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The Shadow Reader (A Shadow Reader Novel) by [Williams, Sandy]
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The Shadow Reader (A Shadow Reader Novel) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

A Houston college student, McKenzie Lewis can track fae by reading the shadows they leave behind. For years she has been working for the fae King, tracking rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn't her only secret. She's in love with Kyol, the King's sword-master-but human and fae relationships are forbidden. When McKenzie is captured by Aren, the fierce rebel leader, she learns that not everything is as she thought. And McKenzie must decide who to trust and where she stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 791 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Ace Mass-Market ed. edition (25 October 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin US
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052REUJI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,860 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Awesome, could-not-put-down, had-me-on-the-edge-of-my-seat, ticks-all-the-boxes read!
The Shadow Reader is totally addictive!

I was taken on a roller coaster ride into the life of McKenzie and the Fae world and was hooked from the first page. The characters were captivating, the story fast paced and well-written, and the plot unpredictable and full of suspense. I read the book in two days and can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

I loved how the author portrayed Aren and Kyol as fallible, each with their strengths and weaknesses, and how McKenzie’s view of life changed from ‘black and white’ to ‘shades of grey’. She has to determine whether other’s feelings for her are true or just a manipulation to coerce her into helping their cause. I felt her doubt and confusion as she uses all her instincts, abilities and resources to survive and make the right choices. This book has it all – heart-breaking love, non-stop action, strong believable characters and a well-written unpredictable plot.

The Shadow Reader is a riveting, heart-wrenching read for lovers of urban fantasy and the paranormal. Highly recommended!
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I would have to say I agree with though people who find the characters lacking depth..
I had to keep stopping because the main was slightly annoying, I just couldn't see/feel WHY she "liked" who she liked, and vice versa.
I did find the story otherwise enjoyable. 3 1/2 Stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.2 out of 5 stars 145 reviews
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic and riveting - Fae as they should be written 1 November 2011
By Mithrendiel - Published on
Verified Purchase
There's something special about the Shadow Reader that sets it apart from other books in the urban fantasy genre. At first I couldn't put my finger on what this ephemeral bit of awesomeness was, but upon consideration it occurs to me that this book is an epic. Where most urban fantasy novels go for the supernatural mystery angle, this novel is high, epic fantasy set on a stage of the modern world, overlaid with the more fantastic world of the fey.

The story pulls you in from the start. Within a few pages of chapter one, you are racing across campus with McKenzie, fleeing fae rebels intent on kidnapping her for her unique ability. She's a shadow reader of unusual strength, someone that sees through fae glamor, and can track them by studying the portals they use to transport between locations and worlds. As we follow the story we discover that the fae are at war. A rebel force of fey has risen up and seek to supplant the current king with one of their own. McKenzie is human, but she has served in the fae king's war for years, tracking rebel leaders. Her unique skills have made her a valuable prize, and a dangerous enemy. She is kidnapped by the rebels during the first part of the story. Their intent? To either convert her to their cause or kill her.

The story sweeps us into the war. We travel between the camps of the rebels and the king, learn their truths, and begin to unravel their lies. We experience betrayals, victories, and losses, and through it all we doubt and wonder which side is the right one and who it is McKenzie should trust. This is a story about war, and ends with an epic series of cathartic events that promise to leave readers satisfied (it left me yelling "I LOVE THIS BOOK!" while my poor husband was trying to watch football). While I'm sure this book will be part of a series, everything wraps up so tidily it almost feels like a standalone novel. No cliffhangers here, I promise.

As others have said, McKenzie herself is very human protagonist. She has no amazing martial skills. Don't let the sword wielding heroine on the cover fool you, McKenzie is lucky if she hits something running straight at her with a dagger. She's not weak though, her strength just lies in other areas. She's loyal to a fault, determined, stubborn, and incredibly kind hearted. She grieves for every dead enemy left behind in the war. Sometimes she came across as a tiny bit weak, but it was refreshing to see such a normal girl, completely lacking in bad ass fighting skills staring as a urban fantasy heroine.

The romance elements of the book include two very yummie fae. Kyol, the fae kings swordmaster, and McKenzie's long time love. He is honorable, duty bound, and protective of McKenzie. They have a very tragic star crossed lovers thing going on. I loved Kyol and felt his story was one of the most moving in the book. Then there's the rebel leader, Aren. He's flippant, roguish, and dark. More your bad boy type. His intentions are (intentionally and sometimes frustratingly) difficult to ferret out. There's definitely a love triangle here, but it's not handled in the usual way, where the character vacillates back and forth, playing both men to the point where you want to smack her. Each man has their time in the story, and the McKenzie makes her decision by the end of the story. Whether or not this decision is truly final, remains to be seen in future books. I like both men enough I'm hoping for some more romantic tension.

Shadow Reader really has it all - an amazing world, a plot that is both suspenseful and epic, great characters, and a romance that will make you swoon no matter which man you choose to root for. If you are someone that loved the epic fantasy feel of Moning's Fever series, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's a completely different kind of book (different fae, different plot, VERY different characters), but the high fantasy theme will feel familiar. Either way, I highly recommend this novel.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars At some point Aron yells at her that he's shown her why the rebels are the good guys, and I remember thinking 17 October 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a decently written book. That being said, the author needs to do a lot more to flesh out her fantasy world, especially with the political maneuverings of her main characters. So many of the characters' reasoning for doing the things they did just don't make sense at all. The rebel cause is based on some vague reference to higher taxes? On human goods- which it is not explained why the fae even need to go to the human world at all, much less bring back goods. It was hard to really feel the motivation for McKenzie to get behind the rebels' cause. At some point Aron yells at her that he's shown her why the rebels are the good guys, and I remember thinking, "Did I miss a chapter somewhere? All I've read are chapters and chapters of nothing but her trying to escape and them debating killing her."


