Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: From the Shadow by Jessica Jesinghaus

What makes a man a monster?

For too long Jacob has lived in isolation. Forsaken by God and cursed by a Shadow, he is doomed to a eternity of solitude with only the demons of his past for company. For nearly two hundred years, he has longed for that which he knows he can never have: forgiveness, love, and redemption.

A chance encounter could hold the key...

When Jacob meets Lynn, she shines a ray of hope across his bleak existence. But will she be strong enough to shoulder the truth of his past? Can she forgive the horrors he has wrought? Can she help him come to terms with his past and move with him into a brighter future?

An old nemesis threatens...

Confronted by an ancient enemy, Lynn and Jacob travel halfway around the world. There, they face the daunting task of sifting through ancient history for clues to their tormentor's weaknesses and a way to loose his grip on their future.

What good can come From the Shadow?

Blogger's note: Minor spoilers for the book.

From the Shadow is a unique book in that a great deal happens in it, especially within the first few chapters. Jacob is a monster who tears into Lynn's friends (literally!) who are in the woods camping. Shortly after this Lynn is turned into a similar monster herself. This by itself could be enough plot material to fill a significant portion of the book-how Lynn deals with this new transformation, how she deals with what Jacob has done to her friends, etc. It's a very interesting situation that appeals to my love of complex monsters. I would have liked to see Lynn given more time to deal with this in the woods, but like I said a lot of things happen in this book quickly, a majority of which goes into Jacob's past and why he was turned into a monster to begin with. Without going too much into spoiler territory, I also really liked the character of Johanna, a woman from Jacob's past. She has an interesting backstory and it was neat to see how it developed over the years which made her into a complex character.

If there is one criticism I have, is that because a great deal happens in From the Shadow, a great deal also tends to get resolved neatly and almost right away, besides the main conflict of the book. Characters may misunderstand something, for example, and it is resolved within a page or two. I would have personally loved to see the more minor conflicts stretched out. For example, Lynn is a strong and independent woman and can be a touch on the reckless side as a result. Because this character goes through so many changes within the first chapter, I would have loved to see that stretched out to making poor decisions or mistakes which the main antagonist can capitalize on.

FINAL GRADE: 4 out of 5. Overall From The Shadow has an interesting plot, characters, and a fast-paced plot. A little more internal conflict would have made this perfect.

From the Shadow can be found here.

Blogger's note: I received this book for free in exchange for a review swap.

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