Novella Review: Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan

I’ve wanted to read Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan for some time now. My interest perked after reading Hush Money by Susan Bischoff (review here), which I LOVED. I figured with the two of them as critique partners, I was in for something worthy. 🙂 Last month I won a copy from Stacey Wallace Benefiel, giving no excuse to put it off. I finally got around to it. So the blurb from Ms. Nolan’s website:

Cade Shepherd is on top of the world as this year’s Ultimate Fighting Champion. He doesn’t even remember his life as Gage Dempsey, a Shadow Walker with the ability to magically transport himself from shadow to shadow. In fact, he can’t remember anything before waking up in a cheap motel room ten years ago with mysterious burns on his hands–not even the woman he almost died for.

Embry Hollister has picked up the pieces of her life, learned to control her ability to generate flame, and now works an enforcer for the Council of Races. But when her father is captured by the human military and the Council refuses mount a rescue mission, Embry has no choice but to go rogue. All she has to is find the man with the new name and new life who was completely wronged by her people, give him back the memories they stole, convince him to join her on what’s probably a suicide mission, and hope that after ten years of living as a regular guy he still remembers what her father taught him.

And after that, she just has to leave him. Again.

This was one of those novellas I didn’t read the blurb about. haha Honestly, I still haven’t, let me do that now. 🙂 Okay. Done.

First off, I have to say Forsaken by Shadow had an awesome set up. Chapter 1 begins with Cade Shepard (age 23) waking up, not knowing who he was, and trying to piece a life together–quite a bold plot. I had no idea what to expect, and neither did Cade. 🙂 I was thrilled to have my first young male protagonist. I quickly learned chapter 1 was more of a prologue, occurring 10 years earlier from the rest of the novella and not giving any pertinent info which wasn’t revealed later. I have to admit, I was rather bummed since that put my young male protagonist at a ripe ole age of 33. I think time clues at the beginning of the first two chapters would have curbed a bit of disappointment. I didn’t realize the story had a 10 year gap until deeper into chapter 2. Guess that’s what I get for skipping the blurb, right?

So I got over my sadness of little Cade growing into a man and got full swing into the story. Cade reminded me a lot of Downey in the Sherlock Holmes movie. He seemed to anticipate future moves. Not sure if it was an supernatural ability or just his natural ability to guess how things would go. The novella never really went into that. I did like Cade. He was a friendly sort of chap and made friends wherever he went. The guy knew his limits and was quite practical at times even when pushed by Embry.

Embry wasn’t so bad either. She was the wild card in this story. Headstrong, reckless–I never knew when she’d screw things up. She’s the type of gal who needs a handler so she doesn’t get into too much trouble. A lot of times I didn’t understand Embry. She really frustrated me with her secretiveness. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t more forthcoming with her information. She had everything Cade wanted–his past… his affection. The girl was a mystery to me. But I guess some folks are like that. As the reader, I would have liked to be a bit deeper in her head. Most of the time I knew as much as Cade when I was in her POV. It made it difficult to connect with her as a character, at least early in the story.

Plot wise! Their plan was so mission impossible. All I could think about is, how are they going to pull this off. Even Cade AKA Gage knew the plan sucked, which totally rocked cause it kept me wondering what’s next.

Overall, I thought this was an okay read. I liked the idea of different supernatural creatures, though I never got a clear definition of what the Mirus species was. I’m thinking it’s all supernatural creatures, but the term species makes me think they’re related in a scientific classification kind of way. There were a few plot holes in my mind and a bit of missing information. I think this work could have benefited from a bit more fleshing in some areas, but all in all, it was a fun read.

Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan is Available at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || Kobo || iTunes || Smashwords

0 thoughts on “Novella Review: Forsaken by Shadow by Kait Nolan

  1. Glad to hear you got to read FBS and that you enjoyed it. Your comment about Cade’s age really interested me. Years ago it seemed that all the heroines I read were about 28, and certainly never older than that. Then the characters in romance started aging and it seemed that many were in their early or even mid-thirties. I haven’t been paying attention recently, but your desire for a younger protag makes me wonder if reader tastes are going back to wanting twenty-somethings.

    I know that Kait didn’t want to bog down what is essentially an adventure tale by having to get too much into defining terms that the characters would already know. You probably skipped over it, but you should find a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book that would help answer your question about Mirus. I believe she uses it as a general term to encompass all the paranormal species in her fantasy world.

  2. I definitely skipped over the glossary of terms. I don’t remember if I saw it or not. Sometimes eBooks start in places other than the very front. But knowing myself, if I did see it I would have thought interesting and moved on without bothering to read it. Now that you mention it, I’ll go back and read a few key terms to fill in the blanks.

    Some people skip prologues; I skip glossaries. I remember thinking as I got deeper into chapter 2, smart move to label chapter 1 as chapter 1 if you’re wanting all readers to read it, even if it could go down as a prologue.

    As for the age of Cade, it was perfect for the story line. He didn’t have to be younger. I certainly didn’t go into FBS expecting a young protagonist. I just happened to get one in chapter 1 and was like “This is new to me. Awesome!” I even made a comment about it in one of my updates either on Goodreads or Kindle.

    Haha it’s kind of like going to the zoo and seeing this amazing animal from behind. The tail end looks like a small elephant, but from what you can see of the front, it looks like a two horned rhino. OMG! What the hell is that? You run up to the fence for a better looksee and realize it’s not some funky animal. You just got a glimpse of a baby elephant and rhino at a the perfect angle. The baby elephant is still cute; you still want to touch the rhino’s horns… but it’s not a rhinophant.

    It’s really me being excited about something unique (to me at least) rather than a change in readers’ tastes.

    You haven’t been out of the adult arena too long. Cade and Embry fit into the same age range as the other adult protagonist I read. The age thing in general is rather odd in my mind. We have this fantastic following for YA (13-18) range then we just skip 19-late 20s and find fans for adult works. What’s the deal with that? It’ll be interesting to see how successful the New Adult genre becomes in the near future.

  3. Thanks for giving FBS a try, Reena! Yeah I have ALWAYS wondered why the heck college age protags are pretty well skipped in totality in genre fiction. Seems like growing up, we often read books about characters that are a little older than ourselves. Jr. high reading about high school, but once you high high school there was nothing about college…it was just a straight jump to adults. Which is fine, I guess. I’ve read oodles of great books that are adult fiction, but it definitely seems like there’s a gap that a certain segment of the reading public would like to see. And hey, maybe the indies will do it since we aren’t bound by the conventions of New York.

  4. A lot of the media for the college age seems to be in the form of goofy movies. Little drama, lots of comedies. 🙂 Even Clark Kent skipped the college years in Smallville.

    I’m new to all this publishing business, so perhaps the genre has been around for a while and I just overlooked it. Sometime in the middle of last year I heard the terms New Adult novels. I haven’t read any books in the genre nor have I heard anyone advertising one. With the traditional publishing world working at a snail pace to get books out, I can definitely see an indie author filling the gap.

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