Thursday, 17 April 2014

Shattered Secrets (Book of Red #1) by Krystal Wade

Description from Goodreads:

After being kidnapped, hogtied, and stuffed in the trunk of a car, seventeen-year-old Abigail Nichols' boy problems seem unimportant. 
She couldn't be more wrong.

The boy who saves her holds her heart. 

But Derick Crawford also holds secrets. 

Magical beings who guide human emotions are fighting an invisible war dating back to the dawn of time, and Abigail's one of them. The more she learns of her heritage, the less she wants to know. Armed with a very old, very massive book to teach them about their history, Abigail and Derick run away to a place where they think they can be safe and happy, only to have their troubles secretly hitch a ride.

Her history book is in a sharing mood, and it tells her to keep a secret of her own.

But has she put her trust in the wrong place?

And will the world survive if she has?


I really wanted to like Shattered Secrets, I really did. The description promises everything: action, mystery, romance, a great fantasy concept - I was expecting to get it all. Instead, the story I read was generic, I couldn't relate to the characters, and sometimes there was just too much action (I felt like I couldn't breath with the irregular pacing: first there were plenty of action, and then there are just chapter and chapters of fillers). 

Perhaps the thing that was the most off for me was the character establishment. The only character that had some real uniqueness to him, was Mark, Abigail's friend who has been in love with her forever. He had this easy-going, funny personality that stood out from the others. The remaining characters, on the other hand, were barely memorable. I have to admit that Abigail did have spunk in her, but the author could have taken it to the next level as her character establishment didn't feel stable. First she was the shy and sweet girl, then the independent and witty girl, suddenly she became the smart and courageous one. I'm not saying that a character can't be all that, but if the author wants the character to have it all, but her main core personality traits need to be established in the beginning of the book: I'm still not sure what Abigail's are. 

Wade did write some very cute scenes, and my favourite one was the one right in the beginning of the novel when Abigail and Derick are in a book shop. The scene had emotions and context to it, and I could almost feel myself being in the room with them. But I don't feel like the author was able to keep this up for very long. Shattered Secrets contains a lot of dialogue, and even though I love smart dialogues, the constant conversing between characters became really tiring really quickly. We know from the beginning scene that the author is capable of writing descriptive and cute text, but we don't get to read it that often. What a shame. Wade also likes to use short sentences which disrupted the flow of the story telling from time to time, and this links back to the description part I was just talking about. In my opinion, I would have liked the writing more flowy. 

Another thing that I just couldn't leave behind me while reading the book: the lame emotions. Abigail faces so much during this story, so much, but there's no single moment in the book in which she just sits down and tries to cope with the situation. Instead, she is happy-go-lucky with her boyfriend who doesn't even question her emotional trauma. There was some effort in the beginning to deal with all the emotions, but soon this part  also is forgotten. The author really likes action and quick-paced sequence of events (and I have nothing against it), but this is done at the expense of the characters and their development. I did like the action, and I have to admit that the book definitely contains some of the most amazing twists I have ever read in a novel, but at times I felt like the author had wanted to include every twist that she could come up with. At times I just stared at the page I was reading and asked myself: "Is this really happening? AGAIN?" (you'll see what I mean if you decide to pick up the book). 

I have recently read some amazing books that have had really great character establishment and great depictions of emotional turmoil, so I think I may have had a bit too high expectations for the book. At first I though that the book should maybe be directed towards pre-teens but the book was rather violent, so I'm not so sure after all? I was left with lot of confusion after finishing the book as there were somethings that I  feel like I didn't get a chance to read of (coping with trauma, detailed personality descriptions, cultural depictions). The concept is so amazing, the idea of magical beings who guide human emotions, but Shattered Secrets just didn't meet my expectations.


  1. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this one, Sofia! I agree with you about the lame emotions- so many books feature crazy things but the characters sometimes are distant from it. It's one of the reason why I liked The Hunger Games so much... Katniss broke down.
    Great review!

    Esty @ Boarding with Books

    1. Thank you! :) Yeah, I also think that THG handled pretty well the emotional trauma Katniss went through. I feel like the author is undermining the characters and underestimating the readers when the focus isn't on the character's psyche and its recovery when faced with a shocking events. :( Shattered Secrets would have been so much better if the author would have dedicated even one chapter on the emotional coping.

      Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. Think I'll pass on this one-great review!

    1. I wish I liked it more - it had so much potential!

      Thanks for commenting. :)

  3. I appreciate your thorough and honest look into this one, Sofia! It's tricky when an author can write well, but the book just doesn't pack the punch you'd hoped. Still, it sounds fairly solid, and I"m sure it will find a great audience. Lovely review, girl :)

    1. Thanks Melissa! :) I've seen some pretty positive reviews of Shattered Secrets on Goodreads, so I'm sure that there are plenty of people who will enjoy it. Unfortunarely, I don't belong that group. :(

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. I'm still 60% done with this one myself and I haven't picked it up in five days. My biggest complaint is also the inconsistency but the characters aren't flowing either. "I love you! I trust you!" then they're basically throwing each other the bus and glaring.

    There's also too much, like you mentioned. (There could be more, and I'm sure I'll get around to it, maybe but..) There's the book, powers, deceitful adults, teenage hormone problems, an alternate world, bad guys, bad guys with guns, possible hallucinations, a random video game used for communication, etc... and as a gamer, I'm really offended by the author's inclusion of the game but having the "scoffs, games are lame" attitude.

    Basically, glad I'm not the only one who felt this book super fell on its face!

    1. If you are 60% done, you still have plenty to experience. :D At times, I felt like skimming through, but tried to read every chapter carefully if there happened to be something that could have changed my mind about the book. But that something never came.

      And I so agree on that gamer remark. I think quite many people tend to think that way if they haven't had a chance to play some amazing video games, and that shone right through from her writing that she hadn't really had that much experience with video games.

      Thanks for commenting! I'm glad too that I wasn't the only one who though this wasn't prime stuff - I'm always a bit hesitant to post negative reviews.


You can't see me, but I'm totally doing my happy dance as I read your comment!