The Beckoning Shadow (The Beckoning Shadow, #1)
Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.

The Beckoning Shadow (The Beckoning Shadow, #1) Details

TitleThe Beckoning Shadow (The Beckoning Shadow, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy, Paranormal, Magic, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary, Russian History, Rus, Romance, Fiction

The Beckoning Shadow (The Beckoning Shadow, #1) Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair is a young adult fantasy with of course a bit of romance added to the mix. The ideas and world building in this one weren’t overly new or original but it was still a fun story to read.Vesper Montgomery had left her home and the family she loved in fear that she may hurt them when she discovered she was one of the few in the world to gain powers. Vesper had the ability to summon ones worst fears but not being in control of her powers make them that much more The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair is a young adult fantasy with of course a bit of romance added to the mix. The ideas and world building in this one weren’t overly new or original but it was still a fun story to read.Vesper Montgomery had left her home and the family she loved in fear that she may hurt them when she discovered she was one of the few in the world to gain powers. Vesper had the ability to summon ones worst fears but not being in control of her powers make them that much more dangerous.Vesper really had no plan when she left home but when she comes across the Tournament of the Unraveling she thinks she’s found the answer she had been looking for. Those entering the tournament are battling for a chance to rewrite the past and for Vesper that could mean she could return to her family.The idea that characters could suddenly find themselves with special powers and having a variety of powers to those oddities really kept reminding me of The Gifted. This world is much the same with the powerful feared by the normal and trying to hide those powers so as I mentioned this isn’t really a new wow factor when it comes to the overall idea behind the series. However, the characters and their stories were compelling enough to want to continue reading and kept the pages turning along so in the end I still enjoyed this one.I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
    more
  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Oh, how grateful I am to have been sent an ARC of this absolutely marvelous book. Katharyn Blair created a world that I instantly fell in love with. Her writing kept me hooked to every page. Her characters were ones I loved so much. Her story was so very unique and definitely not what I expected.Vesper is our main character. She has Thank you Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for sending a review copy in exchange for an honest review "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Oh, how grateful I am to have been sent an ARC of this absolutely marvelous book. Katharyn Blair created a world that I instantly fell in love with. Her writing kept me hooked to every page. Her characters were ones I loved so much. Her story was so very unique and definitely not what I expected.Vesper is our main character. She has the ability to summon your worst fears. The only problem is she isn't able to control it and it’s extremely dangerous. Her one chance to undo the mistakes that plague her is by entering the tournament of the Unraveling. I loved how the story developed. It wasnt hasty but it wasnt slow either (does that make sense? I hope it does). Even when there was no action going on I was still enjoying it. I loved how different the story was from any other one that I’ve read that involves having abilities or powers. The abilities were different and they weren't repetitive, and I especially loved Vesper’s.The events of the book were enjoyable. I loved the world building. Katharyn Blair is an author I’m going to look out for. At this point no matter what she writes, I’m going to read. Now I’m stuck with only one thought. And that is the fact that I read this 9 months in advance. Which means that I’m going to be waiting a long time for the next book. Was still worth it. Would recommend everyone to add this to their TBR.
    more
  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: The Beckoning ShadowSeries: The Beckoning Shadow #1Author: Katharyn BlairRelease date: July 2, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre:YA, fantasyAfter all the warnings, all the lessons, all the looks over their shoulders—and the thing they should have feared the most was next to them, the whole time. Me. I was the scariest thing.I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but it ended up being more than I could have hoped for. It was such a fresh and exciting offering to the genre that was unli Title: The Beckoning ShadowSeries: The Beckoning Shadow #1Author: Katharyn BlairRelease date: July 2, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre:YA, fantasyAfter all the warnings, all the lessons, all the looks over their shoulders—and the thing they should have feared the most was next to them, the whole time. Me. I was the scariest thing.I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but it ended up being more than I could have hoped for. It was such a fresh and exciting offering to the genre that was unlike anything I've read. I literally could not get enough. All it did was leave me hungry for more. I don't think the synopsis does it justice, it only gives you a small taste of what's inside. If I could draw a comparison, the first thing that comes to mind is a teen X-men story with an underground supernatural, gladiator-style tournament thrown in. Vesper is the main protagonist, a runaway teen trying to escape the mistakes she's made, but some things you just can't outrun. She doesn't like to stay in one place for too long, form any friendships, or draw any attention to herself. All she wants is to be left alone in the hope that she can prevent the events from her past from repeating themselves. It's a mistake that haunts her every day, when the idyllic life she once had was stolen from her. Vesper is a Harbinger, an Oddity that can tether herself to people's fears and make them a reality. The only problem is that she has no idea how to control the power that's inside her, and no longer has anyone who can teach her the things she needs to know. Growing up she lived in complete ignorance of the supernatural world filled with Rippers, Ledgers, Dusters, Shaders, and many more uniquely gifted people. She was unaware of the threat of Wardens who police Oddities, and the absolute power that they use that's not necessarily in the best interest of those they govern. We get little