Book Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

This is an adult book.  However, this is mild in terms of adult behavior and the main character is of college age.  There is no sex and very little bad language.  For those who are just venturing out into adult books this is a great place to start if you enjoy urban fantasies!
The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis #1) by Sandy Williams
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pgs.
Published Oct 25th, 2011 by Ace
Reading Level: Adult (with crossover appeal to the more mature YA readers)
Source: Publisher *for review*

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

 This was a happy dance book.  One that I kinda want to squeal randomly about and dance around the house.  Yep.  It was that good.  I’ve gotten lucky with the adult books I’ve been reviewing lately {well, aside from the couple I can’t get into that I’ve put aside for now.  We won’t talk about those for now though.} and gotten some winners
This book started out with action right from the start.  I was sucked right in without a bit of difficulty.  It was when I was a few chapters in that I started to get just a little nervous because McKenzie was getting on my nerves and not enough was happening.  I was irritated because she was so darn stubborn!  I just wanted things to sort of take another direction I guess. But then as the story progressed I discovered that McKenzie was exactly how she needed to be.  How she should be.  It was what made her her and made the story become what it became.  And OMG, it became CRAZY FREAKING GOOD!  
There was pretty much constant action through the whole book {just that one slow part towards the beginning that was kind of setting up the rest of the story}.  It was totally and completely unputdownable.  I honestly could have sat and read the book straight through if my kids had let me.  Usually adult books take me 2-3 days to read.  This took me one.  
Holy hotness, this book had some of the yummiest men to ever grace the pages of books.  Sandy did a brilliant job in describing them and their mannerisms {which seems to be what brings men to a higher hotness level for me}.  I’m afraid to say much about them because that’s the awesomeness that is this book, we don’t know who is good and who is bad.  We think one is good but don’t have a chance to fall in love before we meet one that’s suppose to be the bad guy but is so easy to fall for.  I mean, I certainly thought I knew exactly who was bad and who was good but I think it was all based on who I fell in love with.  Yep, the hottest one wins!  And really we don’t know for sure and the twists and turns thrown in do such a great job of keeping us on our toes and trying to figure it all out.  
Now McKenzie, she is a firecracker!  A stubborn one who is determined to not let anyone screw her over.  And she’ll do anything, anything to make sure she’s not taken advantage of.  She doesn’t trust easy and when she starts to soften up she just forces it back down and then often makes HORRIBLE decisions!  But sometimes good ones too.  Like when trying to save someones life.  She’s quick in deciding she’s willing to do whatever it takes.  She certainly took me on a rollercoaster ride and I didn’t know if I wanted to hug her or slap her most of the time.  But when the book ended I knew I loved her.  Even in all her stubborn stupidity she was doing what she could to protect herself and those she loved. 
I could ramble on and on about this book.  I loved it so freaking much!  But I think I’ve gotten my point across but if I haven’t, go read this book now!  It has phenomenal world building, characters with spark, and constant action that will keep your eyes glued to that page!  This is one book that I’ll be sharing with people {or more like forcing into everyone’s hands while screaming “READ THIS FREAKING BOOK!”} probably for years to come. 
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Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes.  I was not paid or influenced in any way.  All opinions expressed are own.
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  1. I’ve been really curious about this book, and your review is totally making me want to buy it. Right now! It sounds awesome! I could use an action-packed book with phenomenal world building and awesome characters. Thanks!

  2. I could hug you right now because your raving about book ONE in a series!
    So many times I read these type of reviews on this type of book and it is like book nine! This means I can actually read this one and not get lost!
    I’m glad you loved the book and I will have to add it to my wishlist because I like me some yummy men. :)

  3. Every time I see that book cover I think, if only my butt looked that good! LOL

    Okay, I’m not usually one for UF, *whispers* especially if there is no sex, but you have just changed my mind. Books that inspire happy dances warrant special attention, no matter the genre. Thanks for setting me straight.

  4. Great review Candace! Saw this one recently and thought I might want to give it a go! Now your review convinced me! Gonna likely add it to my bday list since my TBR pile is still pretty big and this gives me over a month to knock some of the books off it…of course I’ll still be adding all my Nov. releases to it! Oh well!

  5. Okay, I’m in. Adding this to my Kindle as we speak! Yummy men, a kick-ass MC, and a wicked plotline? This is soooo up my alley. Top that with your gushy review and I think I’m reading this tonight. Thanks!

  6. Oooh! I was curious about this when I saw it releasing this week. It’s the first review I read of it but it sounds like my kind of book! It reminds me of my experience with the Fever series. I didn’t like the protagonist at first but grew to love her and her faults. I gotta get this one. If no other reason than to meet the hotties in it! Great review!

    Xpresso Reads

  7. hehe, so I guess you liked it then? 😉

    This book definitely sounds awesome. And I like the idea that the MC makes up her own mind about what side of the fight to support, rather than just blindly doing so because she always has. I appreciate strong characters who make up their own minds.

    Thanks for the rec! Great review!


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