Out of the Shadows
(Shadowlands, Book One)
By Ashlee Nicole Bye
* I was generously given a copy in exchange for an honest review *
Genres: Fiction, Young-adult, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural
Take a Peek: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Book Depository
Rating: 4 Stars
If you haven’t figured it out by now after my City of Bones dedicated post, I am a HUGE fan of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. The first one, City of Bones, came out when I was in high school and I’ve been a goner ever since. And there’s still more books coming out! I’m ashamed to admit that it’s all gotten away from me a little. Both Dark Artifice books have been on my tbr list for a while now, and I JUST learned there’s another series coming out called the Last Hours!! I’m definitely excited, but like, DOES IT EVER END?!?! SO MANY SHADOWHUNTERS AND NOT ENOUGH ME!!
ANYWAY… I’m getting off topic. THE POINT IS, I love the Mortal Instruments. So when I read a description for this book that promised it would satisfy Cassandra Clare fans, I OBVIOUSLY jumped on it. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to expect, but by the end I was a transformed Shadowlander fangirl. I was promised satisfaction and can report that I am definitely SATISFIED.
Sachi Manning is an average girl living her life in Melbourne, Australia. She’s just graduated with her best friends Olivia and Gabe and can feel the endless freedom ahead of her as they prepare for a trip across Europe. So naturally, that’s when Gabe gets killed, leaving Sachi and her friends shattered. And Gabe isn’t the only one—there have been a string of similar murders that humans are blaming on a serial killer, but the supernatural know better.
Fast forward six months and Sachi is getting through life one day at a time, living with her brother Nikko, and working at a local cafe. At night she has terrible nightmares that make sleeping hard, but she’s getting by. Out of the blue one day, Sachi starts noticing things she never has before. One of the bartenders has tiny horns, a server is running around with pointy ears, and there’s a guy walking around Melbourne with a Doctor Who, Willy Wonka vibe. Trying not to think too much about these strange sightings, Sachi lets her friends talk her into going out to a club for the first time in months. While she’s there, she just happens to see Julian—Doctor Willy Wonka himself—with a freaking SCYTHE that’s about to slice up Gabe, the guy that’s suppose to ALREADY BE DEAD.
This brings Sachi, Julian, and his partner Moss together on a quest to find out what Sachi really is and discover how people like Gabe keep turning up “dead” when they’re not suppose to. All the while, an acquaintance (co-worker?????) of Julian and Moss named Griffin lurks in the background, scheming and making his own plans for Sachi Manning.
This book had me actually laughing out loud and there were so many quotable moments, that I’ve compiled a list. YOU’RE WELCOME.
He slumped into the couch next to her, propping his feet on the coffee table. “Sweet—Vampire Diaries. Love this show!” He shot Sachi a sideways glance. “You Team Damon or Team Stefan? And be careful how you answer—our friendship could depend on it.”
“Is that even a proper question? Of course it’s Damon.”
“Ah, thank god. Stefan’s such a douche—has there ever been a more boring TV character?”
Sachi considered it for a moment. Nodded. “Dawson.”
“The girl has a point, folks.”
“Wait—now? Don’t we need to run it past Julian?”
“Woah, woah,”—he held up his arms in a ‘steady on’ gesture—”I think you’ve got our roles messed up a little. I’m Maverick, he’s Goose. I ain’t no one’s sidekick.”
Sachi flashed Moss a wide grin. “Actually I’d say Julian is more like Ice Man.”
Sachi slid off her stool, brushing her hands off on her pajama shorts. “Okay Obi Wan—show me the way of the force.”
“Wait—if he’s Obi Wan, does that make you Anakin? ‘Cause that’s really not what we’re trying to accomplish here,” Moss said with a grin.
“Of course not—I’ll be Luke… Just, minus the kissing his sister bit. You can be Han if you want.”
“Why does he get to be Han while I’m the old codger who dies at the end?” Julian grumbled, eyebrows furrowed.
Moss gasped dramatically. “Oh! Spoiler alert!”
Sachi nearly jumped out of her seat a moment later when another man appeared in a poof! of white smoke. “Ohmygod, ohmygod—it’s like David Tennant and Tom Felton had a love child!”
Julian’s brows drew together. “I have no idea who those people are, but that seems anatomically impossible.”
“Get with the program, Julian!” Doctor Malfoy drawled. “It means she thinks I’m schmexy—and clearly you’ve never read any Mpreg romance if you think that’s impossible.”
When I first started reading this, my inner fangirl was so full of The Mortal Instruments that the parallels between the two stories blinded me like a sharp laser beam to the eye. I was worried that there might be too many similarities. A sassy, strong girl with an amazing talent for drawing? Two brothers-from-another-mother that are red hot with amazing fighting skillz (that’s right, WITH A Z!!)? An entire hidden realm of mythical creatures that dumb humans don’t even know exist?
Plus, I admit that I was a tad overwhelmed in the beginning. We are literally just dumped right in the middle of an entire fantastical world with a lot of terms and characters I kept forgetting two pages later.
HOWEVER. It only took me a few chapters to realize that this novel is completely in a world of it’s own. I thought the universe this book takes place in was very well thought out, complete with it’s own geography, rules, key players, and history. That’s why I was so overwhelmed at the start, but once Sachi comes along and we discover it with her, everything makes a lot more sense. Plus, being overwhelmed with information at the beginning kind of made the story more believable. If there really WAS a hidden mythical universe that I randomly and suddenly discovered (PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN. DRAGONS AND UNICORNS IN MY LIFE WOULD BE GREAT), I would probably be really confused about it. Know what I mean? No? Okay moving on…
I also really SUPER FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTERS. Moss is just THE BEST and I wish I could watch the Vampire Diaries with him in real life. Sachi has a lot of spunk that was awesome to see in a female protagonist, despite the fact she frustrated me from time to time. And Julian. JULIAN. UGH. Similar to Jace Lightwood, I simultaneously want to hug and strangle Julian. So OBVIOUSLY that means I’m #OBSESSED with him now.
And this book is freakin’ funny! It’s filled to the brim with amazing humor and pop culture references that I really appreciated. It kept me engaged and I WANT MORE! When I was thumbing through the first few introductory pages, I knew I was in for a treat when I glanced at the table of contents. Here’s a sampling of my favorite chapter titles:
- “A Knee to the Groin is Always a Safe Bet”
- “All the Librarians Are High”
- “Who Doesn’t Love a Good Cat Gif?”
- “Cue Dawson Ugly Cry”
- “Why it’s Important to Always Keep Someone Else’s Dried Blood on Hand”
- “Don’t Do Drugs—You’ll Wake Up in a White Cell With the Whole World Thinking You’re Dead”
The jokes in this book gave me strong Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibes and I loved it. That’s like, the highest compliment I can give!
This book is a tad overwhelming in the beginning and has some strong parallels to the The Mortal Instruments, but I really loved this. It’s a hilarious, fun read that I would TOTALLY recommend!
TALK TO ME
What do you think? Sound interesting?
Anyone out there Cassandra Clare fans? Do you want to Strangle and hug Jace too? ISN’T MAGNUS THE BEST???
Please tell me I’m not the only one who wanted to throw City of Fallen Angels and City of Lost Souls against a wall.
Holler at me in the comments!!