Thursday, October 4, 2012

Guest Reviewer Week! @Aprilelayne1 reviews Shadow's Edge by @JTGeissinger

Shadow’s Edge (A Night Prowler Novel #1) 
by J.T. Geissinger
4/5 Stars

Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…
(Amazon description)

I’ll be honest, finding Shadow’s Edge was a random find, a needle-in-a-haystack kind of find.  I had just finished my favorite author and was craving the same genre but new and fresh, so off to search.  You know, the wannabe traveler who ultimately just closes their eyes and points to a map to decide their next destination? That is exactly what I did.

I loaded up the store on my Kindle, selected 'thrillers' for my genre and randomly pressed ‘next page’ several times before looking at the page.  The first book listed on the page was Shadow’s Edge (A Night Prowler Novel #1). I read the synopsis to find that it met my loose criteria I had set for myself: a level of supernatural, NOT young adult, but NOT smut either.  Bonus was that it was just recently published within the last month (June 2012). Luckily I was in a generous mood and grabbed it at its online price of $3.99 rather than skimming around for something cheaper. (Not discrediting my typical authors, but I purposely set out to find a new author and discover something….newer or fledgling authors tend to have the cheaper price points to lure us in.)

Published by Montlake Romance, the book is rather hard to define.  In all fairness, I hadn’t paid attention to the publisher, if I had, I likely would not have purchased the book.  I wasn’t looking for smut that I typically assume with Romance publishers.  So I’m grateful that I didn’t judge the book on its publisher. There is a new cliché…may have to remember that one!

Some have considered urban fantasy, while others call it young adult, but all agree that the romance is minimal. It is in there, but it is not a focus of this specific installment.  What romance is in there I definitely do not consider young adult.

J.T. Geissinger has some work to do on the characters themselves, but has an amazing way to describe the scene and environment.  There are hints of so much character and depth to the players, and perhaps she intended to leave it dry. Almost like an introduction but not sharing too much since we barely know each other.  I have faith that the next installment will let me in more to see more depth. 

I first expected the novel to focus on the Ikati and Leander as that was what drew me into the story, so I was caught off guard that we are introduced to Jenna.  The beginning was bland and slightly choppy with transition between the world of the Ikati and Jenna, but Geissinger quickly finds her groove when she gets into the details she loves about Jenna’s character and the environment.  The first third of the book was a struggle to keep my interest, but there was a switch or a moment that I found and could not put the book down.  The later two-thirds of the book raced by and I was suddenly down to the last two percent of the book.  The final pages were predictable in regards to the smidge of romance that is in there, but it did leave me interested in what is coming next in the world Geissinger has created for Jenna and the Itaki.

Who would join me in this new world and author? Anyone who’s interested in adult type fantasy with vividly detailed environments but characters slightly short on depth…it works.  I think the first installment is a great start, and hopefully more depth can be exposed in the next chapter of the Itaki world.  But if you are looking for adult romance, I think it can be found elsewhere in a normal world.

I think the Itaki world has the ambition to be a lush forest ripe with multiple stories and characters, but right now I have to hack my way in past the first set of trees to see there is another layer or if it is just a picture of a forest. 

About the Reviewer

Aprilelayne, yes all one word, touts herself as a 'Jane of all trades.' An Army brat who ended up in Austin, Texas, she has two full-time jobs --motherhood and work-work (aka: the paying gig). She spends her time trying to master any one of her many hobbies, but really loves to read anything off the beaten path--especially the dark and twisty ones.  On any given day you'll likely find her in the kitchen with a toddler hanging onto a leg  sneaking peeks at a book while stirring something on the stove. You can currently find Aprilelayne on GoodReads and twitter @Aprilelayne1. 


  1. Great review Aprilelayne!!

    Fantasy isn't typically my "thing" but I'm definitely interested in reading this one now - to see if I agree with you!

  2. Thanks Jesi for having me!!

    And Jac, I hope you find time to try it!! Maybe one day I will read a sappy happy romance book if you read a paranormal one :)