Monday, June 29, 2015

Shadow Zombie by Kylee Carrier

Author: Kylee Carrier
Publication Date (expected): December 20, 2015
Age Rating: Young Adult
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Simone Evanadet. That's the name her parents had given her before they died in a tragic car accident when Simone was just a baby. Now an artistically inclined teenager, she lives with her aging grandfather in the misty woods of Ellenvale, a rural town that hardly ever sees action.
That is, except for when the shadow zombies are around. Only Simone can see them, and from what she knows, they're mutant shadows with an appetite for mortal souls. The shadows made it their mission to suck out her very existence. Every ounce of hope is lost until she meets Dennis Stronach, a young man who saves her from a group of vicious teenagers at school. A seemingly handsome fellow, he becomes surprisingly interested in Miss Evanadet. What does this mysterious gentlemen want with Simone?

Will she defeat the hideous shadows that dominate her life?

Or will she die an empty soul?
 I love pretty much all things supernatural, so when I was approached by the author in regards to reviewing Shadow Zombie,  I jumped at the chance. The book centers around a teenage girl named Simone who has known a lot of loss in her life; first her parents when she was very young, then her beloved grandmother. Not only that, but she has to live in constant fear of what she calls "shadow zombies". They are terrifying creatures that come for her at sundown, so she has to make sure she is locked safely in her house at night. Not a great way to spend ones teenage years, yet somehow she gets by with the help of her grandfather. She pretty much avoids everyone at school, and the ones that do pay her mind just harass and bully her. That is until she starts getting to know Dennis and her whole world changes. 

The characters themselves did not really stand out to me until towards the end. I appreciated how much Simone grew as the story progressed, becoming more confident and in control as a result of her blooming relationship with Dennis. That's not to say that it was having a boyfriend that made her all of a sudden figure out who she was; it was more having someone actually listen to her and care. The part that bothered me was how many times it was described in the beginning how much of an outcast she was, how she didn't take care of herself, how she basically didn't care about anyone or anything (except for her grandpa of course). I got the picture after the first time I read about her getting ready for school, where she shunned brushing her hair and teeth because no guys at school noticed her anyway. This self-defeatist attitude continued on and off and it just seemed so repetitive; I get that it was to drive home the point that she was so different and separate from everyone else, but it seemed to be a bit much. I liked Dennis for the simple fact that he stood up for Simone and didn't care what anyone thought of him. He was always there for her and certainly played an integral part in her learning more about herself and her parents. 

Overall the story was very interesting. The mystery of the shadow zombies, including what they really are and why not everyone can see them, kept me guessing for a long while. I really like where the author took the plot at the end, even though the road leading up to it seemed long and tedious. I felt like the descriptions were overdone; while it did paint a very vivid picture, they probably didn't need to be so specific, at least not all the time. Some descriptions are more integral than others. Another thing that bothered me as I was reading was the mismatch of dialogue to character actions. Simone would be talking, but it would be immediately proceeded by Dennis' actions on the same line. I became very confused at times and had to reread a lot of dialogue sections just to try and figure out who was talking. Now I'm not an editor by any means, and this is an ARC so I expect there to be some issues; I'm assuming it will all get polished up before publication is finalized. So please don't let this stop you from reading it for yourself because I do think the story has promise, especially for book two.

Do you know why I say this? Because the ending really saved the whole thing for me. Once the puzzle pieces started falling together, Simone came into her own, and the action started, the story took on a whole new life. Obviously I can't sit here and discuss the end of the book with all of you - no spoilers here! It just gave me a lot of hope for the second installment in the Black Shadow Chronicles series, and I can actually say I look forward to seeing what all of the changes and revelations mean for the characters in the future.


  1. This was a great review of my novel, Jamie! I definitely appreciate your input! As an author, I completely understand your confusion between dialogue, as well as the repetition that surrounded the story. I'm happy to say that the novel is going through editing as we speak, so if you're interested in the future of having a copy of the final book, I'd be more than delighted to let you have it :). A book in today's world has to sell, and I'm extremely grateful to have an honest opinion!
    -Kylee Carrier

    1. That's great Kylee! Good luck in your journey and I hope your novel sells really well. Thanks again for letting me read and review it!