With all that said, there were a few things about this book that made it a bit awkward to read. With most novels the narrative is told in past tense, as though the author is relating a story that happened at an earlier time (“Someone went and woke him up”). However this was told in present tense as though it were happening right there and then (“Someone goes and wakes him up”). I found this very distracting at first since I couldn’t remember having read a book like that before. However, after a short time I got used to it and it stopped bothering me.
There was also a conspicuous lack of punctuation at times. Now, I majored in linguistics so I don’t care much about so-called “proper English” or anything, but sometimes when one chooses to leave out a lot of commas it can be hard to interpret the sentence correctly. Sometimes I actually had to re-read certain parts to figure out how the phrases within a sentence were supposed to be broken up so I could figure out what the author was saying. Another thing was a lack of proofreading. This book had more typos than I have ever seen in a book and I’ve read Chris Heimerdinger’s Tennis Shoes series. Extra words, misspelled words, words written as two words that should have been one word, using the wrong form of a word, etc. Needless to say, it was a little distracting.
Another thing I noticed was there were a lot of repeats of ideas. In most books you get the description or an explanation once, then if a character needs to relate that information to someone else later on in the story the author will simply state that the character related the information. However, in this book many times when these types of situations happened the full explanation would be related again in the text. This was a little unusual but I actually found it a kind of nice. Since I often read this book a bit sporadically sometimes it helped to have the information repeated since I had often forgotten it. This book was a little predictable at times. There were many incidences when I read something that would remind me of scenes or themes from The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter or other fantasy books. Of course, most fantasy stories remind the reader of other fantasy stories and when you have read as much fantasy as I have you tend to notice those similarities more. So don’t misunderstand; this is in no way a copy or a knock-off of some other story. Defeating Shadows is a unique and creative story that happens to contain many of the themes that are dealt with in other stories in the genre.
So overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys reading fantasy as much as I do. Hopefully Kris E. Kay will write more soon.