Review of In The Shadows by E.J. Shaw
Rating: 4/5 Stars
ARC generously provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A well-written, engrossing read, In The Shadows brings something new to the paranormal fantasy category with its engaging, unique characters and a delightfully British ambience.
Eden, an aspiring ballerina, has moved from her quaint English village to London, to live with her aunt and uncle and begin attending college. Determined to make a good impression at her new college, Eden catches the eye of her tutors and the other students. Soon, Eden has partnered with a charming fellow student, who may have more in mind than just being dance partners. However, Eden still holds feelings for her former boyfriend back home, and isn’t even sure what she wants at this point. Eden chooses to put her focus on her schooling and dancing, rising to the envious position of star pupil.
Only, Eden isn’t your typical college student. After an unfortunate horseback riding incident, Eden is seeing things she cannot rationally explain. And those things are ghosts. Befriending a rag-tag group of spirits, Eden begins to notice strange matters afoot, and is thrust into a celestial battle of heavenly proportions. Working together, Eden and her new friends search tirelessly for a way to win the battle and restore the balance. But, Eden becomes distracted, dreaming of and drawn to an entity that doesn’t appear to reciprocate her attention. Who are they? What is their purpose and can Eden determine why her presence is so troubling to them?
“She felt herself drifting and she knew that she was waking up from the dream. Before she fully regained consciousness, she felt once more that warm breath on her neck, a hand on her arm.”
I was surprised to enjoy this book as much as I did. I went into it with an open mind, but found it constantly absorbing and never slow-paced or dragging. Initially, I was somewhat perplexed by the English slang used, but adjusted to it quickly and appreciate the realism it delivered to the story. The paranormal aspects of the storyline are well-thought-out and I adore the group of ‘spooks’ Eden finds herself in cahoots with. Eden herself is likeable and had that girl-next-door kind of personality. Additionally, I absolutely loved the Phantom of the Opera theme incorporated into the storyline, it gave the storyline a mysterious allure that can be hard to achieve. The setting was unique, almost gothic in nature, but still different from most of what I’ve read in this category.
Overall, I will certainly be back when this story continues, I’m curious to see how Eden deals with the events that unfolded at the conclusion! In short, I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a captivating paranormal fantasy read.