Author: JC Daniels
Reviewer: Jen Twimom
Note: This review contains spoilers from the previous book. Shadowed Blade continues a couple of story arcs from earlier titles in the series, and therefore should not be read as a standalone.
Opening shortly after the jaw-dropping conclusion of Edged Blade, we find Kit working for President of the United States: a man whom we discovered is a Non-Human (NH). The book moves quickly, as Kit and Justin search for NHs on behalf of President Whitmore and get caught up in some seriously perilous situations.
Having absolutely loved the first three books in the Colbana Files series, I found myself struggling a bit on the direction of the past two books (Edged Blade and the novella, Misery’s Way). While I’m happy to report that I enjoyed Shadowed Blade much more than these two titles, I still had some issues with confusing, obtuse scenes. The first three chapters were extremely cryptic, and I wasn’t sure if Kit was having flashbacks, or if some of the events were abbreviated references and overlaps with the novella.
However, after these initial problems I had getting into the book, the flow of the story smoothed out and the story was a bit more coherent and definitely more gripping. As Kit pieces together what Whitmore is and is not, she also must dance along a dangerous edge with someone from her past. I liked the introduction of the mysterious stranger who appears to help Kit. Her presence shakes up much of Kit’s world and adds some interesting twists that will need to be addressed in future titles. However, I felt Kit and Damon’s continuing romantic storyline is petering out. They don’t communicate and aren’t careful with the other. Their relationship is all fire but no substance.
Part of the problem I’ve been having lately with this series is the cryptic nature of scenes. A successful first person story works because the author pulls the reader inside the head of the main character. Readers are privy to thoughts, feelings, and theories that the heroine experiences. But not so with Kit. I feel that I am constantly left in the dark, making for an extremely frustrating and confusing read. While this wasn’t the case as much in Shadowed Blade, there were still too many times that I wanted and needed more from Kit to keep me in the loop and completely engaged.
Additionally, I am struggling with the dark nature of the Colbana Files. While previous titles have taken Kit to very ugly, dark lows, I’ve been able to embrace the scenes because of the nature of the well-written storylines. However, now I feel like too much is happening to Kit and/or those she cares about. Some people love dark, but I find lately, it’s harder for me to enjoy.
In the end, Shadowed Blade was an entertaining read. Despite my own early confusion with the storyline, overall, the book flowed much more smoothly than the previous title. Both the Whitmore and mysterious stranger storylines were strong and engrossing. However, I felt that Damon and Kit’s journey left much to be desired. Shadowed Blade is an Interesting story with definite ending, yet opens doors to future storylines.
Following the events of EDGED BLADE, Kit Colbana has a whole new agenda. New dangers await her and her friends and it won’t be long before she has to align herself with those she never wanted to face.
Release Date: April 25, 2016
Series: Colbana Files #5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (262 pages), e-book
Book Source: Author
Reviews in the Series:
Bladed Magic by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #0.6)
Blade Song by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #1)
Night Blade by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #2)
Broken Blade by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #3)
Edged Blade by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #4)
Misery’s Way by JC Daniels (Colbana Files #4.5)