Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Blog Tour: The Shadow Wars by Rod Rees

Series: The Demi-Monde #2
Publisher: William Morrow
Date: February 19, 2013
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Blog Tours
Read: for review (disclaimer: My copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)
Pages: 432
Reading time: three days

From GoodReads: Norma Williams knows she was a fool to be lured into the virtual nightmare that is the Demi-Monde. When the agent sent in the game to save her goes rogue and a long forgotten evil is awoken, it falls to Norma to lead the resistance. Lost, without a plan, and with the army of the ForthRight marching ever closer, she must come to terms with terrible new responsibilities and with the knowledge that those she thought were her friends are now her enemies. To triumph in this surreal cyber-world she must be more than she ever believed she could be . . . or perish.

My review: I greatly enjoyed the first book in this series, but The Shadow Wars proved to be a disappointing follow-up. For quite a bit of the novel, the plot felt just weird. It didn't seem to fit with the sci-fi alternate world of the first book, becoming much more fantastical and esoteric. There's suddenly all these connections to the powers of goddesses and demons and magic, which doesn't seem entirely realistic given the nature of the world as set up in The Demi-Monde: Winter. It took me a while to be able to accommodate the shift in characters and plot into my view of the novel's setting.

The fantastic world-building continues, however. The reader is introduced to previously unexplored parts of the Demi-Monde and its historical Dupes. The plot thickens as the political machinations of the world's leaders are gradually unearthed. For the most part, there's still tons of exciting action, but it became a bit too much at times. This second installment definitely had more of a shoot-'em-up feel than the complexly developed first novel. The seemingly constant fights made this chunkster of a book quickly repetitive and tiring despite the fascinating concepts it carries over from the first novel of the series.

Note: The Shadow Wars was first published in the UK under the title The Demi-Monde: Spring (January 2011).

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