Sunday, October 23rd 2011

Review: Shadowland, Alyson Noel.

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books 
Publication Date: April 3, 2010
Received From: Bought
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780330520515
Amazon / Waterstones / BD
Even if you’reImmortal can true love really last forever?

Ever and Damen have travelled through countless past lives in search of eachother. But just when destiny seems finally within reach, a powerful curse fallsupon them. A single touch of their hands, a brush of their lips will mean deathfor Damen – cast into the darkness of the Shadowland.

Then Ever meets Jude,a mysterious green-eyed golden surfer boy who understands magyck – and Ever –better than she does herself. She though Damen was her destiny – but what iffate has other plans?

The Immortals Series continues with its third instalment ‘Shadowland’. I strongly advise that if you’re a newcomer to this series to begin with the first instalment ‘Evermore’ to ensure that you fully appreciate and understand the complex plot line and characters.  I’d read some good reviews for ‘Shadowland’but also some not-so-good ones. Therefore I was a bit apprehensive about reading this instalment but seen as though I loved the first two I decided to give it ago. 

‘Shadowland’ immediately begins with a dilemma for Ever. She is faced with the heartbreaking task of telling the love of her many lives Damen about the consequences of the decision she made at the end of ‘Blue Moon’.The consequence being that if they share just one touch, Damon will die. This means the couple have to find the antidote to the antidote if they are ever truly going to be together. Enemy Roman has what they need but will Ever pay his price?

The plot in this instalment is not as action-packed as the previous two however it suffices as a great developer. By this I mean, it poses more questions to its reader and introduces new plots which will continue into the fourth instalment. To start with I felt a little disappointed that I wasn’tgetting the answers to the questions raised in ‘Blue Moon’ however as the book progressed,I found I appreciated the suspense of not knowing all the answers. In my opinion, this is a smart move from Alyson Noel. It helps in building up the excitement for the following instalments. 

In terms of characterisation, there is only one new character introduced in the form of Jude, the employer of Ever. I’m not completely engrossed in his character yet and this may be purely because I’m  ahuge fan of Damen. When Jude and Ever meet there are both unaware that it wasn’ttheir first meeting. Damen, however, knows better. I don’t want to give too much away about this but it’s a great example of an introduction to a new plot which I’m sure will have me engrossed. I might not be a huge fan of Jude at the moment, but I’m very interested in how his relationship with Ever continues. 

I have to dedicate a part of this review to Damen. I thought in ‘Blue Moon’ I had him sussed out completely yet Noel manages to show readers yet another side to him. Damen’s character changes somewhat in this instalment as he contemplates the consequences of the choices he’s made in his life as an Immortal. I loved how Noel incorporated the idea of Karma into the plot. His attitudes towards certain things may differ from the other two books but his spark is still there. I look forward to learning even more about him in the next instalment and I’m sure Noel will surprise me with more great character development.

There are two aspects to this book I didn’t like so much.First of all, after reading ‘Blue Moon’ I was looking forward to reading about the complications Ever and Damen will face with not being able to touch. These are a couple who have been in love over countless lifetimes and after making the decision in ‘Blue Moon’ to consummate that love, something got in the way.I was interested to read how they would deal with yet another setback. Without giving too much away, they do find a way to touch and I wish that Noel had waited to introduce this solution a bit longer. Although their problems aren’t fully solved but I would have liked to read a bit more about the frustration and difficulties they could have faced by being truly separated physically. 

Secondly and this is no criticism of Noel’s writing but purely my own opinion. I found I’ve grown to dislike Haven. I can’t even offer much reason for why this is so as she doesn’t feature too heavily in this  instalment. It’s something I can’t put my finger on. Her character started to annoy me. The ending makes it evident that she will feature a lot more in the next book so I’m crossing my fingers that I can grow to love her or at least like her.

I mentioned that I read some not-so-good reviews of this book and for me, this book is an example of how each reader can have their own opinion on a particular book and shouldn’t always be influenced too much about the reviews they read. This book might not be as good as ‘Evermore’and Blue Moon’ but for me it was still a pretty good read. I can’t wait to read the subsequent book ‘Dark Flame’ and hopefully get the answers to some of the questions raised in this one. 

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