Captivating from Beginning to End | Review of ‘Out of the Shadows’ (Shadowlands #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Out of the Shadows by Ashlee Nicole Bye
Huntuzie Press
Image Credit: Ashlee Nicole Bye

Death. So delicately controlled by reapers of The Order of Dark and Light, is being threatened by an ancient enemy, and in the hidden streets of the Shadowlands, no one is safe while darkness and light struggle against an enemy of power. For Sachi, it’s even harder. Following the death of her friend, Sachi has not been able to cope, especially once she sees him alive again, battling against a Reaper with the keys to her heart. Sachi shouldn’t be able to see them at all, the dead and mystical. She wants answers and is willing to do whatever it takes to get them. Even die…

Published May 4, 2017, by Huntuzie Press, Out of the Shadows
by Ashlee Nicole Bye is her debut novel following mystical elements familiar to young readers who read The Mortal Instruments.

For a debut novel, this is an impressive novel for so many reasons and it’s no surprise why it won the book of the month title here on Cyn’s Workshop. And I’m glad it won because it offered me the opportunity to read such a delightful piece of work.

As a fan of all things fantasy and paranormal, this novel is particularly enthralling. It opens with a murder which is extraordinary in its own way because up above there are these two beings, so clearly supernatural in their own way and they are looking down analyzing a crime committed by something the humans are not aware of. The mystery, the tension, and suspense grips the reader right there because there is something happening, something dangerous that the reader has no choice but to read to figure out what’s going on. Mysteries like that layers the novel, making it such a rich unfolding of elements that makes the story whole.

There’s also a cleanness to the novel, by which I mean the fluidity of the novels keeps up with the pace of the story. There are a few points that force the reader to go back to re-read, but only because the pace moves too quickly, making it easy for the reader to lose themselves in the excitement of the story. Those few stop pauses are very few and far between so they don’t hinder the reader, especially because the detail Bye uses to tell the story is captivating. She doesn’t go into long winded explanations of this world she has adopted, a world inclusive culturally as it adopts many myths and legends, but rather is concise in her detail, concise in her storytelling making it an easy novel to follow and enjoy.

As for characterization, Sachi is great. Her development throughout the novel is somewhat hilarious only because of the antics and her dynamics between the characters. So much is happening around her that she has no idea how to understand it, and it’s also scary for her. But no matter what, she handles it, either with jokes or self-defense lessons, she handles everything they throw at her with hilarious dialogue and narrative.

While the story is worth reading just because of how mystifying it is and entertaining, the characters make it a fun read. They have strong dynamics with one another and strong narratives all on their own and they each bring to life one aspect of the world around them. The characters give life to the fantasy around them, to the Shadowlands and the hidden world. And that right there is what makes it such a good read. Personally, I can’t wait for the sequel. (★★★★☆ | A)

Product Details:

Pub Date: May 4, 2017

Page count: 337pp

Age Range: 12 & Over

ISBN: 978-0-6481-0780-4

Publisher: Huntuzie Press

List Price:  $16.99

Get a Copy:

Let me know what you think :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s