{ARC} Book Review: Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly

March 4, 2018 Review 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate ConnollyShadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly
Series: Shadow Weaver #1
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on 2018 January 02
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Netgalley
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three-stars

Fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and The Night Gardener will devour Shadow Weaver, the first in a dark middle-grade fantasy duology that's filled with shadows, danger, magic, and has the feel of a new classic.

Emmeline's gift of controlling shadows has isolated her from the rest of the world, but she's grown to be content, hidden away in her mansion with Dar, her own shadow, as her only company.

Disaster strikes when a noble family visits their home and offers to take Emmeline away and cure her of magic. Desperate not to lose her shadows, she turns to Dar who proposes a deal: Dar will change the noble's mind, if Emmeline will help her become flesh as she once was. Emmeline agrees but the next morning the man in charge is in a coma and all that the witness saw was a long shadow with no one nearby to cast it. Scared to face punishment, Emmeline and Dar run away.

With the noble's guards on her trail, Emmeline's only hope of clearing her name is to escape capture and perform the ritual that will set Dar free. But Emmeline's not sure she can trust Dar anymore, and it's hard to keep secrets from someone who can never leave your side.

This is my second Marcy Kate Conolly book and I enjoyed this more than the other one.  The story is what the premise promised. We have Emmeline who is gifted with shadow weaving.  She excels at it. She loves it. She acknowledges it. Only that her parents and the people surrounding her have grown wary about her power as the years went by. Then the day came when her parents couldn’t take it any longer and desired to send her away to get cured. So Emmeline ran and took refuge in the woods wherein she met a lovely family whose only son is gifted with magic as well. And so, her adventure begins.

I think the beauty of Shadow Weaving lies on the characterization of our main protagonist, Emmeline.  . She’s clueless, lacks the basic sense of right and wrong, suffers from “I am the victim” syndrome, and thinks that the world revolves around her and her sufferings. What’s surprising is that Emmeline is not aware that she’s any of these things.  She really thinks that her life is woefully  pitiful without realizing that it was she who had alienated everyone around her, including her parents.  Though her parents are not exactly good, they, at least, in their own ways, tried to provide good guiding hands for Emmeline.  But they’re not just equipped (in skills or in experience) on how to handle such a child like Emmeline so they actually failed despite their efforts to give her a normal life. For Emmeline’s part, she’s really self-centered refusing to even take the time to reflect about why her parents act like that or why the servants shy away from her. Instead, she lets herself be easily led by her shadow, which is, by the way sentient and has no qualms of inflicting harm to people.  But Emmeline thinks that her shadow is beyond reproach.

But other than Emmeline’s characterization, Shadow Weaver has nothing more to offer to the table. The lore of the Cerelia Comet and its blessings felt very shallow, I could not bring myself to be interested in it.  The main conflict (good vs. evil) was too simplistic and easily resolved that it didn’t make an impact. And most importantly, I was only invested in Emmeline but couldn’t empathize with any of the other characters including Lucas and Dar.

I was really glad that Shadow Weaver was a very short book, thus, my patience didn’t run thin.  Overall, this is not an inherently bad book but it sure would benefit from a little tweaking here and there.

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