This is the debut novel of author Sofia Drake, it is book 1 of The Shattering Darkness series. A preternatural urban fantasy.
This review was meant to be up ages ago, but I lost the post and I hate having to rewrite posts, at least straight away.
Morrigan has spent decades hiding in plain sight as a celebrated agent for the Bureau of Preternatural Creatures.
As the most powerful fae spell caster alive, she has long stood against the rising tide of evil stalking the innocent people in her home city of Baltimore.
When her cover is suddenly blown, Morrigan must finally decide to either embrace the duty of her heritage or to abandon the people she has come to love to one of the greatest enemies she has ever faced.
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There book starts with a Foreword, presumably written by one of the characters, which seemed odd, especially as there was no name attached to the Foreword. In fact, it read more like a prologue which makes me wonder if it was referred to as a Foreword since not everyone likes prologues.
In chapter one, the books starts off well, and we get into the action pretty fast while getting a decent amount of explanation of some world-builing. As this is urban fantasy, set in the real world but over-laid with magical elements the world-building is more how things are within this alternative history.
We are introduced to the protagonist instantly and her character is well-defined. The book is in 3rd person limited (mostly) which I normally enjoy, however it sometimes comes across fractured. Like there are parts where the POV is clearly not the main character but not identified as anyone else either.
Also, towards the end, there is at least one chapter that is suddenly in a different character’s POV, this felt messy and I would have preferred that character to have had several POV scenes. Firstly, it could have given an interesting balance and second, it wouldn’t have feel so jarring to suddenly be in someone else’s head.
The book’s formatting is just awful. Instead of typical indented paragraphs and chapters starting part way down the page. There are no indents and all the paragraphs are broken up by spaces which completely ruined the flow of the read and also means that there are no soft breaks. The chapters all start at the top of the page again, this gives the overall look of the book an awkward feel.
There was also a glaring error of the main character’s name being misspelled. I’m surprised this wasn’t caught in any of the edits.
The plot was interesting and kept me reading, though with the formatting issue it seemed to take me far longer to read. I loved the policies between the two factions, Dragon and Fae. And the description of the magic was great.
The latter half of the book gets pretty dark, which I’m fine reading, it was just such a surprise from where the book started from. It certainly added some extra depth to the characters, especially the protagonist and antagonist.
There was some areas I felt could have been better written, when the protagonist, Morrigan met and befriended Rosalind, it seemed to be a sudden and quick friendship without any development. I think it would have been nice seeing these two strong women buttheads a little before finding their footing with each other.
Some of the other friends around Morrigan were a little less developed, though they will most likely come into their own in the sequel and beyond.
Overall, the alternative history of this book, the magical system and the plot were enough to keep me interested and I love the cover.
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
Length: 338 pages
About the Author:
Sofia Drake currently lives in Southern Anne Arundel County, Maryland with her husband and four spoiled felines who rule the house. After years devoted to improving the financial lives of her clients as a banker, Sofia found herself turning back to her main love and passion: writing. Currently working in Baltimore, she found inspiration in the city surrounding her, and saw dragons crouched on skyscrapers in her mind’s eye.
Her adoration for mythology and travel helped build the world of The Celestial Fires Series. She looks forward to finishing the first trilogy in the series, The Shattering Darkness Trilogy that introduces the audience to a world of magic and wonders we all secretly hope to truly find in our own lives.