REVIEW by @GinnyLurcock : Shadowed Ground by Vicki Keire – Release Date 3/8/12 (@vickikeire)

Chloe Burke has only two choices left: run or fight.
As she wakes from a poisoned sleep with silver scars across her neck and back, her aunt’s diary may provide the only clues about the creatures of fire that hunt her. Through it, she learns of her own awakening powers, as well as more about Annwyn, the world of her childhood, now burned to ash. 
She also learns of the blood sacrifice that will be required of her when she arrives at Gray’s Landing. It’s a sacrifice not everyone survives.
Trapped and hunted, separated from her last living relative and the only home she has ever known, Chloe must rely on the deadly Eliot Gray to guide her through the strange world she suddenly finds herself inhabiting. It’s a world where the Abandoned wear human bodies like cheap suits, where the Landing finds itself threatened by its nearest neighbors, and Chloe and Eliot must watch their every move.
As the world around them becomes increasingly hostile, Chloe and Eliot turn more and more towards each other. As the bonds of trust grow, they must be careful not to tread upon time-honored boundaries: those forbidding Guardians to act on feelings for their Wards. To do so would break the bond, and would leave Chloe unprotected as the pair makes their way to Gray’s Landing, and safety.
Members of the powerful Ravenwood family fall further and further under the Abandoned’s influence until Alexander stands alone. Cass and Miranda must find a way to take legal possession of the Landing amidst corruption and danger in Savannah.
A dangerous road stretches on before them, and Chloe and Eliot must learn to work as a team against the deadly predators that threaten a whole new world. Determined not to let the only home she remembers suffer Annwyn’s fate, Chloe finds herself in a race to reach Gray’s Landing before it is too late.

Me: Hey, you know that review I sent you guys
Friend 1: Yeah
Me: Well I signed up for the ARC of the second book in the series… and they totally sent it to me.
Friend 1:  *laughs* Really?
Me: I know right?!?! So the author and I have made up, on a trial basis.
Friend 2: *laughs*
Me:  Well this book is only 100 pages…
Friend 2: Hey, that’s 25 pages longer than last time…
Me: All I’m saying is that if it’s as much of a tease as the last book, we’re going back to not being friends.

After reading all of “Shadowed Ground” (which took about 20 minutes) I’ve come to realize that Vicki Keire and I are destined to be frenemies.  You see, the Chronicles of Nowhere is written in the style of a fan dance.  Teasing, but never quite revealing everything, you’re always left craving more.  Like some kind of addict, I’m now awaiting the next installment with baited breath.  Why am I waiting around for what is more than likely going to be more torment?  Well Ms. Vicki Keire is, quite simply, brilliant.  The world that she has built, and the characters she has populated it with, are so rich, that it makes up for how abruptly the volumes end.  Well almost. 
You probably remember that after the first story I was a bit… err… miffed.  I’m still not happy with how short this second offering is, but at least this time there was a little more meat there.  We’re past the getting to know you phase, and able to concentrate more on the actual story.
Chloe and Eliot are on the run, and fighting their obvious attraction.  I really like how this aspect of the story is handled.  Eliot has obviously been watching Chloe grow into a pretty kick ass young woman.  He remembers the girl she was, and feels the strong pull of a guardian towards her.  It’s all, well, kind of creepy, but even the character acknowledges how effed up it all is.  You have to respect that.  Chloe, for her part, reacts the way you’d expect someone to act when the boy she knew as a child and has been dreaming about shows up.  She wants to trust him, but some part of her knows this is all very strange.  Plus she feels the bond.  Not as strongly as Eliot, but its there.  Throw in that Guardians and Wards aren’t allowed to be together, and you’ve got one big tricky mess. 
We get to spend a little more time with Cass and Miranda, from the perspective of one Heironymous Tuttle, Esquire.  Alright, this might have more than a little to do with my newfound warm and fuzzy feelings.  Give me an absurd name with a title, and I’m bound to be distracted.  It’s my kryptonite.  Their whole part is one chapter, maybe 6 pages, but what a 6 pages.  Seriously, Tuttle has all my favorite side kick attributes.  It’s like Keire read my diary and wrote the character just for me.  And I’m totally pretending she did.
There is also more of Alexander Ravenwood.  Former prep school bad boy now desperately trying to rescues his sister and his few friends around the estate from the Smith Clones.  The most charming thing about his character is that he openly admits he has no idea how to fix what’s gone so terribly wrong in his world, he just knows he’s got to do something.  It’s refreshing and endearing.
The reader is also treated to entries from Callista’s journal.  At first I was worried these were just cutting into the precious story, but they ended up being intriguing glimpses into the world that was, and the future Chloe has to look forward to.
I really want to give this story 4 stars.  Actually, to be honest I’d love to give it 5, but the length keeps holding me back.  If it was a wholly contained story wrapped up in 100 pages, I’d have no issues, but this still feels like a novel broken into pieces.  It does not amuse me.  I think that I’m even less amused because I do enjoy the story so much, and now I’m stuck in literally limbo until the next installment is released.
3 stars, for being a very entertaining fan dance.
I still want to go punch something… but this time I’ll give it a sticker afterwards and tell it I’m sorry.

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1 Comment

  1. Diana says:

    yes. I agree about the length. It seems like this entire series could just be one book. I also am just dying to find out what happens, though. Grr….

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