Josh Reviews: Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan
Queen of Shadows
Series: Shadow World #1
Author: Dianne Sylvan
Published on: August 31st 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: 389 pages, Paperback
Provided by: Borrowed Amazon Book Depo GoodReads
Shortly after she picked up a guitar, Miranda Grey conquered the Austin music scene with a newfound ability to psychically manipulate her audience’s emotions.
When he outlawed killing humans, David Solomon ignited a civil war among Austin’s vampires. As Prime of the South, his sympathy for mortals angered the old guard who refuse to control their violent urges.
Queen of Shadows floats to the top of reading lists on the strength of its flashy blurb oddities. Miranda, a supernaturally good musician, may have a hint of a gift for empathy. Her vampiric match, David, sets himself apart from the usual fanged crowd by monitoring servers and tweaking the specs for future computer chips. But the buck stops there.
What could have been flavorful spins on rather tried and true character archetypes – you know, the newcomer without a career and the aging spinster dude willing to give the newbie some training – falls back on a load of cliche. Although David may have all this interest in technology, he remains wedded to his pre-colonial past. Are there any vampiric bachelors who escape their mates, now deceased for eight hundred plus years? Might someone as gifted with electronics not have developed robots and armored his architecturally Gothic abode? Could Miranda have survived on her own, her musical gift effectively counterbalancing her ability to probe minds?
Any of these questions could have been answered with a yes. It was chosen instead to string out the predictable incidents for four hundred pages in Tom Clancy size print. I am not a fan of this typeset for both chapter headings and the text itself. It is only missing the GPS coordinates and Central Standard Time for wherever the plot takes us in Austin. I also incredibly detest the habit of giving a puny human’s perspective which one will never see heads or tails of again after its brief four page introduction.
And now to apprehend the real culprit…The conflict and villain were given the least amount of embellishment. I cared so little about the war David was waging because a) his status as a boon to the vampire nation was never questioned and b) his strength was never put to the test. To condense this split: there was no actual antagonism. Sure, the humans of Austin had everything to fear. Their lives were at stake. Does this joke ever get old in vampire tales? But David has no kryptonite. One could, of course, label Miranda as the obvious weakness. Is her fate ever questioned though?
On the good side, the inevitable sex scene appeared relevant and more-than-your-typical fare. The mythological references although few and far between were well-handled. What it meant to be in the head of a vampire was also given about the four treatment (Note: not five star).
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||The Dark Brethren series by Tracey O’Hara and the Rhiannon’s Law series by J.A. Saare