Monday, February 24, 2020

ARC Review: The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Title: The Shadow Between Us
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publication Date: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 336
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Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen? 

Last year I read and loved Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller! When I read the description of this book, it sounded like something I would love and I felt that this author could definitely do it well! Unfortunately, I think I set my expectations a bit too high because this didn't turn out to be quite as good as I'd anticipated.

First thing's first, Alessandra was just not a character I loved or could even really enjoy. Her "Slytherin" side was a bit too over the top in the beginning for me to enjoy. The Big Bad things she'd done, while shocking, were overlooked too easily and I really couldn't forgive them. I love a good antihero and morally gray characters are my thing, but I just could not connect with Alessandra at all. Her initial plan was fun, but that's the only positive thing I really have to say about her and even that fell apart pretty quickly.

The Shadow King was a bit more tolerable, although I didn't quite love him either. His shadow abilities were fascinating and unique. I definitely liked that his shadows created an obstacle for the romance and added a little bit of extra (not too ridiculous) angst. Speaking of romance, this one wasn't bad. Although I couldn't stand Alessandra, the relationship between her and Kallias was mostly enjoyable, if a bit quick.

One thing I would have liked more of in this story is world building. The shadow abilities Kallias had were so interesting! I would have enjoyed knowing more about that and what else could exist in this world we saw and heard so little about.

Much of The Shadows Between Us was, predictably, about Alessandra inserting herself into the Shadow King's world. Some of this was interesting, but a lot of the first half of the book was a bit repetitive and I did find myself getting a bit bored. So many parties and dresses and dances and meals. There were, at least, some fun plot twists that made the second half of the book more fun.

I just found this book to be really disappointing and I know it's one of those "it's not you, it's me" situations. It seems that the vast majority of readers have loved this story, so chances are you probably will too! I will probably give Tricia Levenseller another chance since I loved the last book I read by her, but this just wasn't it.