Shadowsong: A Novel by S. Jae-Jones

Shadowsong: A Novel by S. Jae-Jones

Overall Rating: 2/5

Quality of Prose: 3/5

Quality of Story: 1/5

Quality of Characters: 4/5

Ability to Make the Audience Think/Feel Differently: 0/5

How Long It Took Me to Finish: 7 days

A 1 Sentence Summary

After leaving her husband, the Goblin King, and the Underground behind, Leisl struggles to adjust to life above ground, renew her relationship with her brother, and live without her husband and true love.

My Favorite Quotes

“For love is our only immortality, and when memory is faded and gone, it is our legacies that endure.”


What I Loved About It

This book disappointed me SO MUCH. I don’t know if you remember my review of Wintersong, its prequel, but I freaking loved that book. It ranks fairly high on my list of favorite books of all time. And I was pumped to return to the beautiful world Jae-Jones created in the sequel. But to be honest, when I first heard that there would be a sequel, I didn’t really understand why. The story of Liesl and the Goblin King seemed to be resolved by the end of Wintersong. It felt like reading a stand alone novel, not the first book of the series. So I was really curious where the plot of Shadowsong was going to go. And once I started reading, I realized that the plot wasn’t going to go anywhere. Honestly. This entire book, NOTHING HAPPENS. Until the last 30 pages. I’m not even exaggerating. If I told you the plot of this book in detail, every important plot point I’d tell you would be in the last 30 pages.

It’s super evident that Jae-Jones wrote Wintersong as a stand-alone novel, but that when it was picked up by the publisher, they required her to write a sequel, even though it was completely unnecessary. It’s just another example of the young adult publishing world turning every single decent book into a long, drawn out, and unnecessary series because it makes them more money. And I hate to be so negative about the sequel to a book that I loved so much by an author who I deem to be incredibly talented, but this book had few redeeming qualities. The world of the Underground, which was the incredibly interesting setting of the first novel, is not visited in this novel until the last few pages. The prose was less musical and impressive (perhaps because the musically-inclined protagonist was going through a long period of musical writer’s block in this novel), and the Goblin King, who was such a complex and compelling character, wasn’t in this book like AT ALL (or, again, not until the last few pages). All the things I loved about Wintersong were lacking in Shadowsong, and none of the new story elements were remotely compelling. It was, in a word, disappointing.

What My Students Could Learn From It

Nothing really.

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