The First of Shadows Review

E-Book, 143 Pages
Adult/ Novella/ Fantasy
By: Deck Matthews
Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

I have discovered a lot of great books in the indie book world. So whenever an opportunity arises to read self published books that I think I would enjoy, I jump into it. The author provided me with the whole trilogy in exchange of honest reviews.

I have mixed feelings about the first entry in the series, I think my feelings are mostly lukewarm to good. I saw a lot of good things in the book but I thought that they could have been a bit better which explains my current rating.

The writing is good, I like Matthew’s prose. It sometimes can be vague with the use of similies but for the most part I enjoyed it and there were quite a few moments where I really liked it & was engrossed in the story. There was some info dump mainly at the beginning. I am a reader who is turned off by this especially when there are many names and all of this is when I am still trying to figure the world and characters. To be honest, I considered DNFing early in the book but I decided to power through the book to see what I was missing and I am glad I did. Most of the characters ended up being clear to me after a while and I started caring about them. There was no question about finishing the book or not because I was enjoying it.

The info dump also stretches to include the world building and magic system. There was a map (Always a nice addition) which I wish was at the beginning of the book (I noticed they moved it there in book 3 which is wise). The magic system is still not clear to me, like I liked what I read but I had a ton of questions in my head that I wanted answered. I am usually someone who likes hard magic systems and rules so I like to understand every nook and cranny involving the magic which was not the case here. I still think it is good with the elemental magic and the totem animals.ย 

The plot is fast paced, full of twists and action, which is a mix that I am a big fan of. I believe it could have been slowed down a bit here but I am not gonna complain about that. There is also the mysterious part to the story and the people dying in unexplained circumstances which gives the story the thriller vibe. My problem with the plot is that one of the “villains” is supposed to be fearful and powerful, I thought the faceless was dangerous indeed but I could never touch upon the horror that it should have been. I think this is mostly due to the fast pacing and the fact that it is short novella.ย 

Summary: Although I initially had lukewarm feelings toward the novella’s intro, I ended up liking it the more it progressed. The prose and the dialogue were the strong points in the story. The info dump made me a bit on the guard. The novella is a quick read and I do still recommend it for fans of the fantasy genre!

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