flashbacks of what happened after her power manifested, and how that led her to where she is now. I couldn't help but see the irony that her power was drawing out other people's fear, when her own greatest fear was using her power. It's not until the Tournament of the Unraveling that she may have to face her fear in order to win what she most desires. Vesper and Sam meet fairly early on in a nail biting, action packed scene. This is where we first get a sense of what she's capable of, and I...was...riveted. The power she wields is immense, with limitless possibilities, making her one of the most impressive of the Oddities. While she is near the top of the tier, she doesn't fall into the YA cliche of the chosen one, THE most powerful or rare. I found that refreshing for a change. There were a lot of kickass Oddities who presented a formidable challenge for Vesper to go up against. Not only because of their mastery over their powers but also her unwillingness to fight dirty with their darkest fears. She has a tough as nails exterior on the outside, someone who doesn't need help or sympathy, but she's more than the hardened girl she portrays. She can be a softie on the inside, and it puts her somewhat at a disadvantage with the cutthroat competition she enters. She wages a battle with herself over how far she's willing to go, what lines she's willing to cross. I’ve been so afraid of the monster inside I didn’t see the monster I was becoming.Sam becomes her financial backer for the tournament of the Unraveling. Entry for the wildcard is steep at 10K, but their partnership could be mutually beneficial. He gets to rewind his past, she gets to keep the large cash prize. But as she trains with Sam, their bargain is surrounded with deception and betrayal. Because they're both equally desperate to correct things from their past and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The end goal becomes murky the more they get to know one another. Vesper has a huge decision to make and a lot of soul searching to do in order to reach it. One of the best things about the book is Vesper's new group of friends from the Oddities world. They all welcomed her into their ranks with open arms, something she hadn't had in a long time.Slowly she lets them in, and eventually gifts them with her trust. But something even more compelling about their relationship was the fact that they become her opponents in the tournament which makes their friendship a whole lot more complicated. I think I forgot, even in that short amount of time, what it feels like to be with people. Sapphira reminded me, and now Sam feels like he’s snagged on me or something. I’m caught, a little. Stuck here, drawn by the way he looks as broken as I feel.So used to being alone and on defense, she really blossomed and found her strength with them at her back. There are some among the group that have their own secrets, and there are small hints that are dropped throughout, but I was pleasantly taken by surprise when they were revealed. I love when a plot can take me off guard with its twists and The Beckoning Shadow most definitely achieved that. Not only do the Oddities have their secrets, but there is a mystery in Sam's past that Vesper vows to help him solve. In turmoil over her growing feelings for the man who has been nothing but supportive to her, she makes it her mission to bring him the closure and answers he seeks. Not everyone is who or what they seem, and Vesper soon learns that the Wardens are the least of her fears. The devil you know is just as bad as the one you don't. The romance between Vesper and Sam was on the back burner through the story, delightfully slow burn. I absolutely loved Sam's character and his conflicted feelings for her added another layer of depth into the plot. Their romance was complex and progressed naturally in the story, rather than feeling rushed and unrealistic. A lot of fantasies fail to balance the romance and main conflicts appropriately, but I think Katharyn Blair did a fabulous job. I never felt as if any angle of the story was lacking. For a debut book, this was such an impressive offering. We get some amazingly choreographed supernatural action scenes, unpredictable plot twists, and a compulsively readable fantasy story that I raced through despite the considerable page length. It was a huge win for me, and bonus, there is no suspenseful cliffy at the end. I can't recommend this book more for those looking for a new series to get hooked on. You will not be disappointed!!FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I still have goosebumps. Guys, the ending of this book is dynamite!! Can't wait to know what Katharyn has in store for book 2!!! I jumped so fast into the story, I felt everything... it's been a long time since I cried while reading a book. The characters are vibrant, they are so full of life, I cared for them. The writing felt like watching a movie: a fast-paced and action-packed story that led me to the edge of my seat more than once.Many many many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the compli I still have goosebumps. Guys, the ending of this book is dynamite!! Can't wait to know what Katharyn has in store for book 2!!! I jumped so fast into the story, I felt everything... it's been a long time since I cried while reading a book. The characters are vibrant, they are so full of life, I cared for them. The writing felt like watching a movie: a fast-paced and action-packed story that led me to the edge of my seat more than once.Many many many thanks to HarperCollins Canada for the complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
  • Dani - Perspective of a Writer
    January 1, 1970
    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...The BuzzTournament of the Unraveling! Supernatural Fight Club! Now take a look at that cover... look close... You see it right?! The wrapped fist, the broken nose. Yeah! The premise really intrigued me! And the cover is somehow pretty and intriguing (if you look hard enough). I liked how our protagonist looks feminine and fight club at the same time too. I wasn't really a fan of the title, The Beckoning Shadow. I saw in the book where its allude Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...The BuzzTournament of the Unraveling! Supernatural Fight Club! Now take a look at that cover... look close... You see it right?! The wrapped fist, the broken nose. Yeah! The premise really intrigued me! And the cover is somehow pretty and intriguing (if you look hard enough). I liked how our protagonist looks feminine and fight club at the same time too. I wasn't really a fan of the title, The Beckoning Shadow. I saw in the book where its alluded to and eh. I get it but it doesn't do anything for me. Something more