Saturday, December 23, 2023

Review: Light in the Shadows by Georgia C. Leigh

by Georgia C. Leigh
Release Date: January 10, 2023
2023 Georgia Leigh
Kindle Edition; 546 Pages
ISBN: 978-1958971017
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
Source: Review copy from author

4 / 5 Stars

Sheltered eighteen-year-old Haven arrives at the Academy to learn what it means to be seraphim. But when she discovers an ancient magic within, she loses the glimpse of friendship she longs for and is thrown back into isolation. Her magic also awakens a dark shadow in her world, and catalyzes those who seek to control her, to bind her and use her for her power. 
Ryker, a world walker and a demon hunter, is the only one powerful enough to contain her magic. And he knows what it is like to be wanted for someone else’s gains. Ryker’s brutal methods may give her the chance to understand her gift and control it, but they are running out of time. 
My Thoughts
Light in the Shadows is the first book in the Shadows and Light saga, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Because this the beginning of a five book arc, this one serves to introduce some of the characters, the world, and the political system. It was a bit of a slower burn than I expected, but I enjoyed learning about the lives of the characters, how they fit in into the political systems being developed, and the relationships that were being built. 
While most of the book occurred over a three-year period where the MC Haven was attending the academy to learn about her magic and what it means to be a seraphim, there were enough scenes away from it that gave you a glimpse of the actual world.  At first, due to the prologue, I thought there would be overlap with Earth, but that actually didn't happen and this was something I really enjoyed.  I like stories about academies and how young people are trained, and I really liked the setup and how relationships were forged, how you learned to really care for those in your unit, trust they had your back at all times, and worked together at all moments of the day.   Naturally, there was going to be personal angst as well, that is to be expected when you live in such close quarters with people for such a long time.

I like Haven's personal development quite a bit. She went from being unsure how to forge relationships to learning how to open up and share her secrets, although I do think there is a lot more to tell. Although I felt there was something important about her, I was surprised when the reveal came as I was not expecting it, but I liked how it just flowed with the story. Ryker's character was not as developed as Haven's simply because he is older, attended the academy decades ago, so it was not necessary to really develop him at this point in time.  I liked learning about his job in the present time and what he was doing, although even that was not really fully told. I am a patient person however, and can wait to find out more.  The secondary characters were not quite as developed as the main ones, but with four books to come, I think we will learn more about them as we go.

The plot was fast-paced, with changing alliances and the start of political intrigue.  The writing style was good and certainly kept me interested. I did think the author had a tendency to give away too much information through the use of multiple POV which affected the overall tension and suspense as you could tell what was going to happen.  While it was not necessarily the POV that was the issue, it was the giving away of information in these scenes that caused the problems so it was incredibly easy to figure things out. I would have liked a bit more guess work on my part as it would have elevated the tension level and left me more surprised than it did.

Light in the Shadows is a great start to the series, and while it did start slow, I actually didn't mind that at all.  The writing style has a way of engaging you despite the fact the multiple POV gives away some important plot points which reduces the overall tension in the story.  Some intriguing relationships and intrigues have begun to sprout so I am interested to see how they will develop and harm our main characters in future books.