Monday 8 March 2010

Review: Rising Shadow - Jacquelyn Wheeler

So this is my life.

I've developed special powers, which I don't get to keep, to battle the ultimate source of evil, which can never be destroyed.  And the man of my dreams just moved two thousand miles away.

Not exactly what I'd had in mind for my junior year.

Ashlyn Woods has just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student.  But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor.

Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos.  But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated.

And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realises she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.

The Soterians Series:
Rising Shadow
Merger (coming soon)
There will be 5 books in the series

Visit The Soterians website for more information

This was a fantastic start to a new series by Jacquelyn Wheeler.  Ashlyn is a normal teenager, she has obviously had difficult relationships in her past but is determined to put that behind her & make a new start at college.  She has the same insecurities that I'm sure most of us have experienced at some time in our lives and that makes her very easy to relate to.  Life at college starts off as you'd expect and Ashlyn soon starts to make friends and settle in.  I particularly like her roommate Rebecca who quickly became one of my favorite characters.

It isn't long before Ashlyn & Rebecca both notice that strange things are happening to them but this is soon explained when they find out they are Soterians.  Having been called as Soterians they are developing strange powers that they are going to need in order to restore the balance between good and evil.  I was expecting this to be a typical good versus evil story - one where the good guys always win - but I really loved the twist that Jacquelyn has put on the series.  Evil can never be completely overcome, it can only be balanced out by good.  Jacquelyn describes this using the yin and yang symbol - good can be on top but there will always be evil in the world.  The Soterians are called on when the balance has been tipped the wrong way and evil is on top.  Their task is to restore the balance but as soon as they have done this they will lose their powers.

I found this a really interesting concept - what must it be like to suddenly develop these amazing super powers and then lose them when the threat of evil is under control?  It must also be difficult to be called upon to battle evil when you know that you'll never be able to win.

When Ashlyn meets Kai they have an instant connection and fall in love almost immediately.  This is something I would usually question but I thought it was very well written & believable.  Their connection is obviously about more than lust and the two of them spend hours talking and getting to know each other.  Although they have strong feelings they don't rush into things which makes a refreshing change.  The book has a great cast of characters & although you get to know most of the Soterians quite well I'm looking forward to finding out more in future books.

Overall I thought this was an excellent first book - there was plenty of action and a few great twists that I didn't see coming.  I'm really looking forward to reading future books in the series.

Source: Recieved from Jacquelyn Wheeler as part of a book tour arranged by International Book Tours, this will be sent on to it's next destination tomorrow.

Other reviews of this book:
Book Crazy
YA Addict
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. this definitely sounds like an interesting concept

    i keep getting the image of superheroes though lol

    sky high and all that

    will have to pick this up

  2. Hi Amanda, the Soterians are basically superheros without the silly outfits LOL. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Excellent review...I love the concept...while I'm not too fond of the cover :)

  4. Great review, Sarah! I really like the sound of this book! I need to check out the International Book Tours blog more often! I can't believe I missed out on this one! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Thanks for the review!

  5. @ Melissa - it's not my favorite cover but I really enjoyed the book :o)

    @ Jo - I'm sure you'll like this one :o) I've signed up for quite a few tours on International Blog Tours. I'm hoping I don't end up receiving the books all in the same week as you've only got a week to read them LOL. This was the first tour I've taken part in & I think they're a fab idea - so cool that we can join in from the UK now :o)

  6. This does sound really intriguing! Thanks for the great review.

  7. I'm glad you liked the review Stephanie :o)



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