Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dianne Sylvan: Queen of Shadows

In her debut novel, Dianne Sylan introduces the reader the the Shadow World of the Vampires.

Miranada Grey (Mira) had a gift for the guitar, other instruments and music as soon as she picked them up. She was able to lull the crowd around her, and they would only be there to see her, to listen to her. This is when she discovered she had the power over people's emotions. Through her music she could make the crowd feel anything she wanted them too, but this has also hurt her life as well. She has secluded herself from human contact, afraid that she would influence the people around her thoughts and feelings that they would never have an honest thought. Her only escape was her music, but even that was getting harder and harder to control, she was on a downward spiral, with insanity approaching quickly.
The only thing that can save her is to learn how to control her power. Enter David Soloman, who sees a person in pain, and in need of help. David is the Prime (leader) of the Vampire in this area and though his world is slowly crashing around him with old enemies coming forth to take back the throne, he wants to help Mira have a normal life, even if he will not have his for that much longer.

One of the Best debut novels that I have read in a long time. I have been shying away from the vampire part of the paranormal genre for a few months now, just for lack of imagination and redundancy that seemed to be occurring. This book was a nice surprise when I decided to revisit the genre. It was more than just, what has become typical in the vampire paranormal genre, is Hot Vampire, sexy female protagonist who falls for Hot Vampire. This book had more depth, it had political and self finding thrown in, but not in a way that was cheesy or felt out of place, it was part of the natural flow of the story.
The characters that Sylvan develops within the book are amazing. Once again the non-kickass protagonist is what holds my attention. Mira may have whit and humorous comments now and then, but she knows when she is out matched and that she has weaknesses. She is scarred, emotionally, psychologically and physically and has to work through all of these aspects on a day to day basis in order to survive and grow through out the book. Additionally, I like how Sylvan related what Mira was going to like an addition that she could not control, and how it was slowly bringing her down and was going to get her killed. Also how this addition had lead her to becoming an alcoholic, in order for her to be able to sleep at night. It really showed the downward spiral that Mira was heading in.

I also really liked the character Faith, she was dark, silent and deadly warrior that make me think of the kickass protagonist from other novels, who the story would normally be about. As I have stated I like the change in direction but it is still nice to have the kickass woman in the story, but she is better as a secondary character. I think if Sylvan was trying to go more with the flow of the books published right now in the paranormal genre, then Faith would have been the protagonist in this story.

Overall this is just a well written and thought out story and story line. It had everything that fans of the paranormal genre could want, it was dark and gritty at times, had action, suspense and some romance (though not with the multiple over the top sex scene, it is really more about true romance...hope that makes sense). To me to seemed like Sylvan has been writing books for years as her writing and style had depth of someone who was more experienced than her debut. Her story drew me in so much that I did not want to put the books down.

I do have a few slight criticism is why do so many authors in the paranormal genre use rape as part of what changes an individual's life. I understand that this is a traumatic event that would really shape a life, just seems that is a common theme, (to check out more what I mean visit Scooper Speaks).  Also, as much as I loved this book and everything about Mira and her growth within the book, I wonder if she has grown too much and the sequel will be lacking because of it, I can really only speculate on that front. However, I still think this is a great read and even if it is only good as a one off, it is still worth checking out. I know I will be checking out the sequel.

So I recommend this book, for those who love the paranormal genre, I think this should be one of the books that you read this year by a debut author.


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  1. Rape in UF is a common issue brought up by online readers. To me, rape is one of the most dreaded crimes. Think of the different ways a person can be tortured; rape is right up there whether you are talking about a man or a woman. I think we notice rape more because UFs usually drag the reader to the darkest corner of the imagination. The corner where the monsters hide and anyone can become a hero.

  2. Queen of Shadows must be really good if you're declaring it one of the better debut novels you've read in awhile! The way the you described the novel sure sounds like it.

    I don't read too many adult novels, but the ones I've read never had a rape scene in them or as a catalysts for changing them. So I'll take your word that it's overplayed in the genre...

    I’ve also given you an award on my blog! You can check it out here.

  3. I'm reading this one now. I'm not very far into it so far, but thus far, it's really grabbed my attention - in a good way that is