This has been getting pretty bad reviews, especially for how anticipated it was. Most of my friends have given it three stars or lower, or DNFed it. I was determined not to let that affect me, and I’m so glad I didn’t! This is a deceptively small book that gets off to a weird start, but as I kept going, I found myself so drawn in emotionally, and really invested in Charlie and her relationship especially with Vince, her mysterious boyfriend. I loved Vince right away pretty strongly so good job on that one, author, and as his and Charlie’s story unfolded my investment only got stronger. The end slayed me. When is book two?
This is a contemporary urban fantasy where about twenty years before, shadow magic was revealed to be real to the world. Charlie is a con artist, raised to it by a shady stepfather, who recognized her talent and didn’t care what training a child to be a con artist would do to her emotionally. Charlie has been out of the game for about a year and a half now, though, and living with her sister Posey (who wants very badly to be a gloamist, or a person whose shadow has quickened and can do magic) and said previously mentioned boyfriend Vince, who doesn’t have a shadow and whose past is a blank, and Charlie prefers it that way. Charlie is a master at avoidance, to the point where she doesn’t even realize that she’s in love with Vince until their relationship is threatened. That’s about the point that I realized the book had gotten its hooks into me, too.
She is of course pulled back into the shadowy world of shadow magic (I mean, is there another way to say that) when a powerful gloamist is murdered, and a local billionaire starts making waves because a very rare book that he owns has been stolen from him. Charlie is both a great thief and great at recovering stolen items. Things go from there.
I would really recommend not giving the mixed reviews a thought before going into this, and before reading, committing to at least get to page 100 before giving up. (I would also say if you DNFed, give it another chance! You’re missing a lot.) The book takes some unique stylistic chances that feel weird at first, but make sense the longer you spend with it.
Anyway, I’m glad I liked this, and I’m itching for book two because it ends in an emotional place that has me anxious and excited at the same time.