like... "The Fight She Can't Lose" or "Learning to Control Fear" both sound much more intriguing to me. The PremiseVesper is homeless and a runaway. But its not what you think! She left a loving family because she can summon one's worst fears. And she can't control it. Better for her to leave rather than to hurt someone she loves. While we've seen powered humans before I loved how the teen runaway problem was incorporated into The Beckoning Shadow in an organic way. And her particular ability as well as several others were quite neat and fascinating to learn about. I can't imagine being able to pull our of someone their darkest fear and make it a reality right there on the spot! But we get a taste of that through Vesper.We come into The Beckoning Shadow right in the middle of the oddity world. These teens aren't the first to have abilities and there used to be a group that monitored them, taking out anyone thought to be dangerous. It takes a little bit to get oriented to what happened when and what that means for Vesper now but once you do, you'll totally be as invested as she is in learning what in the world happened!! And Sam makes it a really happy experience. I appreciated that there is plenty standing in their way, #1 being the tournament, but I enjoyed their interactions.My ExperienceSoooo.... supernatural fight club. Did it work? YES! Once we got to the Tournament of the Unraveling the story really picked up. TBH I didn't really get invested in Vesper until this point. There was a bit too much telling while also trying to be obscure and not say things outright. It was an odd combo. When Sam shows up and chooses a fighter and he picks the rookie loser... I wanted to understand what he saw. I wanted to know how he'd get her to the point where she could win. Especially against a couple of oddities she met in that first 24%.The fights and the training were some of the best parts of The Beckoning Shadow to me. I loved how this crew of amateur fighters closed around Sam, and Vesper too, because he was their friend. I felt like Katharyn Blair must have some kind of experience in a gym of this sort because it was so organic in the story. I enjoyed the different friends and how they contributed to Vesper's training. The Beckoning Shadow kept getting better the more I read! There is a great mix of personal angst, relationship struggles and fight club techniques that I enjoyed every page. I wish the pacing had been a little more even but it's certainly a roller coaster ride of action.Why you may enjoy The Beckoning Shadow too?-Fight Club!I loved the battles so much I wish there had been more. More levels and more struggles to get better. It was a highlight of the book.-The Power of Fear!Really cool ability. I loved it so, so much and wanted to see it in action even more. As she became more confident I really loved how she came into her ability.-The Chronicler!Each ability had a name and I really loved this one. We learn about it, meet one or two and come to understand the power of knowledge.-The Friendships!There are oddities and fighters and they give Vesper a chance to see that she isn't some freak but a real person who can find happiness.-Their History!There is so much history wrapped up in Vesper's past, Sam's past, the past of the oddities and even some of the other oddities pasts! And its all woven together in the present tournament.The Beckoning Shadow sucks us into a world we're familiar with and gives us a new way to explore it... a supernatural fight club! Can you imagine having powers and being able to win a chance to unravel one mistake that totally changed your life?! Yeah... you need to read this book!!⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World BuildingB+ Cover & Title gradeThanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.______________________You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. Read my special perspective under the typewriter on my reviews...Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
    more
  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say that I enjoyed aspects of the book more than the book itself. What I mean? I mean that while the plot maybe nothing completly new or 100% original, as it reminds me a lot of XMen with magic powers, it does have a great character development in which I put most of my attention.I loved how almost all the characters - if not all of them - come from a dark place and are broken somehow. That holds even truer for Vesper, our main character and the voice of the narrative. She holds respon I have to say that I enjoyed aspects of the book more than the book itself. What I mean? I mean that while the plot maybe nothing completly new or 100% original, as it reminds me a lot of XMen with magic powers, it does have a great character development in which I put most of my attention.I loved how almost all the characters - if not all of them - come from a dark place and are broken somehow. That holds even truer for Vesper, our main character and the voice of the narrative. She holds responsible for something that happened on her past, feels like she is a monster, full of darkness and fears her own powers so much that she can't think about controlling them. It takes for her the chance to save someone else, to find more people like her and to have a destination set on her mind to began exploring her powers and learn how to control them. The rest of characters she encounters also have their own share of pain, like Sam, who is looking for a lost girlfriend, or one of the closest she friends she makes, who just wishes she was normal.So, for me, the most important thing about this book was the myriad of characters, and their reasons for being who they are, and the pain and shadows they carry. And how far they all come from the first time we see them on page.The writing quality is pretty solid too, and the author buils a world where people who are "normal" prosecute those who have magic (one of the main points it made me think a lot about mutants), but she owns the world and the way she builds it makes you feel like you already knew about it all, it's so greatly sewn into the story that everything falls into place and you don't feel lost while reading.Maybe the idea is not 100% original, persecuted people who fight in a ring similarly to the Fight Club thing, but the temptation held over their heads is a chance to undo something from their past, but what it lacks for not being 100% original it more than offers in the intellectual part of the book: learning from our mistakes, see what was in our hand to change or not, learn from what happened, letting go and moving on. A lot also on women place in nowadays world, nice lessons on friendships and trust, too. Also, the power of forgiveness and acceptance.
