Official Review: Shadowborn by Maren Alder

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Official Review: Shadowborn by Maren Alder

Post by Everydayadventure15 »

[Following is an official review of "Shadowborn" by Maren Alder.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Teylin Walker has run away from home before; this time, she's determined to finally escape her alcoholic mother and live independently. But she's running out of money, and life as an actress isn't playing out the way she'd hoped. Things can't get much worse for the unlucky teen—until they do. After running into a strange silver-haired boy in the pouring rain, she follows him into a shady warehouse despite her better judgment. With her dismal luck, this twenty-first-century girl finds herself being kidnapped and sold on the black market on an island stuck in a bygone era.

Her luck begins to change when she meets the street-savvy Rob Stryker and his rag-tag team of bounty hunters. She'll have to forego her plans to escape the island, discover the elusive answers about the dangerously powerful Shadowborn children, and become a bounty hunter herself to survive. In a world where deception reigns, Tey will have to be wary and learn who to trust. She'll also have to take risks and make a stand for the truth—after all, not everything in a dream world is what it seems.

Shadowborn, by Maren Alder, is an excellent science fantasy adventure novel. I loved everything about this book, especially the diverse cast of characters and the brilliantly developed setting and plot. Los Sueños, an island nation entrenched in mystery, created an exotic paradise for this reader as I explored the author's creative landscape. This archipelago transported me to a new world with a little bit of everything: different cultures, underground markets, cut-throat bounty hunters, a failing monarchy, and the mystical Shadowborn. Each element played into the plot's complexity and gave the story a level of depth that kept me fully engaged and eager to discover the elusive truths.

The rarity of modern technology and conveniences was another unique aspect that eliminated cell phones, reliable electricity, and other basic amenities while making it extraordinarily difficult to obtain even simple items like aspirin and apples. I also loved how the author added vivid sensory details that pulled me into the streets of Los Sueños as I learned how to survive alongside Tey and her new allies.

Stories that feature an ensemble cast are among my favorites, and Rob's team of bounty hunters was a fabulous crew. I appreciated the tough yet tender Xia, who stubbornly hid her true feelings but always looked out for her friends. I laughed and sympathized with light-hearted muscle-bound Damion, who brought humor to the story yet suffered from debilitating claustrophobia. I even enjoyed the budding romance between Rob and Tey and the eventual conflicts that challenged their relationship. Tey's transformation and how she learned to deal with the moral dilemmas presented in the novel were a satisfying addition to this engaging tale.

There was nothing that I disliked about this well-edited book. The author did a fantastic job concluding the story and preparing the reader for a sequel, which I eagerly look forward to discovering in the future. Therefore, I give Shadowborn 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy fantastical mysteries with strong female characters and dystopian settings. The Victorian era architecture and the gun shoot-outs gave the writing some steam-punk vibes, even though none of the technology ran off steam-powered engines. There was some minor swearing but no erotic content. While there were some gritty topics like human trafficking, torture, and some action violence, this book would be appropriate for mature teens and adults.

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Post by Mikka Joy V »

I was captivated by the cover photo but I was even more interested with the review. thanks for the amazing review, I’ll add this now on my tbr list. 💖
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Post by Sakura5 »

This seems like a very captivating and well-constructed adventure story. I am particularly curious to see how the protagonist manages to become a bounty hunter. Your description is very detailed, nice review!
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Post by Kavita Shah »

After reading this wonderful review I cannot wait to read the book. You've summarised the story and also kept it vague. I am adding this book to my Want to read shelf Thank you and keep on writing amazing reviews.
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Post by cd20 »

The cover of this book caught my eye. I am not a science fiction reader, but your review makes me think I should give this book a try. It sounds really interesting and different from other books out there.
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Post by Holly Fleming »

I love a book with a strong female lead! It sounds like an engaging story with interesting characters. Shadowborn is definitely going on my reading list.
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Post by PeterRabitt20 »

This young girl wanted to run away from a bad life, only to find herself somewhere worse! Poor thing, I hope things work out for her. Thanks for your review.
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Post by Booklover Becca »

I thought I knew where the plot was going after the first few sentences, but what a twist! I’m very interested in reading this. Great review!
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Post by Hogwarts03 »

I love how your review was incredibly detailed, yet didn't give away any spoilers. I can't wait to read on how the main character became a bounty hunter and find out more about the shadowborn.
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Post by WADonnelly »

This sounds like an exciting book with lots of fantasy details packed into it. Thank you for a lovely review.
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