Saturday, 15 June 2013

Novella Review: Shadow by Amanda Sun

Title: The Shadow (Paper Gods #0.5)
Author: Amanda Sun
Published: 1 June 2013 by HarlequinTEEN Australia
Source: HarlequinTEEN Australia (free e-novella)
Reviewed: Sapphireddragon
SapphiredDragon Rating: ****

Shadow (Paper Gods #0.5) by Amanda Sun

Meet two teens whose worlds are about to change forever in this paranormal Young Adult novella, a prequel to Ink by debut author Amanda Sun…

Katie Greene’s worst nightmare comes true when her mother dies, and she’s devastated to learn that she will have to leave the only home she’s ever known. Desperate to find where she belongs, she must decide if she has what it takes to start a new life across the ocean.

For Yuu Tomohiro, every day is a nightmare. He struggles to control his strange ability, and keeps everyone at a distance so they won’t get hurt—even his girlfriend, Myu. At night, a shadow haunts his dreams, and a mysterious woman torments him with omens of death and destruction. But these haunting premonitions are only the beginning…


The shadow by Amanda Sun is the prequel novella to the novel Ink.  Despite this, I actually read Ink first (see my review on July 1) and it is kind of funny as in some ways I wish I had read this first while in other ways I am glad I didn't. Let me explain.

I originally didnt read this first, despite knowing it was a prequel, because for some explicable reason I was worried it would provide spoilers for the novel. If anything, it was the other way round (which should have been somewhat obvious being a prequel and all but meh :-p)

This novella starts about 5 months earlier than the beginning of Ink and goes virtually all the way to the beginning of Ink. Each chapter is alternatively told from either Katie or Tomo's perspective. I liked this as I felt I got to know and understand both main characters a lot better especially Tomo. Given that Ink is essentially told from Katie's perspective, I wonder whether this would have changed my perspective on Tomo's reactions to things had I read this first and understood, a little more, where Tomo was coming from.

The story itself was reasonably simple in that it was essentially setting up the novel Ink going in depth with a few scenes that are merely mentioned in Ink.  It was actually not spoilerish at all which surprised me as Ms Sun was especially good at skirting around potential spoilers and actually adding to the mystery rather than spoiling it, and there a few clues in there that I think will have meaning later on in the series ( can't wait to see if I am right about those :-P).

So I have mentioned the reasons why I wished I had read it pre Ink but the reason I am glad i read it after is that while it is an introduction to the characters and story of Ink, I think I enjoyed it more because I already to some extent knew and loved the characters of Katie and Tomo so I was interested to see where they came from.  I believed I would have enjoyed this novella even if I had read it first but it meant I appreciated it more almost as a character study rather than an introduction.

If you are planning on reading Ink then i would suggest you read this first and even if at this stage you are not planning on reading Ink, I still recommend you read this novella as you might just change your mind.  This novella provides a great introduction to the novel as well as being a great read.

I give this novella 4 stars

Sapphired Dragon xx

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