    more
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    I want this book right now
  • rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Ah this book was so good. I read an early draft and it's perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver, Saba Tahir, Victoria Schwab, and The Magicians. The worldbuilding is just so new and different. Looking forward to reading the finished copy in 2019!!
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*The Beckoning Shadow is Katharyn Blair's debut novel. And, even though Goodreads claims this is part of a series, it's not. With the story tied up neatly in one book, readers with series fatigue will be hyped for a one-and-done read. 17-year old Vesper Montgomery has been on the run for 2 years since an incident that happened to her family still weights heavily on everything she does. Since the resurgence of powe *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy*Rating* 3.5-4*Thoughts*The Beckoning Shadow is Katharyn Blair's debut novel. And, even though Goodreads claims this is part of a series, it's not. With the story tied up neatly in one book, readers with series fatigue will be hyped for a one-and-done read. 17-year old Vesper Montgomery has been on the run for 2 years since an incident that happened to her family still weights heavily on everything she does. Since the resurgence of powers in the world, there are those called Oddities. Vesper is one of those Oddities. She can literally summon your worst fears and turn it into reality. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
    more
  • Ellen Gail
    January 1, 1970
    If this cover was a human being, I would totally make out with it.Hopefully it's pretty on the inside too.
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the writing, and the heroine, but there were too many tropes I disliked for me to truly enjoy this book. For one - the hero is completely hung up on his dead girlfriend. This is a COMPLETE NO-NO for me in any romance whatsoever. This discovery utterly ruined any interest I could have had in their romance. He thinks about her to the extent that a vision of the girl shows up while he's kissing the heroine, because he still thinks about his ex. Goodbye. Also, there were moments of sheer rid I liked the writing, and the heroine, but there were too many tropes I disliked for me to truly enjoy this book. For one - the hero is completely hung up on his dead girlfriend. This is a COMPLETE NO-NO for me in any romance whatsoever. This discovery utterly ruined any interest I could have had in their romance. He thinks about her to the extent that a vision of the girl shows up while he's kissing the heroine, because he still thinks about his ex. Goodbye. Also, there were moments of sheer ridiculousness. The heroine has been on the run from her family for two years, giving them immense pain. And then - when they finally get her again - they're perfectly willing to have her live with a random boy? She, the selfish cow, would rather live with Sam than the family she 'loves' and has tormented by disappearing from for two years? Yeah, no. The worldbuilding also felt a little flat. It was strangely hard to visualise certain things from the author's description. This book was supposed to be a mash-up of Fight Club and The Young Elites, which I guess it vaguely was, but without the compelling writing of either book.That's not really my primary complaint though; I'm just annoyed over the ruination of the romance.[Blog] - [Bookstagram]
    more
  • Anna Bright
    January 1, 1970
    so so good. i literally got chills during the "these are the stakes!!!!" scene.
  • Troy_Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I just won the Goodreads giveaway for this book! This is one of the books that I actually wanted to win, too! So excited to read this!