I also would like to know why it was necessary to kill the King? He was two-dimensional, but seemed to be a relatively reasonable man. I get that his general had to die, but the King? The way this whole mess of a rebellion was created, it seems like if they could have gotten the king, Kyol, the rebel leader, and Aron together for a conversation ALL of this could have been avoided. And how did - what - a dozen fae/humans manage to finally "win" the whole rebellion? Whatever that last battle scene was, I didn't get it at all.

To reiterate: this author is a good writer. She just needs to start researching the aspects of things that she wants in her stories that she doesn't know enough about. Look at histories of battles and wars, look at the political reasons for uprisings and rebellions; there are innumerable examples out there to choose from.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Must love triangles. 19 November 2014
By Silver Lining - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think some books need a warning. Advisory : love triangle. Now, with that being said...

Fae can walk unseen among the humans. Only those with the Sight can see them even when they are invisible. And some humans can even "localize" the Fae when they fissure (teleportation through light. Kind of).

McKenzie Lewis is the best shadow-reader in the world. That is why her existence is a well-kept secret. She is the Court's secret weapon. And the Court's Sword master is in love with her. But she knows nothing can ever happen between Kyol and her. She has known for ten years, but still, she loves him and...
Then the Rebels kidnap her.
With the very sexy Aren (I totally approuve) among them. McKenzie hates them. She hates him. But they aren't as ruthless as she was told they were. And they are nicer to her.
It is war. It shouldn't be her war, but she has been forced into it. And now she wonders if she has been working for the wrong people all this time.

I think the same book with more politics : a five star. Because I just can't believe that someone fights a war without being remotely interested for the country (here, world) one fights for.
4.0 out of 5 stars Who cares about Vamps,Angels,demons,shifters,djinn ? I do,but not as much as FAE!! 19 June 2013
By Miss Robot - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was recommended this book after reading the"Fever series" by Karen Marie Moning. I have to say that Sandy Williams wrote a really good book. I enjoyed and could relate to Mackenzie.
I liked the way the story took right off. One moment you're sitting in the middle of a college final exam,then BAM you're right in the action of a battle ground..only you're the only human who see 's the carnage.
I give this book " The Shadow Reader " by Sandy Williams $ $ $ $ 4 . The same as the 4 star rating here on my blog The title is the first in a series of 2 books at the time 6/18/2013 .
MacKenzie is a human woman who can see the shadows of fae as they "fissure" or "sift" in time to wherever they want to go with a flash they tear in at out of locations rapidly. After the fae "fissure" there is a symbol of the destination the fae that is going to when they disappear. This makes her very important,though not respected by the fae At the age of 16 she was introduced to a secret word of the Realm of Faerie and The King,his military adviser and Kyol the sword master and huge love interest of MacKenzie's.
There is a war raging in the Realm and the Court has need of MacKenzie's skill but so do the rebels. Going back and forth,unsure if she's been helping the wrong side she is forced to emotionally and physically push herself to her own feet where she will put her alliances.
There is war, love, hate, fae,humans , court politics ! There is no reason you should wait to read this book. Read this book now :) I'm off to read the second book in the ( Shadow Reader Novel) series by Sandy Williams. I'll post a review of that and more, here and at Happy reading! Clare D. / Mousehead & Tales
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and entertaining! 21 March 2016
By Angela@ReadingCave - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For ten years, McKenzie has been in love with Kyol. She has also been the fae kings Shadow Reader, looking into portals and being able to tell the king where one the fae has gone. She doesn’t know the politics of the fae kingdom, she only knows the king needs her help. She has gladly given it, risking everything in our realm to help them save theirs. Now McKenzie is caught in a war, one Kyol has for the last ten years kept her out of. The rebels have found her, planning to use her. Kyol will do anything to get her back. The main rebel strategist Aren, would do anything to turn her to the rebels side. McKenzie just wants to survive.

McKenzie is a character that I can get behind, cheering for her the whole time. She tries to be logical- sometimes even a little too logical. Ten years is a long time to wait for someone to act on love. She knows that Kyol and her can’t be together, she does try to move past her feelings for him. When the rebels present their story, she remains true to the king. She attributes her attraction to Aren to Stockholm syndrome. She fights back- taking no prisoners.

Aren is a rebel with a cause- survival of his people. He stays true to the cause the whole time. The thing I like about him the most though is that he follows his instincts. He trust his decisions to work out in the end. He is attracted to McKenzie yet knows that she loves another. He point blank tells Kyol that he now has competition. I mean who does that? I enjoy the chemistry between the two.

The world building and secondary characters are pretty incredible. This is a book that is fast paced and entertaining. It also allows you to see both perspectives on the war- which is interesting. There were very little questions left at the end. Thank goodness for no cliffhangers. Yeah there is a bit of a love triangle (so if you avoid them- you have been warned). This love triangle is different than others- I can’t really explain it though.