Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Review: Secrets and Shadows
Series: 13 to Life – Book 2
Author: Shannon Delany
No of Pages: 304
Release Date: 15 February 2011

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jessie Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all, but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s ever suspected. Thanks to Jessie’s startling revelation about the Rusakova’s mother, the group’s choices become harder – and trust is more important than ever. But the dramatic change Pietr’s going through may shake the trust he’s built with Jessie to its very foundation. As the broken Rusakova family struggles to come together to face what may be their greatest challenge, the people Jessie believed were normal show themselves to be much, much more…

My Thoughts:

Ms Delany seems to have a serious Twilight complex and it doesn’t bode well with this book.

Jessie is still struggling to come to terms with how her life has been flipped on its head in the past year. Now she also has to deal with the increasing distance Pietr is putting between them whilst still agreeing to help the werewolves release their captured mother.

Jessie seems to have had a complete character change from how I remember her in the first book. She went from being a likeable, seemingly intelligent character to this clingy, whiny schoolgirl who is having a breakdown every other day and unable to handle her life at all. She went from being well-adjusted considering her situation to a total mental wreck in the space of the couple of weeks between books. She became Bella, basically.

Shamelessly throwing herself at a guy who doesn’t want her then going and making out with his arch enemy to get back at him. Then wondering why he still doesn’t want her and not listening to him after he tells her something is too dangerous, she stubbornly tags along anyway. What is wrong with these humans who seem to think they can match a supernatural's healing abilities?!

Pietr went from an arrogant semi-likable character because of his hotness appeal, to well, Edward. Tortured teen who thinks the world will never understand his predicament, wanting to ”protect” those he loves by distancing himself from them but still keeping an emotional hold over them so they can never move on.

Secrets and Shadows was a train wreck in every sense of the word. The story is a bad copy of Twilight even going so far as to say that the male lead doesn’t think he has a soul anymore because of what he’s become and what he has done and then to say that maybe the family should leave town and everyone they know behind to keep them safe from themselves.

The romance between Jessie and Pietr is becoming laughable now. Jessie pushed Pietr into the arms of another girl and expects him to treat the other girl, Sarah the former Queen Bee, like dirt because Jessie can’t stand the thought of them being together.

I will admit up front that I could barely remember anything from 13 to Life, and Delany’s lack of any form of backstory until three quarters of the way through the book had me scratching my head at times. It goes to show that either I’m losing my memory or that no matter how much I liked 13 to Life, it just wasn’t memorable.

The writing in Secrets and Shadows is engaging once again but the plot is all over the place. There’s trimming down unnecessary detail and then there’s butchering your story. A werewolf got turned back into a human, end of chapter; do we see how said werewolf is faring? How said werewolf feels or is coping with this massive change in their life? Of course not. Vital details were missing; Jessie was at her house one minute then in the car the next. She was possibly borderline date-raped (hmm, I’m seeing more Twilight here) but that doesn’t get explored at all.

I said in the first book that there was a severe lack of information, that pattern continued in the second book. It was a complete mind-boggling circle of the mess Jessie has made of her non-existent love-life and any interesting parts of the story were overlooked because Jessie was too busy panting after Pietr – and quite literally sexually harassing him, I’m sorry but shoving your tongue down someone’s throat who has expressly asked you not to do so is harassment in my book - to notice anything else that may have been going on around her.

Secrets and Shadows was a big disappointment for me. It was a bad copy of the Twilight Saga and the writing was so jumpy it literally gave me headaches to read. I kind of want to know what happens in relation to the Rusakova’s mother but I am wary.

Others in this series:
13 to Life
Bargains and Betrayals


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