Pros: Fantastic characters and romance; gripping plot
Cons: One slightly overused series premise; some minor confusion over the prophecy
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back of the book:
When the world was young, twins were born. One brought light to a dark world; the other, darkness and danger. They gathered others around them, men and women destined to use their powerful gifts for good or evil. Today, their descendants walk the earth as the Chosen, and the ultimate battle is about to begin.
Rosamund Hill has spent her life buried in her parents’ work, as well as her own, and has been perfectly happy tucked away with her research. Then, in one day, two men turn her world upside down: slick, gorgeous Lance, and dark, brooding Aaron. Both of them want the same thing, information about a prophecy, and both of them are willing to nudge, seduce, and influence Rosamund to get it. Lance, however, is willing to kill—whereas Aaron finds himself becoming more and more taken with the frustrating academic. And more mysteriously, as he and Rosamund work to uncover the prophecy, his powers as one of the Chosen become stronger.
Christina Dodd’s Storm of Shadows is book two of her new series, The Chosen Ones, after Storm of Visions. In book one, Jacqueline had to face up to her reluctance to take over her mother’s role as seer for the Chosen Ones. In book two, Aaron must uncover a prophecy that could spell the success—or the disastrous failure—of the Chosen in their fight against the Devil-serving Others. He’s suave and sophisticated on the surface, elements that have helped him to be a successful antiquities thief, but underneath that he has a rugged streak of self-preservation, and a poor, if proud, past. Rosamund is the perfect foil for him, a mousy librarian with her head so buried in her books she barely even notices how attractive he is—a fact that frustrates him to no end, as does her fluttery romantic sighing over Lance.
I loved these two. Aaron manages to be more than your typical brooding dark romance novel hero, and Rosamund manages to be more than your stereotypical bookish “hidden beauty.” Rosamund is quirky and entertaining, and it’s a ton of fun to watch Aaron sputter as he’s stymied by her lack of apparent interest in him. They have an unlikely chemistry that works out beautifully!
The plot and pacing are wonderful; Christina Dodd has a knack for tense, heart-pounding action with a dash of quirky humor. Aaron and Rosamund travel all over the place searching for clues and evading enemies, and the fights and close escapes will definitely keep you turning the pages.
There’s an element of the series premise revealed in this book that I think slightly disappointed me because it felt familiar, but I don’t want to get into details because it’s something that isn’t revealed until the end of the book. However, it’s a small niggle, especially since it isn’t nearly as overused as a lot of other things making the rounds in popular books right now!
The only other problem I had was that there were a couple of places where I felt I was missing a detail or a connection when the characters were putting things together from one part of the prophecy plot to the next. However, it’s possible that I missed something, or that it’s something that’ll be fixed in the final print edition (since this is an uncorrected proof), and it was only a mild issue. Certainly I was very wrapped up in the book and enjoyed it immensely!
Definitely do check out this new series when it comes out. It’s delightful, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next!