  • Sarah Ansari
    January 1, 1970
    “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”Vesper Montgomery has run away from her home and her family, because she is a monster, or more specifically, an oddity - a human with magic. Having caused enough damage to the people she’s loved her entire life, she knows she is better off a lone wolf. Her rules are simple - don't trust anyone, don't get too close to anyone, and do not attract the attention of Wardens -- oddities who strive to protect baselines a.k.a humans without magic “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”Vesper Montgomery has run away from her home and her family, because she is a monster, or more specifically, an oddity - a human with magic. Having caused enough damage to the people she’s loved her entire life, she knows she is better off a lone wolf. Her rules are simple - don't trust anyone, don't get too close to anyone, and do not attract the attention of Wardens -- oddities who strive to protect baselines a.k.a humans without magic from any dangerous oddity. And since she’s a Harbinger -- an oddity who can make someone’s worst fear come true -- she is basically number one on their hit list, especially since she, herself has minimum control over her power.When she comes upon the Tournament of the Unraveling, Vesper believes that this is her chance to fix the mistake she made two years ago. What starts off as a fight to redeem herself, slowly turns into figuring out the mysterious death of an Oddity, and also how monstrous one can become to save the ones they love, and if it’ll even be worth it in the end.More than the plot, it's really the character development that makes the book an interesting read. All characters in this book have a painful and heavy past that they are all trying to escape. And it is this pain and grief that binds the characters to one another, allowing readers to see how far they come from the first time we see them…Although the plot isn’t completely new, it still works wonders in captivating a reader's attention - with its solid writing, evolving characters, and hard-core fight scenes - Katharyn Blair has you hooked. A must-read for fans of The Young Elites and Fight Club.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.You guys, this one was good. While I appreciated the fact that this is a fantasy that is a stand-alone (instead of the dreaded trilogy or random duology or quartology . . .) it was one that made me really, really wish for more to the story. If the story was expanded out in to more books, the world building would have been that much better and the back stories of other ch Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this title for review. All opinions are my own.You guys, this one was good. While I appreciated the fact that this is a fantasy that is a stand-alone (instead of the dreaded trilogy or random duology or quartology . . .) it was one that made me really, really wish for more to the story. If the story was expanded out in to more books, the world building would have been that much better and the back stories of other characters could have been more fully fleshed out. But that is really my only complaint: there wasn't enough of this story. The characters were interesting and the narrator was a fantastic anti-hero that you aren't sure if you want to root for because she isn't all sweetness and sugar. The plot line, a group of people who have special powers who are no longer living in secret coming out to the world and running underground fighting rings is super interesting and engaging. The evil character who is intent on taking over the world and having control over everything isn't as cliched as you expect him to be. I would recommend this for readers who enjoyed Lu's The Young Elites & Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. Also, hand it to readers who are interested in trying out fantasy stories but are scared off due to the length and commitment of 6-book series. Definitely for grades 9 and up due to language, violence, and sexual content, plus the age of the characters.
    more
  • InBooksILive Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    ((I was given this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review))Oh I really loved this one!The world building was done so perfectly. I was pulled into this world immediately and fully. The characters were all incredible, all had their own personalities, their own problems, their own parts. I connected with each and every one! Vesper is just straight up a badass. No other word can describe her. I love the character growth she goes through throughout the book and it progressed and grew wel ((I was given this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review))Oh I really loved this one!The world building was done so perfectly. I was pulled into this world immediately and fully. The characters were all incredible, all had their own personalities, their own problems, their own parts. I connected with each and every one! Vesper is just straight up a badass. No other word can describe her. I love the character growth she goes through throughout the book and it progressed and grew well. I really enjoyed how she feels about her magic, and how those feelings change by the ending. I had no "okay I'm bored let's rush this part along" feelings. I was always interested, always enraptured. I just seriously loved this book! I really cannot think of anything bad to say about it? It had surprises I wasnt expecting, love blossomed and forever friendships were made. I really loved the magical abilities too. They were original and well done! I cannot wait for this books release because I will be buying a finished copy!
    more
  • Amanda Jaynes
    January 1, 1970
    This novel has everything- a setting so vivid that you feel like you’re there, page turning plot, and refreshingly funny dialogue. The main character is so rich and layered and the perfect “anti-hero”. The love story is sweet without being syrupy or taking center stage. The twists are extra twisty. Seriously hoping this gets made into a movie because it would be epic.!!
