9 Oct 2018

Review: Between the Shade and the Shadow

'' ''Between the shade and the shadow lies a bond. Two minds intertwined. Two hearts beating as one. Two creatures who breathe and bleed together. And the stronger the shadow, the stronger the bond - the stronger the bond, the stronger the sprite that emerges.'' ''

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

From Goodreads:
In the deep heart of the forest, there are places where no light ever shines, where darkness is folded by pale hands and jewel-bright eyes, where the world is ruled by the wicked and kept by the wraiths. This is where the Sprites of the Sihl live.
But Sprites are not born, they are made. On the path to Spritehood, spritelings must first become shades. They do so by binding a shadow: a woodland creature, who guides them through their training. Together, they keep from the light and learn to enchant living things, to bind them, and, eventually, to kill them.
Yet, not all spritelings are born with malice—they must earn it or they are condemned. What happens then to the spriteling who finds a shadow where she shouldn’t? What happens if that particular spriteling wasn’t born with malice at all?
Ahraia was that spriteling. She ran too close to the light and bound herself to a wolf, a more powerful shadow than any that came before it. Now a shade, her shadow marks her for greatness. But a test is coming, and the further they wander out of the darkness, the deeper they wander into danger. Ahraia’s time is coming and what awaits her at the end of her test will either make her or kill her . . .

I have to begin with saying that I did not finish this book entirely. Most of the time, I had trouble keeping up with the surrounding world so much, that I couldn't concentrate on the plot. Here's the reason why:
Information overload in the beginning. There was no way I could keep up with the incoming information. Just too much at once, then suddenly, when all info was dumped out there, no further explanation. The learning new things about the character's worlds just stopped. At this point, I felt very frustrated, not wanting to continue reading, but I still thought that I could definitely finish the book.

The plot is quite fast-moving which doesn't help to understand the surrounding world either. So much is happening all at once, new characters walking into scenes and not being introduced to the reader. The plot didn't support world building at all in the first half of the book. The two were just separate beings advancing at their own paces.

I never really get to know any of the characters. They felt too distant in the beginning, and with the information overload, there wasn't a great chance to focus on getting to know them either. The main character Ahraia is a Shade who has bound a wolf to be her Shadow. Binding a wolf is rare and there hasn't been a wolf-shadow for a long, long time. There wasn't much else I got out of her. She isn't ready for some test, some are jealous about her Shadow and she doesn't want to comply with the general rules of her home.

I liked the writing style of Between the Shade and the Shadow. It was addicting. Just because I couldn't get into the book because of the plot and the information overload, I couldn't enjoy the book entirely. But the writing, I really liked that. The best to describe the situation is that I am beckoned through a door, but I need a key to get in and the key is nowhere to be found.

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