SERIES: Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five #Book 1
AUTHOR: R.J. Furness
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy
PUBLICATION DATE: March 16th 2019
PUBLISHER: Orgo Press
PAGE COUNT: 104 (kindle e-book)
MY RATING: 3.8/5 stars
So this is the 8th day of #TheWriteReads #SapphireSmyth #BlogTour hosted by The Writereads, and I am so very excited to be sharing the review of ‘Shadows (Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five #1)’ with you guys!!! Thanks a ton, Dave from @TheWriteReads and the author- R.J. Furness, for giving me this lovely opportunity and providing me with a free e-book copy of ‘Shadows’ in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.
Have you ever seen something you can’t explain? Did it vanish as fast as it appeared?
Perhaps that thing you saw was lurking in the shadows, and you caught a glimpse of it before it went back into hiding.
There’s a good chance, of course, that the thing you saw simply emerged from your imagination.
Or maybe, just maybe, it didn’t…
Sapphire Smyth is no stranger to rejection. When she was only a baby, her father abandoned her after her mother died. Since then, Sapphire has never felt like she belonged anywhere, or with anyone. To make things worse, her foster carers have now turned their back on her – on her eighteenth birthday. After living with them throughout her childhood, Sapphire has to find a new home. Is it any wonder she finds it hard to trust people?
Abandoned by the people she called family, Sapphire is alone and searching for some meaning in her life. Except that meaning has already come looking for her. When she discovers mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows, Sapphire soon realises that her fate is unlike anything she had ever imagined.
“Shadows that come alive, a hidden world, and a mystery that grips you from the first page. R.J. Furness has created a world that is both magical and tangible. Part One of Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five will leave you satisfyingly breathless and in desperate need of a fox, a silver bangle and the next instalment.” PJ King – author of ‘The Divinity Laws’ series.
“Packed with mysterious magic, friendship, and adventure, Sapphire’s story will delight those with an imagination that often runs away with them.” L.L. McNeil – author of the ‘World Of Linaria’ series.
“Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five” is a six-part, serialised young adult fantasy story!
‘Shadows’ is the First part in the Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five YA Fantasy series. The book revolves around the life of the Birthday Girl- Sapphire who has just turned 18 and has been driven away from her house by her foster parents.
The story begins with a strange incident followed by Sapphire’s real mother’s death and her father deserting the family. Thereafter, Sapphire has lived with foster carers who have always seemed very distant to her. It’s been 18 years now, and Sapphire still lives in remoteness, as she fails to connect to anybody or anything. On her 18th birthday, Sapphire has been asked to leave the house by her foster parents and as a departing gift, they give Sapphire her mother’s Bangle. As Sapphire wanders around alone at night, she encounters certain odd patterns and bizarre silhouettes materializing inside the hollow passage where she takes shelter temporarily to avoid getting drenched outside. As the curious shadows appear on the wall facing her, they gradually metamorphose into a certain definite shape which looks like a creature, a living breathing creature. Utterly perplexed, Sapphire finds that her bangle glows a bright orange as she plays with the shadows and can actually touch and feel the newly metamorphosed creature. The story becomes even more interesting when Sapphire finds out that the glowing bangle, which has strangely clasped tightly to her wrist, and the mysterious silhouettes act as her saviour as everytime the long-dark night brings on life-threatening troubles for Sapphire, these mystifying silhouettes come to her rescue! As if they are her guardian! Sapphire can’t wait to unravel the mysteries hidden behind all these obfuscating phenomena.
As we delve deeper into the story, the mysteries begin to unfold. What induces the formation of those strange silhouettes? What are those queer shadowy creatures and what mysteries encircle the world that has given rise to them? What’s the secret behind Sapphire’s mother’s bangle? Is Sapphire somehow connected to this abstruse and surreal world of magic?
I enjoyed experiencing the world of Sapphire Smyth and the ‘Shadows’. It is a short, cozy tale which is perfect for a warm afternoon read! With it’s lucid language and fast pace, the story is easy to devour. Halfway into the story, the reader can feel the adventure intensifying and as one proceeds further, the suspense gradually builds up and it becomes more and more interesting. The story genuinely started grasping me when I reached Chapter Seven!
Since ‘Shadows’ is the first book of a six part series, the story ends with a cliffhanger, where Sapphire has just discovered the presence of mermaids in an arcane world. I am really very much eager to know what happens next and follow up the story. Despite the diaphanous nature of this 104 pages long story, the author has been really successful in building up an intensifying curiosity in the reader’s mind at the end of the story which is really appreciable! Looking forward to reading ‘Mermaids’ and more of the author’s works! I would gladly recommend this book to any YA Fantasy lovers out there!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
R. J. Furness has been passionate about great stories since he was able to read. At an early age, he would frequently create new characters, worlds and creatures, then write crazy tales all about them. However, until now, he has always kept those ideas completely secret. After having a lifelong interest in animals, music and anything spawned from pure imagination, R.J.’s first love are now his wife and children. Over time, he has also developed an overwhelming desire for mugs of tea and good biscuits to dunk. He lives in Southport, England, with his family, a dog and several fish, chickens and quails.
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