Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Book Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend changes everything. It seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess who is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

WARNING: This review is dark and full of spoilers


How did this get published? The summary makes is sounds like an ordinary paranormal story with a want-to-be-normal supergirl destined to save the world. Is every troupe that ever existed going to be in this story? ‘Cause it sure sounds like it. Also… Zephyr Mourning? What kind of name is that? Why can’t the want-to-be-normal supergirl destined to save the world ever be named Sally?

Surprisingly, this book was awesome! It’s nothing new or inspiring, but it was a fun read. Zephyr, despite her Special Snowflake name, was a down-to-earth, modern girl (despite being a Harpy). She reacted exactly how I think most people would react if they were told they were the Chosen One. I’d personally go for “Bitch, you’re crazy”. While her denial got a bit annoying right at the end, it was a refreshing change from some heroines who wholeheartedly embrace their destiny minutes after finding out about it. Zephyr didn’t believe she was anything special, which made her a tolerable character.

For me, it really was the humor of this book that reeled me in. Without any of the laughs, Promise of Shadows would’ve been dull and clichéd. But the characters, and some of the situations, were really funny. I was able to read this book in a day, partly because of the humor. While a strong concept will make people pick up a book, I think humor is what makes people continue reading. It really is the best entertainment, especially when paired with fight scenes and a smoldering romance.

I think some people will find the clichés and troupe in this book too hard to ignore. There was one point where Zephyr’s father reveals himself by dramatically stating, “I am your father.” I burst out in laughter and almost had to put the book down. I don’t know anyone who could read that line without picturing: 

Promise of Shadows was entertaining and amusing, but heavily clichéd and troupe-y. If you’re looking for something like you’ve never read before, you won’t find enjoy Promise of Shadows. If you just want to have a good time, though, give this book a chance. It will surprise you. It surprised me, so I’ll give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Next week I’ll be reviewing... Vicious by Victoria Schwab