Review of Shayna (The Fate of the Faes #1), by Cynthia Melton

Cover of Shayna

I received an audible code for a review copy of Cynthia Melton‘s Shayna from the narrator, Amy Deuchler.

Description from Goodreads:

A darkness approaches that only a fae can stop. 

Evil forces threaten to cover the human world with darkness. The faerie world is dependent on the human world’s survival or they, too, will perish. Shayna, a faerie warrior of the Light is sent to the human world to prevent that from happening and must convince a human to help her. 

When she reveals her true self to Detective Pierce Cochran, his world is thrust upside down. Everything he believed to be a fairy tale is true. 

The faerie and the detective join forces against a growing number of demons and vampires, enlisting the help of an assortment of creatures Pierce didn’t know existed. Magic and weaponry collide as the mis-matched group of warriors race toward the final battle. 

Review:

This is the second time in a relatively short period that I’ve found myself in the same awkward situation, having accepted an audiobook for review from the narrator. Then, finishing it torn because the narrator did a fine job, but I basically hated the book. So, let me be real clear on this:

1. Amy Deuchler did a fine job with the narration. My only complaint being a slight emphasis on the names that exacerbated my main problem with the actual story, which I’ll get into. 

2. The book Shayna sucks balls. 

Now, that complaint: Shayna is perfect. She’s beautiful. She’s innocent. She’s sexy. She’s virginal. She’s the most powerful warrior. She can do any magic at any moment to get them out of any scrape. She’s loyal. She’s clever. She’s empathetic. She’s caring. She’s…she’s…she’s… To call her a Mary Sue is an insult to both Maries and Sues. SHE CAN DO NO WRONG and it makes for a horribly boring book. (This is where my only complaint about Deuchler’s narration comes in. She says Shayna’s name with an almost awed breathiness, which I understand given the text. But when I’m already irritated with the Shayna-worship, actually having to hear it in the name itself grated on my nerves something awful.) At one point an addictive substance was introduced and I actually thought, “Finally, something that might give this character a little depth and interest.” But no, even that was given to someone else, so that Shayna could save them again. 

Further, the story itself wasn’t smooth. I didn’t feel the romance develop AT ALL. It just suddenly was. Some characters seemed to know things they shouldn’t have. While other characters had large changes of heart for no apparent reason. And 2/3 of the book was basically just Shayna running around New York putting out fires as they popped up. Then, the whole thing culminated in a large sword and magic battle that didn’t relate to anything preceding it. It had some of the same characters (plus the ones that were pointlessness added too late in the book to truly be introducing characters), but nothing that happened before that point seemed necessary or to have effected the outcome. Then it was all over, Melton basically skipping over the battle and any last chance of providing a little tension or excitement. 

Overall, I very much feel like the author didn’t really have a plan for the book, so things just cropped up as she thought of them and nothing really tied together. I actually have all three books and I hate to not fulfill my obligation to read them. But I so disliked this one that I have a hard time thinking I’ll ever really listen to them.

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