Review: Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan (Shadow World #4)


Of Shadow Born by Dianne Sylvan // VBC ReviewOf Shadow Born (Shadow World #4)
Dianne Sylvan

Published: March 26, 2013 (Ace)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

Reviewed by: Krista

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Note: While spoiler-free for the current title, this review does include reference key events in previous books.

When I started reading this series back in 2010 my first impression was that it was rather clichéd. We had a lonely immortal vampire and a “gifted” mortal who thought she was going insane because of her gift.

What did pique my interest was the musical aspect of the book. Miranda has the ability to emotionally manipulate her audience when she performs.  Also as an emotional empath she constantly finds herself overwhelmed by the emotional state and darker feelings of those around her. In the beginning the only way she is able to stay sane is through her performances where she is able to filter out some of the feelings she is carrying around.

It is through these performances that she comes to the attention of David, the aforementioned lonely vampire. David, as the current ruler of the supernatural races in the Southern United States, feels it is his responsibility to assist Miranda before she follows the tragic path of her mother. He also finds himself connecting to her on level he hasn’t felt in a long time. Needless to say it’s a foregone conclusion that after various rigmarole Miranda becomes a vampire and David’s Queen.

Two books later, after the cliffhanger ending of Shadow’s Fall, we reenter the shadow world with Of Shadow Born. The first half of Of Shadow Born finds each of the main characters redefining who they are, to themselves and to the world around them.

The character development scripted across the pages is the true strength of this series. The story and plot can sometimes seem trope and predictable, but it is the characters which drag you deeper into the book. Instead of adding a surplus of periphery characters, Sylvan instead flushes out each of her characters with depth, emotion, motives and detail. One of my favorite moments was the shout out to Doctor Who to show David’s geekiness. It’s these details, which keep me reading when I would otherwise be skimming.

A warning to those who need all the characters to have their happily-ever-after: Sylvan doesn’t hesitate to kill off any character—no matter how attached the reader is. I am still mourning Miranda’s weapons mentor from the first book. I am currently crossing my fingers that a particular Prime of the West doesn’t find himself on the execution block as I might just become a sobbing mess.

I can’t say that I loved this book as there were moments that I found myself rushing through and then flipping back to see what just happened. However, I will definitely be picking up the next in the series. I found that as Sylvan matures as a writer, the books get stronger and the characters even more engaging.

Sexual content: Sex

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