Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release: August 31st 2017
I received and advanced copy of Nascent Shadow (Temporal Armistice #1) from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The first thing that caught my attention about Nascent Shadow was the beautiful cover – take a minute to enjoy it. Well-designed covers with a dark color palette are less common than I would like. The description fully drew me in and made me more than willing to give it a try.
Brookline isn’t like normal girls (a fact that will be pointed out multiple times). She’s a firefighter, an avid video-gamer, oh yeah, and a half demon. I’ll admit the idea of a half-demon firefighter is both hilarious and appropriate. I can’t believe I haven’t seen that character design before; it seems so obvious now (in a good way).
I had a lot of trouble getting through this book, and not because I hated it. I just felt like I wasn’t given any reason to care about Brookline or the plot. Her character was just too one-dimensional for my liking. Add in the mix of her gaining ability after ability (and not really reacting to said new abilities) and I just feel like she was a walking Mary Sue. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s the truth. I would have been willing to overlook this had any of the other characters been developed, but they were all just as flat.
Speaking of flat, or rather the opposite of; Brookline’s chest gets brought up an awful lot. Sometimes it’s just in context of her wings (yes wings) ripping her shirt, or fire burning off her clothes. The constant reminder of her chest and chest size got pretty tired extremely fast.
There was minimal world building – which is a shame because the glimpses shown seemed fascinating. Magical terms and items were thrown around but their context wasn’t always explained or dug into. Brookline clearly has magical abilities (based on what she is) but even she doesn’t know much about magic or the effects it can cause. This would have been a fantastic opportunity to teach us about magic through her. Perhaps that will happen more in the next book?
I really liked the base idea for Brookline’s character – a half-demon firefighter? That’s amazing! I can’t believe nobody else has thought of that! I wish the author had capitalized on this unique quality more, and not rushed off to other things quite so quickly. There was just so much potential to this idea, I can’t help but be a bit disappointed by the turnout. This is likely the reason I couldn’t give it the three stars I wanted to.
Speaking of the plot, I sort of felt like it wasn’t fully resolved – which was probably intentional for the sequel. My concern is it felt like the book just…ended. One minute I’m reading about her babysitting Ashley, the next I’m turning the page to see the acknowledgements. I was a bit thrown if I’m being honest.
Overall I have to give this a two and a half star rating. I didn’t love it or hate it. It has a fantastic concept but poor execution. I’m sure that Matthew Cox has potential however, and will be curious to see what he comes up with next.