I’m very pleased to review Pursuit of Shadows, Book 2 of the Keeper Chronicles, by J.A. Andrews.
Earlier this year, I discovered Ms. Andrews’s work through her debut novel, A Threat of Shadows. At the time, I was reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and struggling to get into it.
Don’t get me wrong Sanderson fans, Mistborn is creative and unique, but the long chapters and the slow pace just made it a chore for me.
When I started A Threat of Shadows, I immediately fell in love with the book and read through it faster than I’d previously read a book in months. I’ve already reviewed this book on my blog and even included in my list of top reads for 2018.
Review of Pursuit of Shadows
I will start off by saying that I was, at first (and that’s a big at first), a little disappointed to learn Pursuit of Shadows isn’t an immediate sequel to A Threat of Shadows, but rather an almost parallel and stand alone tale for the majority of the book.
Had I bothered to read the book’s description on Goodreads before beginning, I would have known this and saved myself a small let down. That being said, this book is no less fantastic than the first one and I highly recommend it.
Pursuit of Shadows follows a different Keeper, Will, who was sent to the Sweep to investigate rumors of a growing army planning on attacking the Queensland.
We actually aren’t told what happened during those investigations aside from a few comments from Will, so this book does actually take place after the events of A Threat of Shadows.
But since Will is hundreds of miles away from our heroes from A Threat of Shadows we don’t see them in the earlier parts of the story. I am pleased to say (though it might be considered a minor spoiler) that Alaric, Douglon, and crew, do show up for the latter portion of the story.
That being said, this story is distinctly Will’s with a new array of characters, a new setting, and new enemies. Thankfully, it does tie into the overall conflict started in A Threat of Shadows, mainly Mallon the Rivor and his desire to destroy Queensland.
I’m going to assume if you’re reading a review of Book 2, that you’ve read Book 1. Thus it is no surprise that Mallon is dead. But it seems there are others on the Sweep who share his murderous feelings and will continue to carry on what he started.
Pursuit of Shadows begins with a young Will to give us the crucial background that is necessary for understanding the emotions and motivations of our key characters in this book.
It is slightly confusing trying to understand what is happening and why, but the story makes itself apparent the further you go along.
Will considers himself to be the weakest and most insignificant of Keepers. He’s not that great with magic and he can’t read ancient runes as well the others. But one thing Will has going for him is that he knows how to read people.
And this comes out in the story in a big way.
Then there’s Sora.
I love Sora.
She starts as a vague and mysterious character and over the course of the book begins to unveil who she is. With each little peek into her life I loved her more and more.
She’s definitely my favorite character in this book.
Those looking for romance in their books won’t find much of it in Pursuit of Shadows, but the thread that does exist revolves around Sora.
Even then, there’s not much there, but there is potential. Oh the potential. I eagerly await Book 3 in hopes to see some more of Sora.
We have an array of other characters like Rass, Killien, and Hal. I don’t have much to say about these characters that wouldn’t spoil the story, but each and every character is crafted with care and are full of life, quirks, and intriguing backstories.
The story revolves around the opener I mentioned earlier. The short of it is that Will’s sister, Ilsa, was kidnapped as a child. Will was 11, but she was only 2 years old, a fact I somehow missed that caused me to be quite confused until about 50% of the way into the story.
But the book is about Will’s journey to find her and the dark demons he wrestles with between his desire for revenge and the high morals of being Keeper.
There were quite a few twists along the way. Some I saw coming, and others that were completely surprising. Nothing rocked my world or blew my mind, but they were still pleasant none the less.
However the big draw for the plot is the way that Ms. Andrews continually puts the conclusion of Will’s quest within sight, but also just beyond reach many times over. Pursuit of Shadows gives the reader a thrilling ride page after page.
When I read A Threat of Shadows back in January, I had been knee deep slogging through Mistborn.
Last week, I found myself on a long plane from San Diego to England. I had just recently found my paperback copy of Mistborn, still unfinished. I took it with me on the plane, opened it up, read a chapter, and put it down again.
Then I started Pursuit of Shadows, and I proceeded to read it from cover to cover without so much as a breath for air. It’s a wonderfully engaging story about love, friendship, and self-worth that I will be recommending for years to come.
Meanwhile, Mistborn still sits unfinished and likely will be for quite some time.
Once again, Ms. Andrews, you are better than Sanderson. And I believe you deserve all the acclaim that he receives and more, many times over.
Looking for more reviews? You might also like my review of Omens of Fury by Sean Hinn.