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I Belong

Review: Rising Shadow by Jacquelyn Wheeler

Title: Rising Shadow

Author: Jacquelyn Wheeler

GenreNA Fantasy

SeriesThe Soterians (Book 1)

Publication DateSeptember 30, 2010

FormatPaperback, 332 Pages

ISBN-100982516061 (Jacquelyn Wheeler)

ISBN-13: 978-0982516065 (Jacquelyn Wheeler)

Reviewed byBridget


Ashlyn Woods can’t wait to put her past behind her and start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil’s favor. Soon she and the other Soterians are learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they’re up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated. And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.

Quick & Dirty: Great idea but I felt a big disconnect with the story and I had a hard time getting through it.

Opening Sentence: Suddenly, the road ahead of us was a mosaic of red brake lights, and traffic slowed to a stop.

Excerpt: Full Book Download

The Review

Ashlyn Woods has just gotten into her dream college.  In high school she partied a little too much and didn’t get the grades she needed to get into a good college.  So she went to community college for two years and worked a crappy job to save up to go to UCSB.  She will start her junior year there and can’t wait to leave her old life behind.  She had a crappy boyfriend she broke up with and friends that weren’t very supportive.  Upon arriving to her new life Ashlyn makes some new friends and even meets a great new guy. Then things start to get weird.

The balance between good and evil has shifted and someone needs to help restore it.  Turns out Ashlyn is a Soterian: a person that develops supernatural powers to help restore balance.  Ashlyn has always dreamed about flying and now she actually can, and that’s not her only power.  With a team of other Soterian’s by her side she fights to stop an evil villain that could destroy the world as we know it.  But once everything goes back to normal so will Ashlyn.  She doesn’t know if she will be able to deal with living her dreams and then have them taken away.  Is it worth loving and losing then to have never loved at all?

Honestly, I had a really hard time with the characters in this book.  Ashlyn is the protagonist and I felt that she was a really weak character.  She was really wishy-washy when it came to making decisions which really bugged me.  One moment she would be this strong confident women and the next moment she would be totally insecure.  She has worked so hard to get where she’s at and then all the sudden she makes a whole bunch of life changing decisions at the drop of a hat.  It was like she was bi-polar and that really didn’t work for me.

Kai is the love interest in the story and I don’t really get why Ashlyn was so smitten with him.  I get that he is good looking and wants to be a rockstar, but once again Ashlyn is suppose to be this put together girl and dating someone like him didn’t really fit.  He dropped out of college to pursue a music career and now he has decided to move across the country because he feels like it.  Sure, he was sweet and trusting but really he had nothing else going for him.  Their love was total instalove and there was no development at all.  They meet one time and the next time they see each other they are professing their undying love for each other.  So suffice to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of them being together.

This book was a pretty bad read for me.  I have my little list of pet peeves that I can’t stand in books and this hit pretty much all of them.  It seemed that everything conveniently worked out, and it was very predictable.  Also, I felt that the writing was too descriptive.  There was really nothing left for the reader to imagine on their own.  I obviously didn’t connect with the characters very well.  I felt that for their age all of the characters should have been more mature and put together and they just weren’t.  So that all being said, I know that there are people who would not agree with me.  This book actually has decent reviews on Goodreads so if you are intrigued by the synopsis, by all means give it a try and hopefully you have a better experience than I did.

Notable Scene:  

I was falling in love with Kai, the most amazing person I’d ever met, and he was falling for me, too.

Pull, pull, pull, breathe.

I had inexplicably levitated, and Rebecca was reading people’s feelings, meaning that we were either crazy or freaks of nature.

Pull, pull, pull, breathe.

Speaking of freaks, I had professor Gordon’s class again tomorrow.  I had to decide whether I was going to drop the class or just tough it out.

Pull, pull, pull, breathe.

Gordon kept pressing me to come to his office hours…

And then suddenly, I knew what I had to do.  The connection was so simple, so clear now. I jumped out of the pool and ran to the locker rooms, where I showered and dressed as quickly as I could. I practically sprinted to the religious studies building.  I wasn’t sure whether he would be there that early, but it was worth a shot.

I found his office and knocked on the door.  As soon as my knuckles touched the wood, the door opened, and Professor Gordon was standing there with a slight smile on his face.

“Come in, Ashlyn. We’ve been expecting you.”

The Soterians Series:

1. Rising Shadow

2. Merger

3. Fracture

4. Madness (TBA)

5. Equinox (TBA)

FTC Advisory: Jacquelyn Wheeler provided me with a copy of Rising Shadow. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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