Thursday, 6 February 2014

ARC Review: Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland

promise_of_shadows.jpgPromise of Shadows

Author: Justina Ireland
Series: -
Pages: 371
Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
Release date: 11th March 2014
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Synopsis. (Goodreads)

Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.

But how is she supposed to save everyone when she can’t even save herself?

Review: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

Promise of Shadows is a book I was quite excited about reading, I have never read about Harpies before and the premise seemed quite unique but I was left underwhelmed by this one unfortunately.

At the beginning of the book we meet Zephyr Mourning who has been stripped of her wings and sent to Tartarus - the Underworld. She is now serving a life sentence for using a forbidden dark power and killing a God. Along with her closest friend Cass she is rescued by Blue and her childhood friend Tallon and taken to the mortal realm.

As the story progresses, we find out Zephyr may be the missing Nyx and prophesied to change the power balance, her sole purpose is to kill Hera to make things right. Not a lot happens for a majority of the book unfortunately and what was going on left me confused, the action was limited and the pacing was slow as I waited for things to get interesting – which they did towards the end but it was very slow to build.

The MC fell flat for me; she lacked personality and relied too much on others to get her out of tricky situations which just led to unnecessary trouble. I also couldn’t believe that someone with the abilities of a goddess constantly found herself caught in a bind despite holding an amazingly strong power.

I love mythology in books but the terminology in this one I found was lacking – I am still a tad clueless about what an AEthereal and Exalted are. The explanations that were needed I thought were missing.

The concept was wonderful but I feel this book needed more world-building and character development. The secondary characters interested me more than the MC’s, Cass was intriguing and Blue bought a bit of humour to the story, Tallon I just found to be arrogant and the romance wasn’t believable at all. There were a lot of YA clich├ęs that weren’t realistic.

Overall, Promise of Shadows had a lot of potential but regrettably left me feeling underwhelmed.

Thank-you kindly to Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this title.


  1. with a name like that it will be hard to feel happy. right?

  2. That is one thing that will make a book a miss for me as well. Shaky World building and weak MCs. Thanks for the honest review, I am going to pass on this one.

    1. My opinion definitely would have changed with a stronger MC and world-building because the concept is great.

  3. So sorry this fell flat for you both with the protagonist and world-building. The concept sounded interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Sharon :)

    1. Thanks Kimba, the premise was unique but it was missing that wow factor.

  4. LOVE the cover! I'm not a fan of mythology myself, but it's too bad it was such a disappointing read for you. Hopefully the next book you read is extra awesome =)

  5. I have this coming up for review and I'm not looking forward to it all, Sharon. The main character sounds absolutely terrible. It's such a shame because the idea is so unique.
    Lovely honest review, Sharon.

    1. Hopefully you enjoy this one more than I did Nick, I can't wait to hear your thoughts :)

  6. Thanks for the honest review. I don't think I will be picking this one up, though I did enjoy one of the other books I've read by this author.


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