Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 28, 2014 | 10 Comments

Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley ArmstrongSea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Age of Legends #1
Published by HarperCollins (4.8.2014)
Genres: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

4 Stars

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

My thoughts

love Kelley’s Darkest Powers series, and I really enjoyed her Adult UF books featuring Elena Michaels. I thought for sure I’d love this one, since it sounded intriguing and I’ve liked her stories in the past. I did enjoy it, but I was disappointed somehow. It was good, but…forgettable. Which is sad, because the story line was unique. The writing didn’t wow me, though.

What I did really love was that Ashyn and Moria’s companions were animals! I love any story where a main character is an animal. My favorite was Daigo, a ‘Wildcat of the Immortals.’ Of course I’m going to love him, he’s feline!! *winks* And because Daigo was her companion, Moria was my favorite sister by default.

To tell you the truth, the characters didn’t really stand out other than that. Which is very strange for an Armstrong novel, because Elena and Chloe were both full of awesome (if you’ve read any of her past books, you know what I mean!). Also, because it was in third person POV, it felt a bit stiff. I think this is mainly what caused the disconnect for me. I can relate much better when it’s first person and I can get inside the MC’s head!

I wasn’t really invested in the romance, either, but I did like Gavril. He was stoic, but steady, and he made a great rock for Moria. I like that their relationship started out as tolerating and evolved into caring! On the other hand, I didn’t care about Ashyn and Ronan’s relationship much at all.

While the characters and prose didn’t impress me much, the world did. Aside from the animal companions, the world was one of the best parts. Armstrong sure can paint a vivid picture! And I love how magical her stories are – shadow stalkers, death worms, and thunder hawks, oh my!! 

This is one of those books where you can lose yourself for a while as you’re reading, and you enjoy it; but when it’s over you move on and it gets lost in the recesses of your mind. It may not have stuck with me, but I am curious to see how the series continues!


Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 3.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Characters: 3/5
World-building: 4.5/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 2/5
Cover: 3.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , ,

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10 responses to “Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

  1. Tammy

    I cover-love this book so much! I’ve read Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers and Darkness Rising series, the first I liked more than the second, so I will be reading this.

    • I read the first of Darkness Rising and wasn’t all that impressed with it, but I want to re-read it since I don’t remember ANYTHING about it! Loooved Darkest Powers :)

  2. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Sorry to hear it wasn’t a 100% great read for you! But I am glad to hear that you enjoyed several aspects of it! I am very much looking forward to this one because I have loved all Kelley’s previous books! Even her Nadia Stafford series wasn’t too bad, and I am usually a paranormal reader! Cannot wait to read this one though! Great review!

  3. Haha I know how much you love animal companions, so I knew you’d really like this one :) I’m sorry the characters didn’t really stand out as originally expected and that the romance wasn’t on point, but it sounds like the whole concept and world in general proved to be good. Fantastic review, Jessi! <33

  4. AH! I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this one, Jessi! :D I’ve been seeing some negative reviews, but it’s nice to see your review as it balances the scale out! :) I love it that you pointed out that Armstrong can paint a vivid picture with words! :D Those are my favorite kinds of novels, because I’m a really visual person! :) I like intricate detail and stuff, and I also like sweet male characters! Heh. :P While it didn’t stick to you Jessi, I’m glad you got lost in this novel! :D
    Wonderful review, Jessi!! :3 <33

  5. I really liked this one too! I seemed to like the characters more than you, but I couldn’t agree more with the world. Can I have a Thunder Hawk, pretty please?

  6. AAAAAAAAAAH. The ARC is sitting on my pile of current ARC’s that I’m chugging through waiting to be read. I’m so glad you liked it because the cover is gorgeous and it would be a shame to be let down by it. Haha.

    Yeah that’s how I judge. Totally…. :D

    XOXO, Inky

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