Evershade by Michelle Areaux

Rating: 0 out of 5.

Pages: 209

Series: The Shifter Chronicles, Page 1

Genres: Fantasy; Paranormal; Young Adult; Romance; Werewolves

Publication date: March 23, 2018

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It only took one moment to change my life forever.

After being shipped off to spend my entire summer with my great aunt, I am finally returning to my small, whimsical hometown of Shady Oaks. I’ve missed my best friend Maddox like crazy and have dreamed of having my normal life back. Only, my return wasn’t as welcome as I had expected–or normal.

Everyone is acting weird around me and I can’t help but feel like everything is changing. Of course, I am frustrated and ready to snap. Well, that is until I see him.

Asher. The beautiful, dark-haired boy with almost supernatural like qualities that are drawing me in against my own will. No matter how hard we try to fight it, there is this uncanny connection between us. I finally feel like I am getting my life back under control, and then disaster strikes. When a wolf threatens to attack us, I discover everything I have ever known to be true, has been nothing but lies and magical secrets.

Now, finding myself in the middle of an ages-old war between shifters and hunters, I quickly learn someone wants me dead, and the closer we get to saving our kind, the more destruction hits.

Who will emerge victorious in the battle?

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All of my life I’d dreamed of escaping the dullness that was Shady Oaks. At sixteen-years-old, I aspired to travel the world, meet strangers, and seek out the glorious adventures depicted on postcards and in the movies. Instead, my parents had exiled me to my great aunt’s house to spend my long and hot summer vacation. There had been no warning or explanation as to why I’d been forced to spend my summer hanging out with a seventy-year-old widow instead of going to pool parties and getting into trouble with my friends.

Chapter One

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This is going to be a shorter than usual post for one reason and one reason alone: this is the first time in a long time I’ve DNF’d a book.

Even if a book isn’t the best thing in the world, I can usually see it through to the end. However, this story (or at least the eBook version I attempted to read) was riddled with spelling, spacing, and grammatical errors. I’m not saying I’m perfect and I’ve never made these kinds of mistakes myself. But I am saying that this story was so riddled with them I could not find it in me to get through the story.

Which is a shame because I was really looking forward to the story when I started it. The premise is along the lines of stories I’ve loved before. And who doesn’t enjoy a coming of age/coming into your powers kind of story?

This story truly felt like a rough draft. This is the first book in a long time that I’ve found myself DNFing. Yet I did make an attempt to read the book so I felt it deserves to be mentioned. I got to about the 40% mark before giving up. Not every book can be a personal winner, and this just didn’t happen to be a good read for me.

I was really excited by the premise of this story (my inner teenager still has a thing for coming of age shapeshifter stories) but the writing was too hard for me to get through. I was interested to see how Areaux was going to tackle the shapeshifting mythos, to see what twists she would put into her story. But, again, the spelling mistakes and random gaps in the writing were just too much for me to power through.

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*Spoilers ahead*

There isn’t much I want to spoil about this story, but there are a few notes that I made that I want to talk about before giving up on this read completely. I guess I just want to show the decline from enthusiasm to sadness that I underwent while reading this.

I love prologues like this: ones that hint at what the story has to offer, of where it’s going to go. No direct passages, no idea how it gets there, but a taste of what is to come. (notes on the prologue)

As you can tell, I was thrilled about this story from the beginning. This premise is what I love reading about, werewolves being one of my favourite supernatural races of all times. And the prologue made this story seem so promising! Bringing up the idea of the main character dying – of facing the threat of harm and death for the first time in her life – without giving away how the story was going to get there was a fantastic way to start the story.

I finished the school day without any more interruptions. It went as smoothly as could be expected. The rest of the evening went just as well. I went to practice and then worked a few hours at the coffee shop. Maddox came in and talked to me while I helped close the shop.

Chapter Four

This feels like a filler paragraph. It didn’t need to be in here – time jumps are perfectly acceptable in stories. A double space or some sort of indication of a break in the scene would work better imo.

This is the point in the story where I started to lose hope. While there had been some punctuation and spacing errors up to this point, I hadn’t started marking them down yet. Instead, it was paragraphs like this which seem to make the story drag without adding to the plot in any significant way. That isn’t to say that filler has no place in the story. When filler is done well, it’s an enjoyable experience. But with the above paragraph, I felt like I was experiencing the writer giving notes to herself on what scene was going to be added at a later date. It’s information that didn’t help the story or give the reader anything, and I couldn’t help but question its place in the novel.

We talked and laughed together, and I was really enjoying my night out.

Chapter Four

I feel as if a lot of these sentences and paragraphs are just filler. They don’t help the story at all.

Once again, this felt like a placeholder sentence or filler because the author wasn’t sure where to take the story. For a sentence talking about a teen party, it says nothing of note. It wouldn’t have made any change if it was removed from the story.

“I know. You have my word: no more fighting,” Asher said again. “Maddox can be a jerk. He’s just mad right now. He’ll get over it in a while,” I said.

“Well… his loss.” Asher smiled again.

“Yep… so, want to go to a baseball game tomorrow?” I asked, with a wink.

The crack of the heavy ball against the metal bat rang through the stands as the crowd erupted into cheers. Our baseball team was leading by four runs, three of which Maddox had, of course, scored for his tea,. He was showing off, flirting with the girls in the stands. I gritted my teeth and focused my attention back to Asher.

Chapter Six

Should be a more definite break in scene.

The coach yelled at Maddox to get back onto the field. After making

sure, I was okay one last time, he ran back to the team.

Chapter Six

Spacing?

Believe it or not, that’s the spacing that the story had going for it. Either there were strange breaks in the middle of sentences, or no breaks at all between scenes. It certainly got hard to try and figure out the flow of the story – which is probably the biggest reason I didn’t continue on with the story. Every time a spacing issue like these popped up, I was pulled out of the world and it got harder each time to try and get back into the flow of things.

“Well, I just want to talk to you about” before he could finish talking, there was a knock at my screen door.

Chapter Seven

Weird sentence structure. This story feels like a first draft – little to no editing, random thoughts half finished, etc.

I wish I could say that it was at this moment I gave up on the story, that I stopped torturing my brain by trying to make sense of what I was reading. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I continued to read the story, even though it became more and more riddled with inconsistencies and spacing issues that annoyed me.

While I could continue to pull out quotes that confused me – like how Elle and Asher kept going from holding hands, to throwing their arms around each other, to mysteriously holding hands again – there’s one last scene I’ll bring up here.

In the ninth chapter of this novel, there’s a scene where Elle finally learns the truth about her past. I’ll admit, I read this scene over three times trying to figure out what was going on, where people were in the scene, and who knew what. I wasn’t sure when Asher left the room, what he’d heard and learned, how Elle’s family was able to keep him away after he had to carry her home.

This scene has incredibly confusing sentences like “Not all shifters have shifters-that’s one of the reasons we sent you away” and “Asher and his family help those like us“. The first sentence is Elle’s parents trying to explain to her that shifter offspring don’t always inherit their abilities, but it comes across as a bit of a nonsense sentence to me. And talking about Asher and his family helping out? Then why isn’t he allowed to know anything that’s going on here?

All in all, this story felt incomplete and fragmented. I have no issues reading an author’s work in progress, but that’s not what this story had promised to be. The premise might have drawn me in originally, but the story itself could not get me to stay.

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