Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

March 10, 2014 Review 10

Promise of ShadowsPages: 371
Publication Date: March 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Series: N/A – Stand Alone
Source: Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss

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Summary
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 (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that 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?

 My Thoughts & Review
I never thought I would interested in mythology, I had a brief run in with a mythology course in University and did not enjoy it. My reading tastes are far more diverse now but for some reason I didn’t want to dabble again because of the bad taste in my mouth from my younger years. Then in the fall I read The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White – which is about Egyptian mythology – and realized I really enjoyed it. When Promise of Shadows came up on Edelweiss I knew I had to read it, it sounded so interesting and I really wanted to read another mythology book!

When I started reading Promise of Shadows, I had to do a lot of Googling. I had no idea what a Harpy was, I couldn’t remember what half of the Greek mythology terms meant and I definitely couldn’t remember what God and Goddess did what. I thanked my lucky stars for my Kindle at that point because it seemed every second word I was using the dictionary or Wikipedia feature on! Once I got all of the terms down pat I settled in and had quite a pretty good experience with this book!

I really liked Zephyr. She was insecure and very indecisive but I thoroughly enjoyed her character, especially her personal development and growth once she finds out she was the Nyx. There was times that she was annoying when she refused to believe that she was part of the Prophecy but ultimately I really liked her. I actually really enjoyed all of the characters, Tallon, Blue, Cass (especially Cass!), Nanda and my favorite of all, Hades! A lot of the characters were built of Gods and Goddesses so I can’t attest to the originality of those characters (I’m assuming that their characters are fairly similar from story to story) but I loved them just the same! I was so interested in all of the stories behind them, from Dragon to Harpy to the Nyx and I loved learning about all of them. One thing that I should point out, and I’m not sure if this is common amongst mythology or not because I am NOT well read in this genre at all, is that the explanations (as I said above) are few and far between about what each God/Goddess’ story is. I had no idea who Hera was, or Persephone is so if you aren’t familiar with mythology either you might spend a bit of time looking up who each character is.

I quickly fell into the story once I started. I adored the worlds from the Underworld to the stories of Aerie and even the Mortal Realm. I loved it. I do think that the worlds should have had a bit more explanation though. I thought it was a bit confusing with the Aerie and how you could pass so freely between them, and I would have liked a bit more in-depth explanation. Another qualm I had about it is that the ending did start to get a bit slow and I was anxious to get the finale started, but there is a good buildup with character growth and journey beforehand.

Another major plus for me was that Promise of Shadows is a standalone. I really loved that the entire story was wrapped up in one book. While I would love to read more about Zephyr, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to wait another year for a sequel!

The ending also was slightly strange to me. I did like it and thought it was nice, I guess it was just a bit different from what I was expecting. Despite those issues, I did really enjoy Promise of Shadows. The story was fascinating and fun and I really enjoyed the characters. I was completely invested in the story and I couldn’t resist reading large amounts of it in one sitting! definitely recommend if you are looking for a fun, interesting mythology read!

3 Stars

Lauren

10 Responses to “Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland”

  1. Anya

    Oo, that’s a problem if there was no explanations for any of the Greek references…. I mean, I enjoyed Hercules as much as the next kid, but I don’t feel like you should have to be an expert in order to understand what is going on D: I skipped over this one originally and will probably keep it that way, but it’s good to know. I was intrigued about the Harpy premise since I haven’t seen that before!
    Anya recently posted..Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson eARC {4 Stars}My Profile

    • Lauren

      Yah, it was a bit of problem. I wasn’t sure if its’ common within mythology retellings because I’m not well read in the genre or not so I had to include it because I did have to Google a lot lol.

      Once I found out about Harpy’s I was super intrigued as well! I found that aspect really interesting so I am hoping I might be able to find another with Harpy’s as well!

    • Lauren

      YES! I need to go check it out now 🙂 I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up Rebecca! Have you read The Chaos of Stars? That one is mythology and quite fun too!! I see a new addiction on the horizon for myself 😛

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