Monday, June 2, 2014

Promise of Shadows

Title: Promise of Shadows
Author: Justina Ireland
Number of Pages: 371
Date Read: 6/1/14
Genre: Mythology, Paranormal, Fantasy

Synopsis (Found on 

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murderedand she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

My Review:

This book was ok.

I liked all the greek mythology in the book, how the gods played a role in the book as well as other creatures of mythology, like oracles, dragons, harpies and so on, being present. 

Basically the story is about Zephyr, who is a harpy who ended up killing a minor god. She is put on trial by the olympians and sent to tartarus for eternity. Zephyr is able to wield "dark" or "Shadow" magic/powers which makes her dangerous to the olympian gods who use "bright" magic. Hera, in particular, wants to enslave everyone who is not a god, like harpies, medusas, etc. who are called vaettir. Vaettirs are the creatures who have human blood in them and are half human, half mythological creatures. Some are bright vaettirs using the bright magic (aether) while others are shadow vaettirs using the shadow magics (erebos). Hera wants to enslave the bright vaettir and kill the shadow vaettir. Shadow vaettir are considered to be unnatural. Anyways, Zephyr is supposedly the promised dark or shadow champion called the Nyx, whose is very powerful with erebos and who is destined to defeat Hera and lead the shadow vaettir to victory in a battle/war. Sound confusing? Well it is.

A lot of the mythology that had to do with the aether and erebos magic, was confusing and I had to re-read the explanation parts of the story to make sure I knew what was going on. Some parts where the characters talk about the rift, the other realms, how the realms were split up and which creatures/gods can live in which realm were also confusing and hard to keep track of. I did like the world building though and the descriptions of the different realms themselves. As far as I can tell, in the book, there is the underworld with tartarus and the elysian fields, the aetherworld and the mortal realm. I appreciate the author sticking as closely to the greek mythology as she could and incorporating it into the story without changing much. I'm a huge fan of mythology and I love it when authors stay as close to the stories/gods/creatures as they can. 

I wasn't too fond of Zephyr. She was one of the more realistic characters that I have read about thought. She is always afraid and chooses to run away instead fight. She is completely unsure of herself and doesn't think she is the nyx. Hell, she doesn't WANT to be the nyx. She rather hide under the covers than be the one who is destined to save everyone. She is constantly afraid that she won't be good enough or that she will mess up. She is not the strongest or the smartest or the best and she knows it. I like this in her character because it shows that she is flawed. She's not perfect, not pumped up to be the chosen one and not running to be the hero. You don't see too many characters like Zephyr and even though I didn't like her personally, I liked her character traits. However sometimes her whining got to be too much and I was like "grow a pair already". I just felt like especially near the end she whined to much and her thoughts/sayings were cliche. I was ehh about her in the beginning but then she really did something that pissed me off and I just ended up not liking her for the rest of the story. I was more invested in the plot and couldn't give a whim about what happened to her. She just rubbed me the wrong way. A more likeable character with Zephyrs character traits would of been welcomed. 

On to the other characters. I liked Cass. She was ancient (as in from ancient Greece) and a bad ass. She kept Zephyr alive in Tartarus and she was not afraid of anything. Blue was ok, nothing special. Tallon, who was the main love interest was ehh. Very broody and "dark", no pun intended. He was hot one minute for Zephyr then cold the next. He would make her laugh, then not talk to her for a week. I was so over him. 

The romance was very annoying. I just didn't have the time for it or the patience. I mean Zephyr is about to face a goddess, Hera, QUEEN of the GODS no less, and all she can think about is kissing Tallon. Please. This was a case of insta love. Tallon and Zephyr were childhood friends, didn't see each other for years and then the first time they lay eyes on each other again, they were in love. Sure. Zephyr tried to deny it but I wasn't buying it. The romance would of been ok if Tallon and the thought of him didn't consume Zephyr all the time. Bad things happened, she was off to fight a battle, she was the "chosen one" and all she could think of was Tallon and kissing him. I just couldn't so it. The book would of been so much better without the romance. 

I loved the action that was in the book. I love that the book opened up with Zephyr already in Tartarus, digging a hole and being rained on with shit. Literally. It was a completely different opening to a book and I loved it. There were many fights, many chase scenes and best of all many monsters! I do have to add that the ending was a little rushed for my taste. I mean the entire battle that the whole book leads up to was only one chapter and everything happened way too fast and not like I expected. The ending could of been tweaked to be better. But all in all it was not a horrible read. I liked it but not loved it. 


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