A REVIEW OF DEREK ELKINS’ AN INTRODUCTION TO SHADOW
|November 23, 2013||Posted by Jamie Greening under Greening Blog, The Blog|
Derek Elkins has thrilled us all again with another outstanding novel. An Introduction to Shadow is an exciting, action packed story that keeps the reader engaged and longing for more. Clearly he is setting this up as a series, and I can't wait for the next installment. Let's take a moment and break down the book for readers. Don't worry, I've not put any spoilers in here so your future enjoyment is safe.
WHO MIGHT LIKE IT: People who like monster stories, angels/demons type of stories, spiritual warfare stories, action, allegories, and fans of zombie/vampire/monster hunter genres.
WHO MIGHT NOT LIKE IT: While most people will like the story, if you are sensitive to violence, bloodshed and warfare language you might get squeamish. Likewise, if you're more of a Hallmark Channel style reader, maybe you'll want to skip this one.
PLOT SYNOPSIS: Beneath the apparent reality of everyday life, there exists a shadow world. In this shadow world a group of rag-tag humans called The Awaken seek out the evil monsters called The Fallen. A confused homeless man named Malcolm finds himself caught up in the mix of this shadow world warfare. In the process he builds relationships and develops skills all while learning of his own destiny.
WHAT I ENJOYED: I enjoyed the action sequences. I don't know exactly how many, but it felt like there were about 100 car chases in the story and lots of weapons and fighting. The development of Malcolm as a human being was fun to watch too, and it is his arc that makes me want to read the next one. I also liked the way Elkins dropped so many pop culture references into the story--Scooby Doo, for example, in a way that just made sense to the dialogue.
WHAT I FOUND INTERESTING: There were two interesting points for me. One is the historical background Elkins introduces for the elements of the story. I don't know if he made all that up or not, but the writing is done such that I think it is real, and even if it is not, in the suspended reality of that Shadow universe I felt like it was real and I just dig that. The second interesting point was the dystopia of the setting. What I mean is, the plot is modern--the characters send text messages, have cell phones, drive Dodges and everything else you would expect--but the society seems to be slightly more broken and dysfunctional than our world. In the Shadow Universe homeless people are the norm, all the buildings are rundown or abandoned, and the cops are all crooked and on the take. I don't know if Elkins intended this, but that is how it felt.
WHAT I FOUND DIFFICULT: There are not many negatives to this tale, but for me as a reader I found it hard to keep up with all the characters that were introduced very quickly early on. This might just be my dimness, but I felt like I needed to take a sheet of paper and write them all down as a Dramatis Personae so I could keep the relationships straight. This feeling may have been elevated because so many of them have such odd names that are hard to keep straight.
RECOMMENDATION: Download it and read it. You will be glad you did. It is a steal for only $4.99.