    more
  • Beth Rose
    January 1, 1970
    I'll write a full public review closer to the release date but let me just say this blew me away. I've never read anything quite like it before and I can't wait for everyone else to read it!!Edit 26.05.19: Full Review Pre-Order it here! You've done worse. You'll do worse. I think.  Review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss. I wrote this review on the 11th of November 2018, quite a long time ago. Any events or quotes referenced in this ARC may be revised or removed by the final pub I'll write a full public review closer to the release date but let me just say this blew me away. I've never read anything quite like it before and I can't wait for everyone else to read it!!Edit 26.05.19: Full Review Pre-Order it here! You've done worse. You'll do worse. I think.  Review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss. I wrote this review on the 11th of November 2018, quite a long time ago. Any events or quotes referenced in this ARC may be revised or removed by the final publication.Oddities live among us - a group of beings born with the ability to destroy with a single touch, draw out someone's nightmares, teleport or unravel time itself. Strict laws enforced by the Wardens mean never revealing yourself to a Baseline, and keeping your powers in check. Vesper (yes, Vesper) Montgomery, a teenage Oddity, finds herself on the run after losing control of her abilities. Fearing discovery from the Wardens, Vesper lives on the fringe of society, getting by on the streets and drifting from city to city. That is until she encounters a community of Oddities in San Franciso hoping to compete in the Tournament of the Unwinding; an underground fighting tournament where Oddities can unleash their full potential against one another in the caged ring. The prize? One million dollars. Oh, and the chance to Unwind one event from your past. Now with something (and someone) to fight for, Vesper must learn to harness her powers or else risk losing it all.The Beckoning Shadow was an unexpected surprise! I've never really been a fan of action-heavy reads, and it all sounded a bit too much. Weirdly,  I wasn't too keen on the premise, to begin with. MMA/UFC/Fake-o wrestling have been interests of mine over the years, rubbed off onto me by my overzealous MMA fighting brother. Magic and cage matches should have been a match made in heaven but something about it didn't grab me, and neither did the first few chapters which were heavy with world building and exposition, as Fantasy books tend to be. It wasn't until I was a few chapters in that I really got into it, and when I did, I couldn't put it down.Vesper (again: yes, Vesper*) had a refreshing and humorous inner dialogue that I found annoying to start with. It wasn't until I realised how similar her stream of consciousness ran to my own that I really understood her. After this revelation, I began to enjoy Vesper's voice, bad jokes and all, and enjoyed Vesper as a character. She was a bit of a mess - what magically inclined runaway isn't? - but she has a lot of love and humour in her, as well as some justifiable anger and hurt. Besides the whole magic wielding thing, Vesper, and most of Blair's characters felt so real and were east to love. I have a special love for Anabelle who was such a lovely character and I hope to see more of her in the future.The romance was very sweet, but as with Shade Me** I felt that I had to knock off a star for the relationship once again being between a teenager and a 20-something. This seems to be popular at the moment and I just can't get behind it. Probably something about me being a 20-something myself and working with teenagers. Otherwise, I loved the slow and steady build-up and the compatibility of the characters. They joked and mucked around, hurt and had real discussions about their relationship that I found really refreshing in a YA novel. That isn't to say this doesn't happen, but I felt that Blair did it very well.I haven't read many contemporary fantasy novels recently (or at all this year, apparently) but there really is something enjoyable about the potential for magical throw downs happening just down the block. Some of Blair's world building felt clumsy at times and I just didn't understand some aspects, but Blair has woven together a compelling universe that has a lot of scope for the series, whether it is following Vesper and co. or some new Oddities. Overall The Beckoning Shadow is fun and exciting, with plenty of heart thrown in. Blair has crafted a wonderful debut novel and I'm excited to see where she, and her Oddities, go next.*I recently had a discussion with some of the students in the book club we run at work about terrible character names. While America Singer still tops my charts as an all-time bad character name, Vesper must be up there. I will forgive Blair for it though because she handles it well.** Yes, I'm still bitter about Shade Me but these two books are incomparable. Though I remember thinking as I read The Beckoning Shadow that Vesper was an often tortured and sometimes brutal character done right. 
    more
  • Janet Macreery
    January 1, 1970
    I won an ARC of this book in a Twitter contest.Kathryn Blair creates a world of Oddballs who have bound together to form a community yet still long to be accepted in the greater world. Former cheerleader turned misfit Vesper literally fights for redemption in a world she feels she wronged while struggling to protect her new community from forces set on destroying it. Much like she does to her opponents, Vesper reaches into the reader and pulls out painful memories, awkward self-doubt, secret bet I won an ARC of this book in a Twitter contest.Kathryn Blair creates a world of Oddballs who have bound together to form a community yet still long to be accepted in the greater world. Former cheerleader turned misfit Vesper literally fights for redemption in a world she feels she wronged while struggling to protect her new community from forces set on destroying it. Much like she does to her opponents, Vesper reaches into the reader and pulls out painful memories, awkward self-doubt, secret betrayals and even unmentionable hope. Wrap your knuckles, grab an energy drink and jump into this rousing book.
