Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Why I chose this book:
I have had my eye on this book for quite a while. I contemplated getting it on NetGalley or Edelwiess, but for some reason never got around to requesting it. I am almost happy I didn't request it, because I ended up buying a physical copy, and guys, let me tell you, this is one of my new favorite additions to my bookshelf collection.

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: April 8, 2014
Format: Hardback
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever. (Goodreads)
4 things you need to know about this book:

1. A sisterly bond that is rock-solid. 
I don't read many books about sisters, and this book made me fangirl over twins. As one of three girls, I love books about all things sisterly. Ashyn and Moria's bond, though they are not together for the bulk of the novel, is strong and never wavering. Armstrong did a wonderful job in creating their characters and showing their growth together even though they were apart. 

Another huge plus is they are completely different characters. Ashyn is quiet, diplomatic, and careful, while Moria is her opposite in almost every way: loud, doesn't think before she speaks/acts, reckless, and the list goes on. But they truly do complement each other while also being realistic characters that are very much believable.

2. Creepiness factor in this book is through the roof! 
I don't read many horror novels, so some of you guys probably thought there wasn't any creepiness, but man, let me tell you, that forest really gave me the heebie jeebies. I loved it! Armstrong writes suspense and creepiness extremely well! At one point -closer to the beginning -I was reading at night with only my book light, and I had to stop just because I was getting creeped out in the dark. Super spooky and super well written. 

Also, I don't know if it was just me or not, but I did not see at least half of the twists coming. I was surprised at almost every turn. There were only a few things that I wasn't surprised at -and I think it's because it had a Game of Thrones-like violence every now and then that didn't even make me blink since I read GoT.

3. It's a fantasy lover's dream. 
This is everything you could ever want in a high fantasy novel. Like seriously. She has fantastic world building skills and amazing character development. This book also keeps some of the archaic fantasy tropes as a homage, but then it brings in some completely new twists to the fantasy genre that I love.

4. Dark Days Tour
I was able to meet Kelley Armstrong on the Dark Days Tour, and she said some really cool things about this  book that made it even better. She pointed out the similarities between her work and Japanese culture and old tales, which completely makes sense considering this book is all about appeasing the spirits. Even further, she went on to talk about how she based the forest in the book on a real place in Japan called Suicide Forest. She made this book even better just by describing her foundation and what she researched. 

Final Thoughts
Overall, this is a book that is well worth the read and the fantasy genre. I really can't wait til the second book comes out! Also I'm so happy that I bought the physical copy of the book because I was able to get her to sign it. The authors on the Dark Days Tour included Kelley Armstrong, Kiera Cass, Kimberly Derting, and Danielle Page. Who wouldn't be excited with a panel like that?

I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.


  1. I love the heebie jeebies! Bring it on! My friend got me a signed copy since she was coming no where near my city. Excited to read it soon.

    1. I think you will love it then! She creates an absolutely astounding fantasy world! EEKKK! Excited for you to read it!

  2. I'm a little hesitant to start another series by this author. I read The Darkest Powers trilogy and felt really ripped off by the ending (basically, there wasn't one). I don't remember having issues with the author's writing, though, and I did really enjoy the first book in that series, so... Maybe one day I'll get to this one (because it does sound good)!

    1. I've felt like that with other authors, but I think each story/series brings a completely different tale to the mix and you shouldn't compare the two since they are completely different. I would definitely give this series a shot if you get your hands on a copy. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read the next one!

  3. I haven't read anything by Kelley Armstrong yet, but I saw this on edelweiss and almost requested it. I'm glad that you like the physical copy though, I might just go out and buy it. I'm trusting you opinion :)

    1. I loved it very much! If you are a lover of high fantasy, then this will definitely be your kind of book! :)


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