Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones: Review & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones! I have my thoughts about the book to share with you, plus your chance to win your own copy of the book! 
Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones: Review & Giveaway Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones
Series: Wintersong #2
Published by Wednesday Books on February 6th 2018
Pages: 384
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King—who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world—or the ones Liesl loves—is in her hands?

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When I read Wintersong last year, I was so impressed with the lovely writing and vivid imagery. I am pleased to say that I enjoyed Shadowsong just as much! It’s quite a different book from its predecessor, however. To me, this was absolutely fine, I loved the direction the story went in. It felt logical to me to have the characters focusing on the aftermath of the previous book, and ultimately trying to find themselves and their places in the world.

The tone is dark, in a different way. The main character, Liesl, is dealing with mental health issues– a rarity in fantasy, and I applaud the author for including it (this is also #ownvoices, make sure you read the author’s note!). She’s also trying to put her family back together, all while dealing with her own broken heart. I absolutely felt for her during the course of this story.

I realize that some people will be a bit unhappy that the romance isn’t front and center of this book as it was in the last book. But I think it was quite important for Liesl to work through her circumstances, and to figure out who she was and what (or who) she was willing to fight for. And of course, the Goblin King is involved, no worries!

There was a point in the middle that the plot felt like it was meandering a bit, but the beginning and end were quite strong and definitely made up for some of the slowness in the middle. I also do need to mention, the formatting of the eARC was a disaster– and that sometimes that took me out of the story a little. Obviously I’d never fault the book for that, but… it was some of the messiest formatting I have ever encountered. I assume my trouble was perhaps part that the story was a bit slower in the middle, but also that I was trying to decipher stuff and that made it feel even more so? It’s as good a guess as any, right?

Ultimately, this book completed the series nicely. I had feelings during the course of the story- happy, sad, swoony, all the things. And I felt that it was a strong conclusion; not too many loose ends, nor too neatly wrapped up. Definitely one of the best series ends I’ve read in awhile!

Bottom Line: With completely enchanting writing and fabulous character development, this sequel provided a very satisfying ending to a lovely series!


About S. Jae-Jones

S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the NYT bestselling author of Wintersong.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

One copy of Shadowsong (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour!

Have you read Wintersong? Looking forward to Shadowsong? Any other duologies to recommend? (I find I am digging the duology lately…)

Posted February 8, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 16 Comments

16 responses to “Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones: Review & Giveaway

  1. That’s a pretty sweet cover. And I remember hearing about the first book, now after reading the synopsis. I love that fantasy is slowly starting to show mental illness- I think YA fantasy is definitely leading the charge. And the romance too- it’s nice that she’s taking the time to find out who she is, before HAVING to have a relationship, if that’s how it goes- that seems realistic.

    Sounds like a pretty dang good book other than the e- formatting. Ugh to that. But glad this concluded well!

    I am loving duologies lately! Who needs that third book? 🙂

  2. Oh, I got this one, too! Rated it the same, also. xD I actually really liked that it focused less on the romance here. I loved the deeper dive into the lore and the history behind der Erlkonig. Plus, like you said, she had a chance to find herself and figure out what exactly she wanted, so it was an important arc for her more than just forcing a romance into it.

    Also, that eARC formatting was a MESS. I thought I’d done something wrong on my end at first, but all you have to do is hit a button and, boom, it’s on your Kindle. Not even I could mess that up. xD So I don’t know what was up with that, but it was hard to read in some places.

    I’d actually never heard of the term “duology” until reading that, so it’s interesting. I felt like it made a really strong duology, though, and it didn’t leave me craving another book because it felt incomplete (although, you know, I wouldn’t say no to more, of course).

  3. carissa

    I have book 1 still to read, but this sounds really good, I definitely think duets are going to be a hot popular trend.

  4. Lexi

    I LOVED Wintersong and have been eagerly waiting for Shadowsong. I started out hating the Goblin King and ended up loving him.

  5. Val

    Yeah the eARC formatting sounds like such a mess. And I know people are like it shouldn’t affect your opinion, it really DOES shape how you read the book and such.

    I loved Wintersong, so I’m hoping I’ll love this too. I’m kind of sad to see that the romance isn’t central to the story, but I’m glad that Goblin King comes back at least!!

  6. I just recently read Wintersong and I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I really liked the music references and the world-building for Liesl’s old life, but I did not like how the story turned once she got underground into the den of the Goblin King. There were times when I did not buy the romance; it felt more abusive than sweet to me at times. I also didn’t think we got enough information about the goblin world and the magical system. The second half of the book was dominated by the romance, which I did not really care for anyway.

    However, I am not completely opposed to reading Shadowsong, especially since you mentioned that the romance is more in the background. If the romance doesn’t hog so much of the spotlight, I think I could actually enjoy the second installment of the series. I really want to know more about the secrets of the Goblin King, Liesl’s music, and her family. Anyway, thanks for the great review!

  7. I have to admit I didn’t read your review too closely because I just got my hands on a copy of book one and I want to read it soon! But I did check out the rating and I am glad that you enjoyed the sequel as well. It gives me hopes for reading book one soon :3

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