Book Review: As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness #2)

Title: As the Shadow Rises

Author: Katy Rose Pool

Pub. Date: September 1, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75

The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead.

In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness.

As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins.

This will be a spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t really know how to convey my thoughts about this book.

On one hand, it was engaging, a quick read and enjoyable. It was fun being back with the cast of characters, and I liked how we explored their stories more, and how things are starting to really unfurl.

On the other hand, this book felt lacking. I don’t know if it’s because of how much I loved There Will Come A Darkness, the hype, or it’s just suffering from second book syndrome, but I just feel kind of ‘meh’ about it.

I liked the ending, and expected Katy to leave us with a mind-blowing cliffhanger that would leave us desperate for the third book. I’m for sure going to read it, but overall, this book just kind of left me a bit underwhelmed. I even sort of found myself wondering when it was going to be over. I hate saying that, because I absolutely loved TWCAD. It was one of my favorite reads of 2019. I stayed up all night reading it and it left me shook. I recommended it to everyone.

Overall, this book is good, it’s enjoyable and it’s a relatively quick read despite its length. I knocked it out in a handful of hours across a few days. But it just felt like we were biding time until the big final showdown.

There’s also a plot line that just felt kind of forced, and not really relevant and definitely anticlimactic. There are a lot of ships in this book – ranging from enemies to lovers and duty says I can’t have you, but damn do I want you – and I’m here for both of those things. Jude and Anton’s POVs are probs my fave, with Ephyra and her time with Illya coming in a close second. Hassan seemed unimportant in this book, his character felt out of place, and while I like Beru, I just didn’t really care.

Jude’s internal struggle is probably my favorite part of this book. He has the most personal growth, and I loved seeing him come to terms and be honest with himself. The moment he really, truly makes that decision, and seeing him come into himself – so good, so satisfying.

Like in TWCAD, Katy’s writing brings this world, these characters to life. Despite my overall feelings, there were moments that I was on the edge of my seat, wholly invested and feeling what the characters felt. The world came to life in my mind.

I know that sounds like a contradiction to “I just feel kind of ‘meh’ about it” but I it’s the truth. My thoughts and feelings about this book are so conflicted. I think it does suffer a little bit from second book syndrome, but I think, mainly, my expectations were so high, and I was looking forward to it so much, that it had no chance in hell of actually living up to them.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what happens in book 3. I really think Katy is going to have us all on the edge of our seats, our minds blown and unable to process what’s going to happen. Something has been unleashed, and now it’s up to Ephrya, Anton, Jude, Hassan, Beru, Illya and Hector to figure out how to stop the Age of Darkness, but now they have contend with the fact that maybe the history they know, isn’t all that it seems…

Which might have been my favorite reveal in this book. I didn’t see it coming and it was a nice, shocking, pleasant surprise and I can’t wait to see how it’s going to impact everything – well, more than it already has.

If you read There Will Come A Darkness, you’re going to want to pick this book up and find out what happens next. As the Shadow Rises is out September 1, so make sure you grab your copy!

3 thoughts on “Book Review: As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness #2)

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