Sue & Carmel Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams


Posted October 30, 2012 by Carmel in / 7 Comments

The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

Title: The Shattered Dark
Series: McKenzie Lewis #2
Author: Sandy Williams
Publisher: Ace
Format: eBook, 304 pages
Published: October 30, 2012
ISBN #: 9781937007812 / 1937007812
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: NetGalley via author
Sue’s Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
Carmel’s Rating:Paw RatingPaw RatingPaw RatingPaw Rating
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McKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

Sue’s Thoughts:

I was beyond excited when the Queen of Rabid Reads, herself, told me that we were both going to read The Shattered Dark before the release date. I was so surprised at how much I like the first book, and in my opinion, it’s a must read before book two. Don’t get me wrong, book two could stand alone, but you’d be missing the angst build up that book one provides. What I love most about Sandy Williams, is her ability to tell an amazing story. Like the first book, The Shattered Dark is a page turner – clear your weekend, people!

Book two starts right where book one left off, in fact only a couple of weeks have passed. In William’s fashion, the book explodes with action and never really stops. Mckenzie is a great heroine. She’s progressed and is more self assured in her role as Shadow Reader to the Fae. When McKenzie finds out her best friend is missing, she resolves to find her. Her reasons are simple; She longs for normalcy and clings to the only person who accepted McKenzie for who she was, disappearance stints and all. We gain a glimpse into their history together, which solidifies to the reader, McKenzie’s resolve not to rest until she finds her friend. She feels responsible and vows to not to stop searching. It’s not a pity party, in fact it’s the opposite. It can be annoying reading about a protaganist who seeks out strife for the purpose of plot and action. McKenzie running off into trouble would have seemed ludicrous had Williams not taken the time to allow the reader to see why McKenzie couldn’t just let it be.

The secondary characters are fleshed out so well, that I strongly disliked some and loved others. Williams has a knack for writing detail in a scene and dialogue that keeps the pace of the book strong and interesting.

McKenzie’s love interest is Aren, but there is a long history with Kyol. McKenzie does reminisce a little too much in my opinion about Kyol, but this also made me like him a bit more and understand why she did also. I’m still “Team Aren”, in fact, I’m shocked at how perfect of a man he seems. This kind of perfection is usually a turn off in books, but there is also a vulnerability in Aren that is written so well. As the story is propelled forward, his not-so-perfect past is revealed to McKenzie,

I know a lot of people are over the triangle thing, so please know that this isn’t the quintessential love triangle. McKenzie does not go back and forth. In fact one of the men represents her past and one represents her present. In her reflection of things that are happening we gain a sense of perspective that further explains McKenzie to the reader and also helps with the story progression. My only disappointment is that there was not enough McKenzie and Aren time. Not nearly enough.

The fae world that Williams manages to create, is quite elaborate yet concise when you consider the length of these books. Never did I have a moment of doubt when reading these books. The Realm sounds beautiful and foreboding, and I wanted McKenzie to stay there as much as possible. The ending had me re-reading the last few pages… it’s a definitely a cliff-hanger, but nothing I can’t handle. I am certainly looking forward to the next installment. The book gets five stars from me, because I couldn’t put it down. I’ve been invested in this story since book one and book two did not disappoint.

Sue Signature

Carmel’s Thoughts:

The first installment in the McKenzie Lewis series was one of My Top 5 Fav Books of 2011 so, needless to say, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the follow-up ever since. The beginning of this novel was a little muddled in my opinion. Multiple smaller plot lines are introduced simultaneously as well as a brief recap of The Shadow Reader so it was a lot to take in all at once. However, after things aligned the story really captured me and held me until the last page. I liked that McKenzie is no longer flying solo in the Realm, her friend Paige is now in it with her (for better or worse), and I thoroughly enjoyed the stolen lovey dovey moments that she squeezes in with Aren even though they’re at war.

The Shattered Dark is definitely not lacking in the action department. There are countless interconnecting plot lines, conspiracies and love triangles; in other words, there’s never a dull moment! Boredom was definitely never a factor but confusion sometimes was. I enjoyed the level of detail that Sandy Williams uses in this book but it wasn’t without its shortcomings. At times, I almost felt like I needed to take notes in order to be able to keep track of all of the little story lines. I probably wouldn’t be making this observation if I’d had the time to read this novel in one sitting but unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury and as a result, I found the whole experience a little overwhelming. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this installment because I did but I’m thinking that a re-read might be in order.

I was extremely happy with McKenzie’s growth in this book. She’s starting to think for herself instead of blindly trusting the fae and refuses to rush into a relationship with Aren. Lewis waited for twelve years for Kyol to come around so I think that I would have yelled at the pages had she immediately jumped into bed with her new suitor. I’d still be a bit weary over the possibility of Stockholm syndrome if I were her. I don’t think that’s the case in this instance but she should and does still proceed with caution. Smart girl! I loved the chemistry between McKenzie and Aren. He’s obviously a much better match for her but then again, Kyol never really had a chance to be himself because he was constantly under the watchful eye of his king so I’m not ready to write him off just yet. The crazy ending only helped to reinforce that sentiment and when I say crazy I do mean c-r-a-z-y!

Very little, if anything, is solved in The Shattered Dark. Actually, I think more problems are added to the already massive pile. There’s so many directions that this series can take and tons of different possible meanings that each can have. It’s quite the kerfuffle! After an ending like that I’ll probably be bald from anxiety before the next installment is published. The Shattered Dark is complex, moving and frustrating; Sandy Williams has some explaining to do!

Books in this series:
The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams
My Review
The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a book that’ll keep you guessing and coming back for more then this one’s for you!
Like this, like that: The Arcadia Bell series by Jenn Bennett, The Shaede Assassin series by Amanda Bonilla and the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

Carmel Signature

About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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7 responses to “Sue & Carmel Review: The Shattered Dark by Sandy Williams

  1. OOooooh my! Now I am scared to read! Cliffhangers are both good and evil, the evil comes from having to wait a year or so before the next book!

    Cannot wait to read this though, like many I LOVED The Shadow Reader! Going to have to hit the bookstores this weekend!!

    Awesome reviews, ladies! I am very excited for the book now!

  2. I’ve been wondering what your thoughts were, Carmel. Glad to see we’re on the same page! Sandy is really such a great writer – interesting the whole way through.