Sunday, 4 December 2016

Book Review: The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak (The Harvesting #2)

When Layla took the final step through the labyrinth, she thought she was saving the ones she loved.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

The unwitting victims of a grudge seething for eons, Layla and the other survivors now find themselves in a war for our world. With vampires lurking and shapechangers plotting vengeance, if mankind has any hope of survival, Layla must decide whom to trust: the carnie girl? The quiet doctor? The tarot reader? The stranger with alluring gold eyes? Or the man she loves? And then there are the voices. What does it forewarn if the dead can speak?

When the world burns, mankind’s shadow side rises. Do we deserve to survive?

My Review: 
This review begins with spoilers that might ruin the first book in the series if you haven't read it so you have been warned! POV are from Layla and Cricket.

Layla trusts in the fox woman who has been giving her advice and leads her people through the labyrinth...but it turns out to be a fatal error as they land in the middle of a zombie hoarde who attack them. Certain death awaits until the arrival of armed survivors led by Cricket and some of Layla's group live to be taken to the fortified castle that now houses a large group of survivors. The kitsune are at war with the humans, using vampires and zombies to kill them in revenge for humans destroying the planet with pollution and neglect, while happy for humans to destroy the vampires. The other fae are fighting to try and save the humans leading to all out war.

At the college, a doctor is working hard on finding a cure, doing experiments on the undead which divide opinion, especially when Layla realises that there are a few amongst the undead that she can communicate with. Is it ethical to experiment on them and can these zombies be turned back to human? Jamie decides to help the doctor with her work while Layla joins the group of raiders who go into town for supplies when they are needed. Layla and Cricket are about to discover the truth about Peryn and Tristan, and why the fox woman led them into a fatal trap. She is kitsune and they are seeking out human survivors and directing zombies and vampires to them to kill them. If the kitsune find their hiding place at the college then none of them are safe.

Layla is feeling the weight of responsibility after losing so many people from her town and as zombie numbers start to swell suddenly, she fears the kitsune have found them at the college. She is also trying to think how she can protect the remains of her group as danger threatens to spill into the grounds. Cricket is struggling to understand why Tristan claims to love her and is keeping his distance from her, until she discovers the secrets that he has been keeping from her. Vella is becoming quietly alarmed by the growing menace that she is seeing in her cards and Tristan is already thinking up an escape plan as a fox is seen in town watching the raiding party.

I liked that the groups from our first two groups have joined up, which is what I was hoping for, along with the addition of a new set of characters. It was good to see characters like Cricket and Chase again. Of the newer people I liked Kellimore as he was brave and always volunteers to lead others on missions as he has good knowledge of the town he grew up in and loved. Elle is a fun character and another strong female which is something that I love in this series. In fact other than slightly mixed feeling about the doctor, I didn't dislike anyone. You knew that serious danger was coming for this large group and the tension gradually build, leaving you worried about who is going to live and die if the attack comes.

There is still plenty zombie drama in this book which I obviously enjoyed but I liked the emotional drama of the survivors stories as they try to get on with life, all the time aware of how dangerous their situation was getting. The action scenes are well written and exciting, and I really got caught up in the big attack finale. You never know what is coming or who is in danger with this series.

Recommended for fans of urban fantasy, zombies and other monsters.

Read November 2016
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg

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