I think I am still processing everything that happened in this book but I think I'm feeling just mediocre about it. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't the most amazing book I've ever read. I definitely liked the general idea of it, but, at the end of the day, I'm not sure I loved the execution.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Shadow Run by AdriAnne Strickland and Michael Miller.

The story follows Nev, a prince, and heir to one of the most powerful families in the universe and Qole, one of the best young pilots who captains her own Shadow fishing ship. Nev is on a mission to bring Qole back to his home planet where they can do tests and learn how to use Shadow as a safe energy source, with Qole being one of those with a generations old Shadow affinity. The two travel the galaxy with Qole's crew and face enemies both in space and on Nev's planet.

I think my core issue with this book was that I don't really get the importance of the whole Shadow thing. Or really how it works. I know that it's super powerful and gives off radiation-like poisoning, but I don't really get why it is needed over other energy sources or why Qole's family is able to harness the power but also still remain susceptible to the madness that Shadow poisoning brings. Without fully understanding this issue, I think the rest of the book just felt off for me. I couldn't really concentrate on what was happening because I had a hard time figuring out, in the grand scheme of things, why something was happening.

I liked Qole and Nev's characters well enough. I don't think they stood out particularly against similar ones I've read but I didn't hate them. I liked the rest of the crew on the ship as well, they had a very rag-tag team family vibe going on that I appreciated and always love to see.

I would call the genre of this book like a cross between a sci-fi and a fantasy. There were definitely some fantastical elements but I also think that with the space travel and planets and stuff this one is firmly rooted in sci-fi. That being said, I think that the authors straddled the line a bit too much at times and seemed to forget what was happening. We went from the first half of the book being very much about space to the second half about royals and society.

While I did have some issues with this book, there were still many parts that I really enjoyed. I liked how the authors didn't make Qole and Nev fall in love instantly (this isn't really a spoiler - c'mon, you know that it's going to happen). They had a very slow building relationship and it didn't take over the main focus of the book.

This is also a very diverse book, looking at people of colour and other races, as well as having a gender-fluid side character. There is a little bit of dialogue about race and discrimination in the book, as well as a look at a future where something like discrimination because of the colour of your skin is unheard of. I'm not super familiar with gender-fluidity, so I can't speak to how accurate a portrayal this was, but I can tell you that it was there, something I don't think I have ever read about before.

Overall, I didn't love this book but I liked it well enough that I would probably pick up the next book.