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ARC Review: Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 5/5
Representation: 4/5
Enjoyment: 4/5
Worldbuilding: 1/5
Overall: 4/5

This book had a lot of things going for it, and a few things that could have been improved. Overall, I really liked it.

First: The cover, which is what drew me to this book in the first place. This is a *gorgeous* cover. It’s very clever and deceptively simple, and after reading the book and learning the meaning behind ‘silver’ and ‘shadow’ I love it even more. It’s rare that you find such a perfect visual representation of an important story concept. I adore it.

The pacing was perhaps a little off, as the first 3/4 seemed really slow and then part four was a fast-paced barrage of events and POV changes. It was well done, however, and I actually would have preferred the first 3 parts to have a slightly faster pace to match.

I enjoyed the characters, though sometimes they felt a bit too… convenient? Like they popped onto the page fully-formed when needed to suit the plot. This is what ultimately made me knock a star off my rating – too much convenience, too little struggle, and too neat.

Also the worldbuilding was practically nonexistent and you could have plopped the characters down into just about any story and it would have proceeded much the same way. The city and palace were so incredibly generic that it made it difficult to connect with or care for the characters.

*note: A year later and I have … no memory of this book beyond the inial scene of Ren and the dress. I’m leaving the stars because I must have felt it deserved them at the time but… It may be more of a 3 star book.

Thanks to NetGalley and North Star Editions for providing an e-arc to review.

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