Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

26828513Publisher: Skyscape

Publication Date: July 5th, 2016

Series: Girl on a Wire, #2

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 2.5/5

I read this book last week, and it was released yesterday. I had a moment of extreme cover love, which ultimately led me to requesting this book. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?

Unfortunately, the cover is my favorite part about this book.

Girl in the Shadows is the second book in a series, but can be read as a standalone. I hadn’t read the first book, but I can say that it doesn’t refer back to it in any major way, and the ending is clean.

Moira is the daughter of a renowned Vegas strip magician, dying to make a career in stage magic of her own. Knowing her father will never approve of her career choice, she gives him the slip and auditions for the Cirque American. Crazily enough, during the auditions, something completely unexpected happens, and Moira discovers that she truly has real magic.

There’s also something about a magic coin that comes into play that everyone wants to get their hands on.

I liked the idea of this book. Is it totally original? Not entirely. A magical circus isn’t a  new concept. But I don’t feel like I’ve read enough books on stage magicians so I enjoyed learning more about the history of magic and some of the methods behind performing magic and escapism.

However, the rest of the book was forgettable. It just didn’t evoke any emotion out of me. It wasn’t so good that I can gush about it and give it my full endorsement. But it wasn’t so bad that it deserves a scathing review with a shake of my fist.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters, who had minimal development, and I could not have cared less about what happened to them. The romantic elements were then rendered irrelevant; since I couldn’t care about the individuals, I didn’t care about them being together. Plus the whole romance was rather tropey anyway.

And despite having a great setting for a fantasy, the world building is pretty null. The author has a character info dump, and then that’s just the way it is. And while magic is a rare gift in this world, all of the characters readily accept it, which I just can’t believe.

If someone told me, “Hey, you have magic, and if you use too much of it, it would kill you” I probably would react a little differently than Moira, who was like, “But they told me magic wasn’t real. Guess it is.”

The dialogue was also absurd sometimes. I just can’t imagine people talking like this:

“Sounds planish.” 

“It was cray annoying.”

“Sorry. There’s something…about you. Your eyes.”

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Folks, these are some gems of bad dialogue. I mean, who talks like that? Nobody I know, at least not in earnest.

I guess my final words about the book are, meh. But 5 stars to the artist of the cover! Please come illustrate one of my books if I ever finish one!

Tootle loo, darlings! And tell me how your Fourth of July went!

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