Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book review Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock

Shadow in Serenity is a smooth ride on a new carousel.  I found the book light and fun to read with engaging characters who brought the story to life.

Click to see a larger image of Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock

Carny Sullivan was named aptly for the world she grew up in.  Her parents worked on a travelling carnival who taught her to see the world through very different eyes than most.  She was raised to trick, con and steal almost anything.  Which gave her an ability to read people far deeper than most could. 

Now living in a quiet "Mayberry" types town in Texas she doesn't need to use that skill much, until Logan Brisco strolls into town. His slick and saavy ways are no match for her insight, until he finds a way past her head and into her heart.  Then he has to pull off the greatest con ever in his life ... the truth.

Shadow in Serenity is penned by Terri Blackstock, a Christy Award winning and New York Times Bestelling author.  This title is my first from this author and I was definitely not disappointed.  The original story was actually published many years ago when she worked as a non-christian writer.  Since God changed her life and she switched over to the Inspirational market, she has had a fondness for this story.  So when the timing was right she re-wrote parts, added more to the Christian elements and prepared the story for her conservative audience.

This story held so many great elements for me.
The best part was the intriguing relationship between Logan and Carny.  The back and forth banter that ignited their interest in each other was fun to read and be a part of.  Ms. Blackstock did a fantastic job of getting into the head of a swindler both present and past.  It is like a ex-criminal trying to catch a criminal.  Fun to read!

As for the plot, although it was not a suspenseful book it was definitely anything but predictable.  For a 315 page story, I still didn't know how the author would finally unite the hero with his prize until page 310.  (Don't peek if you haven't read it - you'll miss the best parts!)

I also appreciated the spiritual arc of the characters.  In particular Logan 's journey felt real and authentic to me.  This is an important element for books that I enjoy.  

There were only two areas in the book that I would mention in my dislikes.  (And they are quite small.)  The first was in the form of dialogue.  There is a young boy in the story who is age 7/8.  He speaks with too much wisdom and understanding much of the time as well as seems like an informant at others (speaking info that the reader needed to know).  I felt that his innocence needed to be more evident especially in light of the way his mother had chosen to raise him away from the world that taught her so much in the opposite.

The last comment I would make is that there is a decision that Carny, the heroine makes towards the end of the book.  It is crucial to the plot and helps make the ending so satisfying.  By the end of the story I knew exactly why Ms. Blackstock wrote it that way but I could not reject the notion that it seemed too out of character for Carny.  From the way I got to know the woman in the story she wouldn't have done it that way.  However perhaps you may find as you read the story that you do not agree with me.  This particular 'flaw' does not reflect negatively on the outcome or satisfaction of the story.  I still give the book two thumbs up.  Way up!

Here is a video of the book trailer if you are interested in checking it out.  After you're done that, then go buy the book.

I received a free copy of this title from Shelby Sledge representing Zondervan Publishers and Terri Blackstock in exchange for my honest review.  I am not required to give a positive response.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this review, especially since it's sitting on my bedside table waiting to be read. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Please come again.