Reviews

Half Sick of Shadows, by Laura Sebastian

lostnotquitefound's review

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slow-paced

4.0

sophiamreads's review

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adventurous emotional hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

rxnnmelody's review

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adventurous medium-paced

4.0

oregano13's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

callielabelle's review

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adventurous reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

Overall: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plotline: 4/5
World-Building: 4/5
Themes: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Enjoyment Factor: 4/5

Review: This took a much different angle than I expected or am used to with King Arthur retellings. I really enjoyed the direction this took especially with Elaine and her voice. I loved how we saw her navigate her world and her magic within this era. The only thing I found jarring was going from the future tense of Elaine's visions and what was actually happening, but I did love the array of options of the future as Elaine navigated and tried to change the future paths. 

eucalyptusgirl's review

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adventurous emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

I really loved this book. From chapter one Elaine is haunted by seemingly inevitable futures. However, the author does a beautiful job weaving these futures together to inform and shape the decisions the characters make. I loved that the friendship between Gwen, Morgana, and Elaine are center stage. The three of them are heavily influenced by the men in their lives. However, despite powerless moments, the characters maintain a sense of personhood and agency throughout. Truly beautiful work with an incredible ending. 

thebooktender's review

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful sad tense
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

kimtee83's review

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adventurous emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

This was my first foray into Arthurian legend, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This feminist retelling was interesting, though I did find the narrative lacking in parts. 

Arthur, for the most part, feels like a flat character (as told by Sebastian). So much so, that I find it a bit perplexing that Lancelot, Gwen, or Elaine would so willingly forgo happiness to see him on the throne. We continually hear that he will be great. But, we rarely see it in the novel itself. Even Elaine’s vision see Arthur in a rage or despair. So, in this way, the novel doesn’t really seem like a feminist … anything. 

It is only when, first, Morgana and, later, Elaine and Gwen find the lines they are not willing to cross for Arthur, does the narrative change. This change happens in the last thirty pages or so. Nonetheless, in choosing to walk away from their fates, they forge new paths. I would have enjoyed an additional chapter or two on what that path looked like for our three female characters, especially after so many visions of their unhappiness.

Regardless, I found the novel enchanting. I felt as if I was transported into this world. I found myself rooting for our ragtag team. Honestly, I may even properly dive into Arthurian mythology now. 

I will say that I most enjoyed Morgana, Gwen and Elaine taking control of their lives and their happiness. That really saved the novel for me.

library_of_alexandra_'s review

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

davidreyno's review

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adventurous emotional mysterious sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

An original retelling of the Arthurian legend with much more focus on the women and a different take on the role that Merlin plays.  Don't ever wish to be a Seer is conveyed very convincingly.
Spoiler:  
The men still meet their doom, but, thanks to the sacrifice of the hero, Elaine, the women have the chance to not.