blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin

Happy Friday bookish people! Today I’m excited to be bringing you a book review of Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin as my stop on the book tour. Thank you to TBR Tours and Beyond and Cyla Panin for sending me an ecopy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Stalking Shadows Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I had heard that this book is a different take on the Beauty and the Beast retelling so I knew instantly that I wanted to read it. Anything that is even slightly reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast interests me. I loved the eerie Gothic feel to this book, it was most prominent in the settings but the whole book was filled with mystery and tension. I enjoyed the mystery and the slight creepyness of it, one thing I wanted more of was the action, I felt the story was too slow-paced for my liking and I would have liked some more intriguing events.

Stalking Shadows Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed the personality of the main character, Marie, she is very caring and brave and loyal to her sister. One of my favourite things about this book is the connection between the sisters, in this book they are the Beauty and the Beast rather than a love interest which was a nice change, there aren’t too many books with such a focus on the sibling relationship and having a sister myself I really felt I could put myself in Marie’s shoes.

Stalking Shadows Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The writing in this book is very detailed and atmospheric, it helped to build up the plot layer by layer. I personally felt there was a tiny bit too much foreshadowing which sort of gave away the ending before it happened.

Stalking Shadows Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because, although it is a very enjoyable YA debut read, I felt like I wanted a little more from the book than what it gave me.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A gothic YA fantasy debut about a young woman striving to break her sister’s curse and stop the killing in her small French town

Seventeen-year-old Marie mixes perfumes to sell on market day in her small eighteenth-century French town. She wants to make enough to save a dowry for her sister, Ama, in hopes of Ama marrying well and Marie living in the level of freedom afforded only to spinster aunts. But her perfumes are more than sweet scents in cheap, cut-glass bottles: A certain few are laced with death. Marie laces the perfume delicately—not with poison but with a hint of honeysuckle she’s trained her sister to respond to. Marie marks her victim, and Ama attacks. But she doesn’t attack as a girl. She kills as a beast.

Marking Ama’s victims controls the damage to keep suspicion at bay. But when a young boy turns up dead one morning, Marie is forced to acknowledge she might be losing control of Ama. And if she can’t control her, she’ll have to cure her. Marie knows the only place she’ll find the cure is in the mansion where Ama was cursed in the first place, home of Lord Sebastien LeClaire. But once she gets into the mansion, she discovers dark secrets hidden away—secrets of the curse, of Lord Sebastien . . . and of herself.

About the Author:

Cyla Panin is an MG, YA and Adult author who prefers to look at the world through a dusting of magic. After spending most of her childhood wanting to escape into the wonderful worlds her favourite author’s created, she’s now using her own words to craft magical places. When not writing, Cyla can be found playing dinosaurs with her two young boys, watching swashbuckling and/or period TV shows with her husband and, of course, reading.

Her YA debut, Stalking Shadows will be out with Amulet, Abrams Fall 2021. She is represented by Chloe Seager of the Madelaine Milburn Literary, TV and Film agency.

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stalking-shadows-cyla-panin/1138773828

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stalking-Shadows-Cyla-Panin/dp/1419752650

Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Stalking-Shadows-by-Cyla-Panin/9781419752650

Tour schedule: https://tbrandbeyondtours.com/2021/08/19/tour-schedule-stalking-shadows-by-cyla-panin/

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer Book Review

Happy Monday Bookish People! Here is the book review for the second book that I read for the Becca and the Books 48 hour Bookopolathon challenge. The second prompt was a fantasy book and I chose A Curse so Dark and Lonely because, it was on my March TBR, and also I have the full trilogy on my shelf and I hadn’t yet read it. It was about time I finally read it, so many people have recommended it to me.

I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy reading my book review.

Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is advertised as a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and it is one of the best retellings that I have read. I think the plot of this book is well constructed and builds the tension brilliantly. It starts with an event that is a catalyst for the rest of the novel and it is paced well so the novel has both exciting events and tension but also leaves enough room for character development. This book has a great plot for this book and it also sets up an over arching plot for the rest of the series which has made me very excited to read the rest of this series – soon!

Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved the characters in this book. The main protagonist is Harper and her personality is headstrong and fierce while being very caring. From the first page I had to know what would happen with her character, I was rooting for her. The two main male characters the first book follows is Prince Rhen and his loyal Guardsman Grey. Both of these are well developed interesting characters who I am very excited about seeing where their stories go. I felt that the ending of this book was slightly rushed with certain parts of it but still had a satisfying ending.

Dialogue and Writing:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The writing style in this book is a comfortable and easy read, it matches the genre of fantasy well. As for the dialogue I felt this novel had good dialogue between the characters that really cemented their relationships and helped create the mood for the novel overall.

Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book five stars because I really enjoyed it and instantly wished I could pick up the second one and read it immediately, unfortunately I couldn’t but that’s what I wanted to do. It was well written, well balanced between plot and character and a brilliantly clever retelling.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

That’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it! If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it? Do you enjoy retellings?