balances of good vs. evil to have the characters regain their powers? As with any first book in any series, the first book is setting up a lot of scenarios. I think the best is yet to come. Take Harry Potter for example, the first book was by far the least interesting(but still a great read), however, without it that novel everything else collapses. I predict the same for this series.

On a side note, this author is an amazing person. She donates 20% of profits to charity and even offers the book free on her website. I will also mention a plug that I am giving away a copy of this novel for free in a contest. The author was kind enough to provide me two copies to give away. One will go away in this contest and the other copy will also be given away in a contest or I may give it to my middle school library for students to check out.

Read this book as it will provide you a chance to read four more amazing books that are in the process. I am off to learn how to create fire from my emotions.........
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