Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be producing a book review for a book that had recently managed to burst my brain with hot glue and made me never trust an author ever again (Just Kidding) and that book is called ‘Lady Of The Shades’ By Darren Shan.
Lady Of The Shades is an adult horror story woven with the essences of a thriller novel that follows a writer named Edward Sievieking who travelled to London to get inspiration from the said-to-be haunted places for his next novel but instead, he was driven into the crazy world of lies and manipulation.
So, without further ado, let us get into the book review!
- All thoughts and opinions are on my own and,
- The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!
“I know that no matter how lonely I get, I’ll never be truly alone again. Our loved ones don’t leave us. They just move out of sight for a while, and wait…in the shades.”- Darren Shan, Lady Of The Shades.
Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he’s haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past.
What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn’t bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London’s most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both.
Ensnared in an illicit affair that can only be conducted in the shadows, Ed’s world is turned upside down as a series of shattering revelations blurs the line between what’s real and what’s not…
My thoughts: Introduction
Let us commence on this review by conversing on the fact that this book is extremely underrated and underappreciated. Honestly, this is a book that deserves many readers because of the amount of effort and work put into it. Everything from the storytelling to the writing to the structure of the characters stood out among the pile of the books that are in the similar genre and I will be ticking off the list today on why you should read this wondrous novel.
The ambience around this novel had the azure of suspense, excitement and most of all, goosebumps plummeting down on your skin. My reading experience for this novel was enhanced by these determinants and it will give you all an assistance on interpreting the novel and concede its readers to be addicted to it until the very end of the novel. However, the first 30 pages or so had a dearth of atmosphere but from there on, it swells up and steers the ambience into your eyes.
The pacing for this novel which we will be talking about next had a quintessential balance between the segments of the story where the author felt should take it slow and other parts where the author took the story in a rollercoaster ride. This book took me two days to finish due to how addicted I was to the story and how fast the pages and words flew passed my eyes and brains. Genuinely, I wonder how my brain cells were able to take in the information but either way, it was a pleasant ride to be in.
Diving further into the review, I would like to discourse on the world building that this book had bestowed upon itself. The world, like what the synopsis of the blockbuster had stated, was set in London and there were not any real ‘world-building’ needed as it was set in our world, however, the description of the streets and the pavements were described marvellously, it felt as though I was a visitor of London, pondering on its streets and looking for direction from locals. Therefore, I thoroughly enjoyed how the author set up and described its location and surrounding.
Now, we will be counterbalancing on the plot, the plot twists and the plot holes of the novel. The plot centres around a writer who has disembarked on a trip to London to acquire ideas from the surrounding to receive new information that would be useful for his upcoming novel. However, as time passes by, he fell in love with a woman named ‘Daleena’ and slowly but surely, he uncovers the truth beneath her and understands that she has a sort of motivation getting close to him.
Even that mini description of the book makes me wary of delivering the foremost plot and its plot twists away. So, I have decided to stop describing and move on with the segment where I confer on the plot twists.
The plot twists which were the most consequential strength of the novel, mess with your brain until you challenge yourself on which is valid and which is altered. The complexity of the well-crafted plot twists was astutely managed and they were strung together and tied to a knot in the end. It was pretty bizarre how they all tied up perfectly because there were so many plot twists and it launches readers off their tracks and oftentimes when I thought I had the flimsiest idea of what was going on and Darren accomplished to twist the story around again. The writer contrived to keep track of all the twists and turns he had inscribed and therefore, we shall applause Darren for such crazy twists.
Before we reach the final paragraph of this section, I would like to discuss the relationships factor of this novel. Ed and Daleena affection for each other was too much of an insta-love for me considering the fact that the author described the main character as secretive and ‘keep-to-himself’ type of person. However, I enjoyed the friendship between Ed and Joe (not going to spoil but something definitely happen here) and thought that Joe was a good friend for Ed’s mental health. I, for once, loved the bad blood between Ed and Dash, it definitely was entertaining to see the sub-plot driving the story forward and provided such a significant amount of work for the primary plot. Therefore, I enjoyed the relationship factor of the novel.