    more
  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    Before I tell you how I found The Beckoning Shadow, let me first say that I did NOT realise this was not a standalone… It is only a duology, but I wanted to let you all know before you pick it up. Especially because book 2 probably isn’t out until at least next year. I definitely thought it was worth the read!I’m going to be really honest here… I only chose this because I loved the cover. I mean, a badass girl fighter (plus, the colour scheme) says great things about what’s inside the pages, rig Before I tell you how I found The Beckoning Shadow, let me first say that I did NOT realise this was not a standalone… It is only a duology, but I wanted to let you all know before you pick it up. Especially because book 2 probably isn’t out until at least next year. I definitely thought it was worth the read!I’m going to be really honest here… I only chose this because I loved the cover. I mean, a badass girl fighter (plus, the colour scheme) says great things about what’s inside the pages, right? Well, I was pretty spot on! I mean, Supernatural Fight Club, amirite? I received this awhile ago and when I picked it up I had mostly forgotten the synopsis. So, I decided to jump straight in since publication was coming up and I was not disappointed. I devoured it in 2 days, and the only reason it took me that long was because I had to work full days! In a word, unputdownable!I really enjoyed the action and world building in this novel. It was a story set in San Francisco, which made me nostalgic for my college years.. By turns, seedy and classy, we see a multi-faceted city with depth and heart. it flows so well, and we can clearly see Katharyn Blair is a master wordsmith in the way her descriptions tug at heartstrings along the way. We get so much backstory without it being information overload, so that we are able to see a fuller picture of how Vesper arrives at the beginning to this novel. The characters nearly jumped off the page they were so full of life. Vesper (a very distinctive name) has her flaws, but still wants to forge relationships with the people she meets, even when she actively tries to push them away. Sam surprised me in a lot of ways, which I can’t explain without spoilers!! So, enjoy him. And the other Oddities – Sapphira, Aldrick, and the others they meet along the way – are so interesting! I loved this found family! I appreciated the sheer amount of abilities involved in the story. I’m not going to regurgitate the plot here, but suffice it to say I loved it! It was well constructed and unique, if not entirely original. Ultimately, I was hugely satisfied with this story, and would have been happy with the ending had it been a standalone. So, no, there’s no major cliffhangers here, but I imagine we’ll all want to stick around for the resolution!
    more
  • Michelle (Firstbooklove)
    January 1, 1970
    (I received a free Review Copy for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own)Book review: The beckoning shadow (The beckoning shadow #1) by Katharyn Blair (2.5 stars)The beckoning shadow (The beckoning shadow #1) by Katharyn BlairGenre: YA, fantasy, romanceRating: 2.5/5 stars(Synopsis from Goodreads) Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you co (I received a free Review Copy for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own)

Book review: The beckoning shadow (The beckoning shadow #1) by Katharyn Blair (2.5 stars)The beckoning shadow (The beckoning shadow #1) by Katharyn BlairGenre: YA, fantasy, romanceRating: 2.5/5 stars(Synopsis from Goodreads) 
Vesper Montgomery can summon your worst fear and turn it into a reality—but she’s learned the hard way that it’s an addicting and dangerous power. One wrong move and you could hurt someone you love.But when she earns a spot in the Tournament of the Unraveling, where competitors battle it out for a chance to rewrite the past, Vesper finally has a shot to reverse the mistakes that have changed her forever. She turns to Sam Hardy, a former MMA fighter who’s also carrying a tragedy he desperately wants to undo. However, helping heal Sam’s heart will mean breaking her own, and the competition forces her to master her powers—powers she has been terrified of since they destroyed her life.(Review)(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own.)This book gave me The darkest minds plus the Marvel’s Gifted vibes. When I saw the cover, I honestly thought that this book was a contemporary novel until I reread the synopsis.I personally did find the pacing slow, but it had an interesting concept. I did like that most of the characters had tragic stories (like the protagonist Vesper), but I didn’t relate to the characters or find the story compelling. Overall, I found this an okay read, but not very memorable or fantastic.
    more
  • Shelee at Book Reader Chronicles
    January 1, 1970
    **4.5 Stars** The Beckoning Shadow was an intriguing fantasy that sucked me in from the first page. With its character-focused storyline, Blair crafted a hero's journey with a paranormal flair that, when paired with the entire cast of characters and their elements, held me under its spell until I finished. And somehow, through all of that, it held its structure and pace and kept me coming back for more.Though the worldbuilding wasn't the greatest, what made up for it in spades was Vesper's indi **4.5 Stars** The Beckoning Shadow was an intriguing fantasy that sucked me in from the first page. With its character-focused storyline, Blair crafted a hero's journey with a paranormal flair that, when paired with the entire cast of characters and their elements, held me under its spell until I finished. And somehow, through all of that, it held its structure and pace and kept me coming back for more.Though the worldbuilding wasn't the greatest, what made up for it in spades was Vesper's individual transformation within the story. I loved her tenacity and how she felt down-to-earth in a world that held pieces that weren't natural. She kept her personality among her trials and she was all too easy to root for; the self-sacrificing with the wounded soul who still managed to maintain her drive. But of course she was flawed, too, and I could forgive the worldbuilding simply because of how well she was crafted. And the subtle sweetness to hers and Sam's connection was wonderfully done—a true feat to pair it so well where it never negated her own journey. Sam's presence was essential and I adored everything he brought to the table.I cannot wait to continue in this world and see where else Blair plans to take these characters—both main and secondary. The storytelling was impressive and, as such, I know there's so much more goodness to come. I cannot wait to read more.**Received an early copy via Edelweiss; this had no bearing on my opinions**
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fun one! And it totally wasn't on my radar, until I saw someone talking about it on Twitter. I picked it up on a whim and am so glad - it broke my reading slump!Strong writing and great themes. I also really liked the character development. The plot wasn't as strong as it could have been, though, and the worldbuilding feels very X-men, which is fine, but it didn't quite satisfy for me. Overall, a solid debut, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for Katharyn Blair's future books!
