Review: "The Shadow Stalker Series Part 1 & 2", by Renee Scattergood

The Shadow Stalker series is broken into parts and episodes.  Below are my reviews for Part 1 (episodes 1-6) and Part 2 (episodes 7-12).

When I purchased this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was pleased to meet Auren, a young woman who was trying to live her life under the strict rule of her guardian Kado.  She is on a camping trip with her friends when the area is suddenly invaded by the Galvadi Empire.  They wage a war against the people in the Serpent Isles and the Dark Isles, where the Shadow Stalkers live.  Kado finds Auren and takes her to a safe location, though her friends are left to fend for themselves.  Auren’s entire life is thrown into upheaval when Kado explains that his primary duty is to keep her safe and that she has an important destiny.  When Auren arrives at the Dark Isles, she must come to terms with who and what she really is.  She rebels against Kado because she feels like important information is being kept from her.  Once she finds out that she and Kado have many enemies, both on the Dark Isle and with the Galvadi Empire, she works hard to embrace her destiny and allows Kado to train her.  Complications arise when she meets two handsome boys, one whom she is not allowed to care for and one who she should stay far away from.  Will Auren accept her fate and live up to the expectations of Kado, her father, and the Shadow Stalkers?  Will she be tempted by her new feelings and pursue a forbidden romance?  Will she leave the Dark Isle to find her father and fulfill a deadly prophecy? 

The first six episodes of this series focus on Auren’s journey of enlightenment as the truth unfolds all around her.  So many questions are answered including what happened to her parents, why Kado became her guardian, and why he is so strict with her.  She begins to remember training sessions from her past that were suppressed in her mind.  She slowly starts to understand the importance of her role in the war against the Galvadi Empire.  The story moves through Auren’s transition from a young woman who sneaks out with her friends and lives a simple life to a woman who will one day defeat her people’s greatest enemy.

The one complaint I have about the book is the pacing.  The vivid detail and amazing world building is a major accomplishment, but sometimes the detail gets in the way of the progression of the story.  There are also times when being stuck in Auren’s head can be difficult when she is having a tantrum about being left out of the loop.  Her maturity level during times of stress is certainly understandable, but can be wearing when there is no forward progression of her thoughts.  There were many times when I had hoped that she would break through her immaturity and accept her circumstances more willingly, but that’s not Auren’s style.  She has to come to terms in her own way.
Ms. Scattergood has created an amazingly detailed world and rich history for her characters.  It is easy to lose oneself on the Dark Isle with its lush plant life and simplistic lifestyle.  Her characters are well defined and very likable.  Her writing style is very accessible and enjoyable.

I would recommend this part of the series to anyone searching for a story about self-discovery.  This story is about finding the strength to accept responsibilities that seem impossible, but are meant for only one person.  I would say that I am looking forward to reading the next part of the series, but I have already devoured it, reviewed it, and am waiting impatiently for the third installment.  I gave this part of the series 4.5 stars.

Will Auren Save Her People or Fulfill A Deadly Prophecy?

When I finished Part 1 of the series, I immediately purchased Part 2 of the book!  When Auren escapes from the Dark Isle, she goes in search of her friend Jade, who has been captured by the Galvadi.  Auren secretly hopes to find her father in the Galvadi Reconciliation Centers and free him.  Unfortunately, freeing her father becomes a difficult task.  She finds that her only ally is Makari, the son of her enemy.  He has been tasked with finding Auren, but he has plans of his own when he realizes that he has feelings for her.  Makari has been brain washed by his father’s lies and believes that the Delohi-saqu needs to purge of her evil.  Sadly, Makari knows that Auren is the Delohi-saqu and puts her through unimaginable pain to “save” her so that he can be with her.  Will Makari convince Auren to give up being a Shadow Stalker so that they can be happy together?  Can Auren resist Makari’s treatments and complete her mission to save her father?

This is the second part of the Shadow Stalker series and my favorite one so far.  The emotional rollercoaster that Auren goes through is heartbreaking.  I found myself crying for her and trying to give her my emotional support.  The love story between Auren and Makari should be black and white, leaving the reader, and Auren, hating Makari, but it’s not that simple.  Makari truly believes that he is helping Auren by freeing her from her darkness.  In the end, I wasn’t sure if Auren could forgive him for everything that he had done to her.

Ms. Scattergood has outdone herself in the section of the story.  The emotion and detail that she puts into every page is amazing.  I found myself rushing to pick up the book to continue reading.  My only negative comment is about the ending of this Part.  The ending felt a little abrupt after being so involved in Auren’s moment-to-moment actions.  The ending is summarized and felt rushed after all the wonderful details throughout the entire series.  I would have like to see the story pick up in Part 3 rather than rush through the last section.  I wanted to see and experience Auren’s relief to finally achieve some of her goals.

I am looking forward to reading Part 3 when it is released.  I am hoping for a spectacular ending after experiencing this incredible journey.  I gave Part 2 5 stars and hope that the next Part doesn’t disappoint!

 An Emotional Rollercoaster!


Renee Scattergood said...

Thanks so much for the awesome reviews, Tabitha. I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And thanks for your feedback as well. It will help me a lot as I continue writing the serial. :-D

Tabitha Barret said...

Thank you for an amazing series!