Finally, I will be giving out some iconic quotes that I found in the novel that are instantly my favourite as my eyes landed on them:
“John Nilson dos Linos was brushing dandruff from his hair when he was executed.”– Darren Shan, Lady Of The Shades.
“I’ve been grinding away on the plot of the book, trying to figure out why my lead character was killed. It can’t be random. The story is crying out for a reason that will drive the narrative forward, but I can’t decide what it should be.”– Darren Shan, Lady Of The Shades.
Writing: Middle Section Of The Review
Just a side note, I would not recommend people who are under the age of 15 to read this novel as it contained a plethora of vulgar language and plenty of ‘scenes’ that were unpleasant to the children poor eyes. So, do keep that in mind if you are picking this novel up.
The style of writing for this novel was lyrical, easy to read and sometimes, messy. It was lyrical and easy-to-read because of the way it was written. I should now present to you a snippet of the passages from the novel to allow you all to view on the wondrous writing style:
‘Oh stop.’ I grimace, and lay my free hands over hers. ‘How’d you like to become my agent?’
‘What’s the starting salary?’
‘I’ll take it.’- Lady Of The Shades, Darren Shan.
This conversation made me laugh out loud and it was such a good time between the characters and the interaction was marvellous before everything began to fall between them, starting from the trust factor to the relationship factor.
‘Simon Dale?’ I gasped.
‘Wait,’ Andeanna interrupts. ‘The guy who killed your friend in the army?’
‘What the hell was he doing there?’- Lady Of The Shades, Darren Shan.
This was amusing as well but the tone of the novel had eclipsed over here. The story went from all sunbeams to a cryptic and dreary day in London. They were conversing on their past and the number of deaths that the characters were responsible for and how in the world they would be able to live and cope with it and what would their future hold for them?
However, the writing style was a little all over the place due to the phonetics used. Sometimes, I had to grasp what the author was trying to shed light on but other than that, I thought it was a very well-written novel.
Finally, I would love to discuss the ending of the novel. I did not like the epilogue of this novel because it ended on a note that does not make sense and it almost ruined the story for me but I thought 95% of the novel was gorgeous and the last 5% messed it up for me. Therefore, I am taking 10% away from the rating mainly because the epilogue frustrated me to no end.
Character: 4/5 Section Of The Review
Edward was a reticent person who had an obscure history and he could perceive the horrifying spirits that delved and loitered around him. He would sometimes be an absolutely vicious person when he dissed on Joe’s scars that were caught from the fire and threatened to murder the humans that were getting in his way. He had also loomed on the fact that he aspired to maltreat Daleena, a person that he loved, for not showing up on a specific occasion. I would add that he was a grey character as he knew what was wrong when it was performed and sworn not to do it again unless it was necessary. Given his violent history, it would not be surprising to see it being re-enacted on the people he loved but he definitely had some character arc that was perfect for the story.
Joe and Daleena, uprightly, I do not even know how to speak about their characters because these characters screwed me up so badly that they made everything hard to converse on. Well, I’ll try!
*sips ginger tea*
Joe was smart, witty and is obsessed with Ed’s books. He was a friend that Ed made in London and they loved to exchange plot devices and discussed on the places where Ed could visit to make a new perspective on his book. He was covered in beard because he wanted to conceal the scars that burned his body when he was younger. He does not have a character arc because he does not need it because at the end of the novel, everything will be explained and you will understand what I meant by it.
Daleena was a beautiful young lady who was also obsessed with Ed’s books, was very ‘said-to-be-naive’ and pressured. Her abusive husband often laid hands on her and she could not get away because he was part of the mafia and would find her if she had gotten away. She had a son named Greygo and would risk anything to protect him until Ed came along and she fell unconditionally in love with him and if you thought that was the end of the story, well, it’s not. Daleena was manipulative and would do anything to get what she had wanted- revenge. She plotted everything to allow her husband to be killed and framed on innocent people to escape from the crime that she had produced. Thus, I would call her a grey character as well.
Overall: The Ending
I am giving this novel an 80% rating for its combination of excitement, suspense and how clever this novel was created. However, it has its flaws and therefore, the rating. I will be checking out more of Darren Shan works as he is an absolutely fantastic writer. I think you guys should check this novel out as well!
This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Lady Of The Shades By Darren Shan! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!