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    It is selfish, really, isn’t it? You are so afraid of the monster you are inside and so desperate to fix it that you will do anything to do so. The problem is, you stop paying attention to those you have harmed.Full review at www.novellives.com Disclaimer: I no longer use the star system
    more
  • Sarah ➖Goddess of Mischief➖
    January 1, 1970
    "A power she can't control. A past she can't escape. A fight she can't lose." Not gonna lie, that sounds like 100% of female awesome.
  • Kibby
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this one!! Full review to come in the next week
  • Dania
    January 1, 1970
    This book took me by surprise. I didn’t know what to expect when I picked it up, but once I did, I could not put it down. One of my favorite years of 2019.
  • Ahana M Rao (Heart’s Content)
    January 1, 1970
    *Received an ARC via Edelweiss from publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
  • Namrata Telugu
    January 1, 1970
    when it said for fans of Cassie Clare, I'm like, YES.
  • Madison Lessard
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to win a Twitter giveaway of this physical ARC from Lili at Utopia State of Mind! You can read my full review of The Beckoning Shadow on my blog here.This is a fast-paced, gritty, and highly entertaining read, with dire stakes, complex character dynamics, and a main character who, quite simply, kicks ass. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one until the very end, and it’s full of twists and turns that make for a very satisfying amount of unpredictability.Everybody I was lucky enough to win a Twitter giveaway of this physical ARC from Lili at Utopia State of Mind! You can read my full review of The Beckoning Shadow on my blog here.This is a fast-paced, gritty, and highly entertaining read, with dire stakes, complex character dynamics, and a main character who, quite simply, kicks ass. It keeps you on the edge of your seat from page one until the very end, and it’s full of twists and turns that make for a very satisfying amount of unpredictability.Everybody has heard stories about Oddities, humans with magic powers, and Vesper Montgomery grew up listening to those tales— until she realized she was one. Some Oddities have practical or relatively harmless powers, but Vesper’s power makes her feel more like a monster than anything else— she’s a Harbinger, which means she can summon and materialize other people’s fears. She’s running from a devastating mistake her power forced her to make; it lost her her family and her old, normal life.At the start of the story, Vesper finds herself stranded in San Francisco, a city buzzing with Oddity activity, where a tournament of magical one-on-one matches could win her the chance to rewrite her past. She’ll stop at nothing to win— but she needs training if she’s going to learn to control her dangerous power. That’s where Sam comes in— a Baseline (magic-lacking) teen familiar with the Oddity world, who agrees to sponsor Vesper and train her in the mixed martial arts.Like I said… kicking ass.Everything about this story is super gritty— and I’d attribute at least part of that to the very well-done setting. I get so many urban fantasy vibes from this atmosphere, and in a market where so much fantasy takes place in worlds completely removed from our own, it’s really to see a fantasy that’s just set in regular modern-day San Francisco. The tournament takes place in a variety of locations, some of which are literally underground— and from the fighting ring to the training gym, the whole vibe is spot-on. I saw The Beckoning Shadow blurbed as The Magicians meets Fight Club, and after reading it, I can safely say that those are some of the most accurate comps I’ve seen in a long while.The other half of that gritty feeling comes from Vesper herself, who sees some fantastic development and growth throughout the story. I love what Blair has done through Vesper— she takes a quite average and “stereotypical” portrait of a teenage girl in Vesper’s past, puts her through a series of trials, and demonstrates the strength and potential that lies within.Vesper is surrounded by a great cast of characters— some Oddity and some Baseline, the latter category including her trainer, Sam, whom she plans to betray. I love the moral gray area in this novel, especially in Vesper herself; I’ve grown a little tired of main characters who can do no wrong. Also, Vesper and Sam… that dynamic gets interesting. And that’s all I’ll disclose about that. :)I’m a writer, literary intern, college student, and amateur podcaster. Here’s where else to find me.
    more
Write a review