Of Shadow and Stone

Of Shadow and Stone - Michelle Muto
Kate: I want my life back, but I keep wanting to go back to the castle.

Ian: We will do this, together.

Declan: You belong here, Kate.

Kate, a beautiful and successful actress, finds herself drawn to a supernatural world. She does not know why she is attracted to it. She does not know how she gets to it (and neither do we during the whole novel). She just knows that her life as an actress is not the only life possible for her.

Ian, a handsome and successful writer, Declan introduces him to the supernatural world slowly and surely. Even if Ian does not stay for professional reasons in the castle, love seems to attract him to it.

And so Kate and Ian, two cute successful individuals, find themselves entangled in a story that involves a lord, “neither god nor devil,” werewolves, vampires and… gargoyles.

Everyone in this story is beautiful and handsome and rich. Successful writer, successful actress and an immortal lord. This is the kind of unrealistic setting where the main characters gets to choose between a Ducati Monster and four wheel sedan, between castles and fantastic places. Over and over again we get to listen to Kate’s whining and her perfect life isn’t that perfect because her ex-perfect boyfriend betrays her.

There are few inconsistencies regarding the writings. For instance, we do not know for sure if Roland is a vampire or not, and if he is one, we do not get the necessary characteristics of a vampire, imo. At least he does not sparkle. And Ian had to change (you'd know to what), and took like forever to decide that he has to change ‘to get faster to the castle’ he could have just run and be there instead of arguing that he cant change into (whatever). It seemed like an excuse to make him change into a werewolf and get back fast to the castle because his beloved one was in danger. It felt too fabricated. These are tiny insignificant details, maybe, but it does bother me. It breaks the flow of the story for me.

The reader is confused… too confused for the sake of suspense. Suspense is a good thing, but it is handled in an awkward way at times in this novel, and at times it becomes frustrating. Explanations are chopped. They come in pieces, which is not that bad. They keep suspense and one’s interest is enhanced by them, but the pace if very draggy for my liking. It’s like if there’s not much happening and that the author had to fill pages with Kate’s anxiety. The pace is distorted. We get many interesting events in a paragraph or two and 1 page or 2 on Kate’s Starlet Drama (about men generally).

What I really dislike is how some details do not make sense. It’s like if the author tried to push their imagination too far and found themselves with a plot that doesn’t make that much sense. And it’s like if the author did not work their characters long enough. There is nothing special about them, or sometimes too much; sometimes, they have mundane characteristics, sometimes they are unrealistic.

Kate: doesn’t make sense sometimes, but that’s not surprising.

Ian: levelheaded, gentleman and anything a woman wants, too perfect.

Declan: I just don’t get how the author comes to make him a “sort of god” of the Netherworld. I just don’t get his position. I don’t get how “there is a God, the Devil, and Declan?”

The writing style is plain, but descriptive and easy enough.

Abuse of the use of italics. Draggy events at times.

All in all, this novel still deserves 3stars. It does keep one mildly interested. And despite the flaws I mentioned above, I did appreciate the attempt of the author at originality. It is not a novel that one would regret reading, imo.