Saturday, December 28, 2013

Review: Chain of Shadows by Steven Montano

The barrier between worlds has been broken, and the invasion is about to begin.

Eric Cross, burdened by the loss of those who’ve died under his command, must lead his recently reunited mercenary team against the shadow wolf sorcerers known as the Maloj. Bound to dire artifact blades and charged with protecting the Kindred, Cross seeks help from the enigmatic White Mother, leader of the Southern Claw.

But sinister forces bring his vessel down in a strange and distant land, and soon Cross and his allies are beset by undead armies vying for control of the deadly region called the Chain of Shadows. Trapped in a desert waste where wielding magic is dangerous and nothing is as it seems, Cross’s team will pay the ultimate price in their battle to finally get home...

Return to the world After the Black in this pivotal 6th book of the BLOOD SKIES saga!

Helpful Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Website

My Review

Chain of Shadows starts with a bang as we are thrown right into the thick of it with Cross and his team running for their lives! Something dark has definitely landed and it is hunting Cross and his team, only they don't realize it until it is much too late. 

The road for Cross and his team of mercenaries has definitely been a hard one with members of the team dropping like flies it is hard to tell just who is going to make it out of this hellacious war alive. Every time I picked up Chain of Shadows I would turn into a huge ball of nerves and anxiety as I waited for the doom, death and destruction that I knew would come. After all it is war. And as Steven Montano reminds us war is not pretty and even the good guys have to die. But that didn't stop my fears. That didn't stop me from hoping and praying that my favorite characters Cross, Danica, Ronan, Maur, Shiv and Flint would make it. 

I know these are irrational fears, but if you read the Blood Skies series at all then you know that anything can happen in this world and that it usually does. And it of course will find Cross and his team. It never seems to fail. These guys just can't catch their breath. I think these characters are in serious need of a nice relaxing vacation on the beach, but alas I know it is not in the cards for these fearless mercenaries. Someone has to stop the darkness from consuming the world. And there is absolutely no one better than Cross and his team. I know that but it doesn't hurt any less when they get hurt, which in Chain of Shadows is a lot I'm afraid. 

I am so hooked to these characters. I feel like I have known them forever and in a sense I have known them quite a long time. When the series just started Cross was new and still learning, I was just learning the ropes of the series as well, but by Chain of Shadows Cross is an experienced warrior who looks death in the eye on a regular basis and lives to tell the tale. He is scarred physically and mentally and is the glue that holds the team together and now I am a pro at the series too. And like Cross I can't bear anything bad happening to this crew of misfit mercenaries. 

When Steven Montano develops characters he makes it into an art form. Making them real with flaws, fears, and limits. His characters though they are the hero's aren't perfect and that's what makes them so easy to connect with they are just as likely to die as any supporting character. And that is just not something you find in a lot of books now days. 

There were so many close calls, uncertainties and almosts in Chain of Shadows I thought I was going to die of a heart attack before it was all said and done. The danger in Chain of Shadows is unlike anything they have faced before and that ups my level of anxiety to nuclear levels. Now they face a vicious dark being called the Maloj, shadow wolf sorcerers that are determined to destroy the world as they know it. But they aren't the only danger lurking in the shadows, but they are a very real threat. A threat that another group of evil baddies wants to use. And it is because of these groups that they end up fighting for their lives and the world in a strange land. They are tested like never before and each of them begins to question whether or not it's all worth it. 

But there is a glimmer of happiness in their desolate and dark world a small one, but it was enough to almost make me leap off my couch and shout with glee! In what is sure to be an historical moment between Cross and Danica my heart soared and I smiled from ear to ear, finally the moment we all have been waiting for, one that was so well deserved and a long time coming. But now I sit waiting for the other shoe to drop, biting my nails as I have even more to lose. (Funny, those are the the exact same thoughts Danica had after this awesome moment)

This team is absolutely amazing. They are a solid well oiled machine that act as a part of each other, almost like they are all pieces of a puzzle. As individual pieces they are all strong, durable, unique, and powerful; but when you put them together they can be unstoppable. And with the addition of Shiv to their team I can only imagine the things they will conquer in the future. You want to talk about kick butt characters, Shiv takes the cake. She is almost stronger than all the team together, but she is young and needs the help and guidance of the team to carry her through. Shiv grew exponentially in Chain of Shadows growing from that young uncertain girl to a confidant Kindred in the blink of an eye. Of course we are still learning just what a Kindred is, but from what we have seen I know it is something awesome!

As with all the Blood Skies books there were twists and turns and completely unexpected things happening around every corner and just when you thought you knew what was going to happen, Steven Montano would pull the rug out from under you and remind you that absolutely anything can happen. 

Chain of Shadows was dark, twisted, and so full of nail biting moments I don't have any nails left. Steven Montano really knows how to take you to the brink and let you hang. The holy crapballs moment at the end of Chain of Shadows solidifies his stance as the king of the unexpected. There is no way I saw that ending coming and I can't even begin to imagine what it all means or where this story is going now.

Chain of Shadows is exhilarating, action packed, dark, and as twisted as a pretzel. It will give you heart palpitations, make you shout for joy, and quiver in a corner. It is darkness as only Steven Montano can write and it will make you cry for more. This has now taken reign as my favorite in the series! You all seriously need to jump on this dark bandwagon and find out what this is all about!

"You always come back. And you always will." (Kindle, loc 375). 

I couldn't have said it better myself! I think this sums up Cross quite nicely. He does always come back. Of course this is not my only favorite moment. The one I really want to share with you I can't because it would totally ruin it. But I can tell you that my favorite moments starts on location 5217 in the kindle edition. Trust me you'll know it when you read it :)

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