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Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Shadow Rises by K.S. Marsden (Witch-Hunter, #1) - Book Review - Indie

4/5 Stars

Witches are real,

and to be blunt,

they're all black-hearted, and evil.


Edition: Kindle
Pages: 157
Chapters: --
Publisher: Self-published

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Blog

Review

Ms Marsden's debut novel makes me smile. A glad and wondrous grin that is hard to suppress. To see such a great novel come from an indie author only proves that there are tons of works out there awaiting everyone to snatch up. The indie scene has been growing for a while, exponentially. Anyone with an idea can now share that idea, and I am of the mind that that is a beautiful and long-awaited time. While The Shadow Rises has its downsides - many I can let go of because the version I had was an old one and the majority of things I picked up on have no doubt been fixed - it is a well-crafted and interesting piece of work. 

Our story kicks off with our main character, Hunter Astley, a seemingly ordinary man to all those that don't know his secret. He's a witch-hunter. You see, witches are pure, undiluted evil, they create misery and death wherever they go, and it's up to Hunter and his colleagues, all under the employ of the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC), to hunt them down, and stop them. But the winds of fortune are changing, and an old foe to the world is to return, a foe without limits, a foe that Hunter might not be able to stop.

The thing that strikes me most about The Shadow Rises, is how well everything is crafted, and how well everything fits together. Ms Marsden did a helluva lot of research, and it shows. The fact she manages to weave this information with her own storytelling is even better. The plot caught my attention immediately, and while at times it's a little predictable, it's massively refreshing to see a return to the dark side for witches. The 21st century is full of witches, but from a lot of what I've read and watched in my spare time, witches seem to be a mixed bunch. There are good, and there are bad, but setting up a world where witches are a plague on the world is an old twist that works well in the new world. And it's believable. Ms Marsden from the very beginning explains to us that sacrificing a human, performing a blood ritual, enhances a witch's powers. From that there is no more explanation needed. Be they human or witch, power corrupts, and people with power only want more.
The characters are also a nice bunch. Hunter, our protagonist is the strongest, in a sense the best developed. And while the others sometimes fall short, they eventually make up for it. I would say hesitantly that Sophie is the weakest, and that's more to do with the character's cold, hard exterior. It over-used the tough gal personality without letting us see her core, and it is difficult to understand some of the characters' attraction to her. Luckily that changes, and hopefully the sequels build on that.


Ms Marsden has created an intriguing novel, with the first book setting up a world of mythology that I absolutely love. You are hooked to the story, with a great protagonist, and a wonderful world to play in. It's no surprise then that I highly recommend it, and if I piqued your interest for it, I'll leave a few links below so you can check out more, and hopefully - you completely should - you'll end up buying it and loving it as much as I do. 

Luckily for me, I can dive straight into the second and third books in the series. 

If you guys wanna learn more about Ms Marsden herself, she kindly let me interview her, and a part from being a fantastic storyteller, she's a lovely individual also. So check that out here.

You can also check out The Shadow Rises on Goodreads here, and to buy, you can grab it at Amazon here.


Next Instalment: The Shadow Reigns


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