Review: A Shiver of Shadows
Monday, May 24, 2021

A Shiver of Shadows (Hell Gate, #2)A Shiver of Shadows by Hunter J. Skye
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A carnival of addictive attraction and dark debauchery set in a uniquely magical world. For fans of graphic paranormal romance. This book is the second in Hunter J. Skye's Hell Gate series, and I would definitely recommend reading the books in order. The first book is A Glimmer of Ghosts, and you can read my review about it HERE.

I love the world Ms. Skye has created. The various entities in it are unique, engaging, enticing, and made me want to know more about them. I especially loved the creepy cursed dudes in the thieve's market and the doomsayers. There were also some truly horrific nuns, but I can't say more without spoilers. ;) Sky also introduced some very interesting modes of transportation in her world that were both creative and original. All-in-all, the world of the Hell Gate series is easy to fall into and enjoyable to spend time in.

Skye's use of descriptive phrases and metaphors is wonderful. However, despite her lovely writing style, I had trouble getting through the first part of the story due to a problem with the pacing. A bunch of stuff happens to Melisande, but she doesn't really *do* anything at the beginning of the book. She mostly just attends parties and plays dress-up with her over-sexed kidnappers. The reason for this became clear later in the story, but I did find myself losing interest during those early chapters. The second half of the story, however, was much better and able to hold my interest as a reader.

This book has two narrators, both with strong and separate voices, although they do not share equal page space. The first, and primary, character is Mel (the protagonist from book 1: A Glimmer of Ghosts). Mel has a unique medical condition that allows her to interact with the spiritual plane when she is in the stage of consciousness between wake and sleep. This allows her to perceive ghosts, but comes with some debilitating side effects, like losing muscle control when she's scared.

Mel shares this story's narration with the character of William Grayford. Grayford's chapters are much shorter, and in fact there is a large chunk of the book where he doesn't show up at all, but his chapters carried the first part of the book while Mel succumbed to the doldrums of dress-up and parties that made her sections in the first part of the book drag.

There were a few scenes in the book that I felt could have been handled slightly better, or moved to a more appropriate place to help with the overall flow, but I enjoyed the sentence-level writing and the story as a whole.

I received a free copy of Shiver of Shadows in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews