Shadow Fall #1
by Audrey Grey
Published on November 22, 2016 by Blaze Publishing
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
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The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.
When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.
The question is who?
This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shadow Fall started strong and ended mediocre.
Maia has lived in the darkness for several years when she’s brought to the surface to become someone else and have her chance at revenge against the man who had her father murdered. She’s flawed — intent on survival and somewhat of a coward — but this made her a stronger protagonist, I think. So Maia is brought into a plot that could be the start of something wonderful… or the end of her.
This is about the time that I started having issues with this book. To start, this is a young adult dystopian. I’m notorious for disliking them for one reason or another of late, though that didn’t used to be the case. And I thought Shadow Fall would be the change in it all. Instead, I read every popular YA dystopian all wrapped up in one.
Pitting teens against each other to the death. The Hunger Games. Check.
Being paired with the most compatible person. Matched. Check.
Viva la revolution. Divergent. Check.
Turning ugly girls into pretty ones. Uglies. Check.
I realize I’m not the only reviewer to notice these similarities but I felt them worth repeating. This book went from feeling original to playing mash-up with what’s already been done. And the thing is, it’s well written. I enjoyed reading Shadow Fall, for the most part. The beginning was a bit rough as I really didn’t have a sense of the world, those details to ground me in the here and now. But otherwise I liked it.
Primarily, my problems with this book stem from the fact that I felt like I had already read it before and knew what would happen (several times my mental predictions came true) and I really couldn’t get into Maia’s character.
First off, she’s made to be extremely beautiful because no dystopian heroine can be ugly. Then there’s the whole deal with her having someone else’s memories implanted in her head. She’s Maia Graystone. She’s Everly March. Maia. Everly. So much of the book circled around the fact that she had no idea who she was. With all the turmoil surrounding this world, its destruction imminent, chaos ensuing, I wanted to see Maia get out of her head and act. Plus, I’ll be honest. I didn’t like Maia. I liked Everly. The Royalist is a bit ruthless, sharp, clever, fearless, courageous. And in every situation Maia’s personality seemed to hold her back.
But as I mentioned, I did enjoy this book. Easily read it in one sitting and fairly quickly at that. Perhaps that’s because I had a good idea what was going to happen next but never any specifics. Like knowing the piñata has candy inside but you won’t know what kind until you crack it open. So despite its flaws, Shadow Fall was a decent read and will fit quite well into similar books of the genre.
If you had issues with any of the books I spoke about earlier, this one definitely isn’t for you. However, if you enjoyed them then you may like Shadow Fall as well. I’m not sure I would recommend it as the next best thing but it warrants a chance.