I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Book of Shade by K C Finn
Series: Shadeborn #1
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on December 20, 2013
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Lily Coltrane’s to-do list for starting university life is pretty simple:
1. Make friends
2. Meet a cute guy
3. Survive her first year in Modern History
In the little English town of Piketon this seems more than achievable, so much so that Lily even joins The Illustrious Minds Literary Society, an extra-curricular club that promises a truly unique social experience. What Lily doesn’t bank on are the Society’s monthly visits to the mysterious Theatre Imaginique at the edge of town, a dark venue that houses the most obscure cavalcade of carnival performers she has ever laid eyes on.
Stranger still is the emergence of the theatre’s enigmatic proprietor Lemarick Novel, a stupendous showman with a frosty wit who never seems to smile, and who raises a plethora of questions in Lily’s fearful mind. How does he levitate with no sign of wires or mirrors? How do the lightning bolts that shoot from his hands look so real? And why, of all the people in the theatre, do his pale eyes keep locking on hers?
The answers to this and more lie buried in heritage and blood. The Book of Shade is opening, and Lily Coltrane will read it, whether she wants to or not.
My Initial Reaction…
Okay, so at first, Book of Shade was weird and I didn’t know what to make of it. But by the end, I couldn’t put it down. K C Finn has created a fascinating fantasy world, filled with people and creatures I can’t wait to know better!
Lily, from whose point of view Book of Shade is told, is a girl after my own heart. When we meet Lily she’s moving into the dorms at University and preparing for her first semester. She’s studious and smart, and I loved that she was a history major (since I’m an Historian). I think what I liked most about Lily was the way she grew throughout the novel. She starts off a bit awkward and just trying to find her way in university life, but as she grows to know more about herself and who she really is, she changes into a much stronger, more self-aware person.
Right off the bat we meet Lilly’s roommate, Jazzy, who happens to be my favorite character in Book of Shade. Jazzy is so incredibly selfless and sweet – it shows through in everything she does. Her parents are wealthy and support Jazzy so well – but rather than being snobbish, Jazzy uses the overflow to help out (and often feed) Lilly. I would have liked to see more of her and hope we do in future novels
And then there’s Lemarick Novel. Like his name, this guy is weird. And I grew to love him. We first meet him when Lilly and Jazzy go to Theatre Imaginique with the club they’ve newly joined, the Illustrious Minds Literary Society. Novel is one of the stage performers and everything about that carnival-esque show is a bit off, in a really wonderfully imaginative way – including him. Like Lily, Novel changes and grows throughout the novel and I really enjoyed seeing (and hoping for) changes in him.
The supporting characters hit the perfect balance – you know just enough about them for their interactions to matter, but they don’t overwhelm the story with side-plots. I really enjoyed the two sides of Lily’s life – the University world and the Theatre Imaginique world – and how well K C Finn was able to craft them.
If I’m 100% honest, Book of Shade took me a while to get into and in the first bit I worried that I wasn’t going to get into it. And as an American reader, it took me a little bit to get comfortable with the English lingo. But, that aside, I’m so glad I gave it a real chance. The world that Finn created is so wonderfully weird you can’t help but adore it. There’s a lot of mystery and there’s just enough clues for you to take a stab at figuring things out, but you’re never quite sure until the big reveals, which is exactly what I love I also really enjoyed the many relationships in Book of Shade – I’m not talking just romantic relationships, but parent-child and friend relationships that really enriched the story.
Since Finn has created a magical world with creatures that I’ve never seen – and the ones I have seen wonderfully remade – I can’t even begin to guess what’s coming next. The last 25% was pretty non-stop intensity for me and I will it ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger. Not the kind that leaves you desperate for the next move, but the kind where just enough has been resolved that you are content for now, but definitely want a bit more.
I’m thrilled I had the opportunity to read Book of Shade and can’t wait to get to know these characters and the wonderfully weird world a bit better. Don’t let the slow-start trip you up, this is worth every minute!
Giveaway and Release Party on Facebook
As part of this awesome tour for Book of Shade be sure to stop by the Release Day Party on Facebook. It’s Friday 12/20, but you can go sign up now so you won’t forget! And just for attending the party, you’ll get a 50% off coupon for the book!!
On top of that, K C Finn has a pretty amazing giveaway for you.
KC will be giving away the following:
2 Paperback Copies of The Book Of Shade (signed by K.C. Finn) with additional mystery swag
5 TBoS Bookmarks featuring the beautiful art of S.R. Esprit and Chris Hitchman (signed by K.C. Finn)
2 TBoS Wall Posters featuring the stunning cover art of S.R. Esprit and Chris Hitchman (also signed by K.C. Finn)
2 Sets of TBoS Postcards featuring the interior wordart of designer L.A. Fox (signed by both K.C. Finn and L.A. Fox)
10 eCopies of The Book Of Shade