Ashlyn Woods just transferred to one of the most beautiful campuses on the west coast, where she can't wait to start her life over as a normal college student. But her plans take an unexpected turn when she discovers that she is a Soterian: a person who develops amazing powers when the balance of good and evil shifts too far in evil's favor.
Soon she and the other Soterians are studying martial arts and learning to use their powers to prevent California from being plunged into chaos. But they quickly discover that they're up against a much more dangerous enemy than they anticipated. And when Ashlyn meets Kai, a devastatingly gorgeous guitar player, she realizes she must sacrifice more than she ever imagined.
Prior to receiving this book, I hadn’t read any reviews, opinions or buzz on it, which is extremely unusual considering it’s usually what strikes my interest for books in the first place. Since the buzz was low and I had no preconceived notions to go by, I was a bit worried that I might end up hating it, but fortunately, my worries were for nothing.
Rising Shadow, though not one of the most spectacular books I’ve ever read, pleasantly surprised me by how much it pulled me in. I was expecting the story to include paranormal villains and some kind of mystical “self-discovery” mission, but this story had neither. In fact, the main villains of the story are very real and very believable. I enjoyed the idea that instead of dark powers and mythical creatures, the Soterians fought against bona fide evils- politicians, robbers, etc.
Only one thing bothered me enough to mention- the fast relationship between Ashlyn and Kai. While I appreciated that even the main characters acknowledged that their feelings escalated entirely too quickly, I didn’t like how fast the word ‘love’ had been introduced into their relationship. I would’ve much preferred to see them progress more, but on the other hand, it’s easy to see why Jacquelyn wrote them like that.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. Complete with a cast of butt-kicking characters, awesome powers and realistic missions that balanced out the real evils of the world- Rising Shadow is definitely worth checking out!