For Kira Solomon, normal was never an option. Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands.
Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner - a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever....
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©2010 Seressia Glass (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
"The heart-pounding first in Glass's Shadowchasers urban fantasy series piles on the twists and turns in a supernatural Atlanta where everyone has a hidden motive.... Kira's personal battle against the forces of chaos will keep readers riveted." (Publishers Weekly)
First, I think it's important to dispel the myth that the narrator is monotone or bad at accents, as suggested by a previous reviewer. Allyson Johnson is a very capable narrator who I will be happy to listen to again, especially as this series continues. (I've already picked up Book #2.) I found the characters distinguished themselves easily in this audible medium - deep, lyrical, sharp, mellow, agitated, Latin@, Afro-Caribbean, Commonwealth, etc. It was quite easy to listen to.
In fact, the book was so easy to listen to that I didn't completely mind that the story felt a bit... light, especially toward the end. I don't feel shortchanged as a reader in any way, but if you're looking for truly unexpected moments or stunning plot twists, this isn't quite the book for that. Almost in the style of an adult reading YA, you're probably going to guess most things before the protagonist does and usually be right.
I will say, however, that my reason for diving into this series still holds string enough to carry my interest into the next book. This is a story about a modern Black female warrior who is strong and smart but hardly perfect. I appreciate her existence in a genre that too often pretends people of color don't exist, can't have powers, can't be good guys, or can't hold an audience's attention as the lead. And in this story she's not alone! The entire cast of characters is a diverse mix of races, genders, class backgrounds, skills, networks, etc. - in a way that makes sense for a city as vibrant and varied as Atlanta.
So maybe the story could use a touch more complexity, but if you're looking for a fun fantasy/paranormal read, complete with action, tenderness, and plenty of attitude? This is a great place to start!
The narration is deplorable and was destracting from the tale. To say Allyson Johnson has no gift for accents is being polite. Her monotone delivery made what maybe a good story boring.
"Absorbing story with strong character in the lead"
As the synopsis says, this is a book narrated, mostly, from Kira's point of view, although once Khefar comes along, there's also some sections that are all his. Kira is a strong, capable, lonely and alone lass, who can never touch anyone without essentially destroying them - something of a killer when it comes to relationships and friendship. She's determinedly independent, so when Khefar comes along she's not disposed to be welcoming - indeed doesn't even know if she should be.
This was slightly repetitive initially - we hear about her childhood at least twice I think - and there's a fair amount of internal thinking and talking, but it works. I listened to this over 5 sessions, and was always keen to get back to it, it picks up towards the end, and ends well, with the sequel no doubt already written! It's fairly classic urban fantasy, in that the real world is tweaked slightly to allow for magic, a psychic vampire, demons, shadow chasers, not forgetting a nigh-on immortal Nubian. There's a lurve interest, but it's kept low key at this stage, and the principle characters aren't white, which is unusual in the genre; this isn't made a great issue of, but it's nice to move away from the classic blond with blue eyes or red-head with alabaster skin (like the heroine in my latest paper book!).
It is well read, with a cast of accents that the narrator mostly keeps up well. Her English accent was to my English ear not that brilliant, but Khefar, Anency, Kira's friends, the vampire chappie whose name escapes me and others are all well read and easily distinguishable.
I'll be getting the sequel, which is read by the same narrator, and see there is a third already available on Audible.
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