Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Promise of Shadows
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Hardcover, 371 pages, Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

My Review

So Tartarus—the land of suffering and torture deep down in the Underworld—isn’t exactly all it’s cracked up to be. And somehow, Zephyr Mourning the wingless Harpy has found a way out. With a ragtag group of mythologically-challenged friends, she learns her life’s purpose—to wield the dark shadows that go against everything her family has ever stood for. But with her sister’s soul on the line, Zephyr may just have to fight in a battle she really has no hope of winning.

A book smothered in ancient made-up lands, with only a small dose of Mortal Realm visits, isn’t unique to the world of young adult literature. However, Justina Ireland’s version, although heavily reliant on Greek roots, is described in a way that has  me convinced Ireland travelled back in time to create and spread the story of Hades, Hera, and the Harpies. Zephyr’s voice is sharp and humorous, but it also paints a great picture of places that I would like to see—for a brief amount of time at least, considering Tartarus isn’t exactly a place one would like to build a summer home at.

Zephyr is a strong character, even though she has her breakdown moments. She’s realistic and charming, but at the same time, her emotions do come and go faster than Hermes can pop his way out of the Underworld. It’s surprising she doesn’t have neck problems from the amount of emotional whiplash present. Also, Promise of Shadows isn’t a book to read in one sitting. It needs to be absorbed in smaller doses. There’s a lot of information that tends to feel like it is being thrown at the reader, perhaps due to the brisk pace of the storyline.

Despite these minor flaws, I feel that the book is a remarkably entertaining read. It’s a promising choice to satisfy those who are not quite sure what they will do with their lives after the Percy Jackson spinoff ends.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher via Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

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