The synopsis for 'Shadowed,' first in a new series by author Michelle Areaux, boasts that "fans of Twilight, The Guardian Series, and the Marked Saga will instantly fall in love with this new paranormal series." What it doesn't tell you, is that in spots it's practically just the same story with a few tweaks to details.
Henley, our main character is the same 'quiet, awkward outcast,' we saw in Bella. Her gorgeous new neighbor/school mate, the same wickedly attractive, yet emotionally conflicted recluse. He has a matching brother-sister combo rather than a full set of four, but the personalities are represented. There's the darkly dangerous one of their own kind and the entire family hiding a secret.. which by the way, is called something else, but may as well be the same. They even still have some sparkle, you'll see what I mean.
Honestly, before I decided the lines were too close not to practically be considered a rewrite, a moment that occurs outside the school which shot my brows upward. It had me thinking it's quite literally.. nearly the same scene as one between Edward and Bella. Now, since I'd half-read that Twilight novel, I had to look it up to see if I was mis-remembering.. but no. It's there.
There's a constant swing happening between present and past tense verbiage, even within the same sentences. Sometimes it'll occur three times back to back. As the copy I received was an unedited ARC, it's entirely possible that such things will be cleaned up, but in my experience those are not the kinds of issues that change. Here's hoping.
"I stood there frozen in place; my breathing slows as I anxiously waited.."
Her dialogue is stiff, like she's trying to craft every sentence with perfect grammar.. and has no idea how actual conversations might sound. Likewise, these kids talk like they're out of the 80's.. accusing others of treating them like 'scum.' I can't recall the last time I heard a teen use that word. And please, for the love of all that is good in the world.. stop repeating the same things back to back, just to fill space.
"It was cool," I rambled on.
"That's cool," Cohen said coolly.
"..I decided to go for a run. Sometimes when I needed to clear my head or just think, I would lace up my sneakers and go for a long run."
You said that. And that kind of thing happens all throughout the book.
It's not the worst thing I've ever read. And that's the best thing I can say about it.