Sunday, December 9, 2012

{A Kelly Coffee Review} Shadow Sight by E.J. Stevens

Title: Shadow Sight
Series: Ivy Granger #1
Author: E.J. Stevens
Genre: Supernatural/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Sacred Oak Press

Synopsis: Some things are best left unseen...

Ivy Granger's second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door.

Demons are never a good sign...

A demon attorney representing the water fae? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth.

There's blood in the water...

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie faerie this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices.

The lesser of two evils...

For a book that I thought would be right in my wheelhouse, this was not what I expected. There is incredible potential in this book/series, because there are actually a number of interesting ideas and takes on familiar concepts that I appreciated.

To start, she has a world that includes demons, witches, vampires and faeries, and I think she does a reasonably good job balancing all of those magical and supernatural mega-powers.  Just the variety in the base gives the world a lot of places to go and a lot of angles to consider. Second, her main character, Ivy, is psychometric--she gets visions from touching emotionally charged objects/people. That is a tetchy ability to land your main character with because it could be so socially detrimental, and I think that the realities and practicalities of living with a powerful (and uncontrolled) ability like Ivy's are very well addressed and represented. The consequences and hazards of living with psychometry are treated realistically, and Ivy has issues because of it.

I have to say, for such a short book, I really struggled with this one. I liked her take on vampires, couldn't decide how I felt about the demon, and was touch-and-go on her treatment of the fae. I almost feel like the shortness of the novel does it a disservice, because there just isn't that much time allotted to really sink into the world before it's falling apart around the reader. Ivy was an interesting character, but no one really jumped to life for me.

For some reason, it just didn't hold my attention. I was never sucked in, never felt like I couldn't walk away from it, was never emotionally invested. I don't know why, but for me, there was no connect. My overall impression of the book is that it's strangely forgettable. I was left with no strong impression or feeling about it, vaguely annoyed at the love element thrown in at the very end. My suspension of disbelief was stretched to its very limits and I wasn't even annoyed by it. I just didn't get any emotional investment. It's as if the bubble that Ivy tries so hard to live in, to keep herself separate (with good reason, mind) has saturated the story, so that there's a layer of fuzz between the reader and the action. Something about it made me feel like I was reading a premise or an outline--all the big stuff is there, now fill it out and don't forget the emotion.

That being said, I am intrigued enough by the world and the concept that I would read the next one, just to see if it fills out better, if I can sink into her world more and connect. The base its solid. I just need to feel the story, not read the outline.

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