About the Book:
Title: Shadow Walker
Author: Jina Bazzar
Series: Shadow Walker #1
Page Length: 324
Publication Date: Oct. 14, 2022
Synopsis: Nine Houses rule the nation, and Melaina stays away from them at all costs. She lives by one hard rule: never mingle with the supernatural.
Driven by fear of discovery, she remains on the fringes of society, occasionally stealing to provide for her aunt and her brother. When the opportunity to work for a corporation not owned by a House falls into her lap, she can’t believe her luck. With a forged non-magical certification in hand, she’s ready to embrace a bright future.
Unfortunately, the future is an ambush by blackmailing thugs, notorious assassins, and an unscrupulous House leader.
Entrenched in House conflict, Melaina’s dream of normalcy has turned into her worst nightmare.
Now, to save her brother and family secrets, she’ll have to partake in one last dangerous heist. Success meant exposing her forbidden magic, but Failure could cost the lives of everyone she loves.
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Shadow Walker is the first book in a new series by Jina Bazzar, and it is an exciting and immersive paranormal, dystopian fantasy.
Melaina, who used to be an elusive and successful thief from The Underground, has put her criminal ways behind her in favor of a steady, non-criminal life. Working toward a legit career, Melaina tries to stay as far away from the Nine Houses that control her world. However, when she is blackmailed, Melaina must use her retired skills to steal from the very houses she’s tried to avoid. If Melaina doesn’t do what her blackmailers ask, her brother will go to prison, but as Melaina learns why her blackmailers want the scrolls she’s tasked to steal, the more at risk she is of revealing her hidden magic, and the more she realizes just how dangerous these scrolls are if put in the wrong hands.
Melaina is a bad-ass heroine. She’s a trained thief who works hard to provide for and protect her brother and aunt. She is smart and strong, and her acerbic wit is fantastic. I also love her relationships with her family. They are so close, and there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. It’s great to see a softer side of Melaina since she spends much of the story pushing down her emotions and focusing on the danger in front of her.
Melaina also has some loyal friends who have her back when she needs it most, and there are some she doesn’t even realize are helping her. Her friendship with tech wizard and hacker Edge is one I found particularly interesting. Their banter is fantastic, and I kind of hoped their friendship might grow into something more. Some of the scenes where they’re working together are super intense, and they show the implicit trust and confidence they have in each other.
Melaina’s ex also has a significant role in the story, and I like how each chapter has snippets of an interview he was subjected to. These brief interrogations offer insight and a different perspective in regard to her character and the events that are unfolding in the plot. I have a feeling he’s going to have a larger role in the story as it progresses, and hopefully, he and Melaina can reconcile some of the unresolved feelings they have for each other.
The story is suspenseful and intriguing, and there are many heart-pounding moments, as Melaina is chased, kidnapped, blackmailed, and constantly put in harm’s way. Her stints of breaking and entering and the many close calls that come with it add to the tension and high-stakes feel of the story. With several great twists and turns, it’s an entertaining read, and I’m eager to continue the series and see what’s in store next for Melaina and the other characters. I have a feeling her story is far from over.
Special thanks to Jina Bazzar for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The intrigue and action.
- The relationships.
I think Shadow Walker will appeal to readers who like paranormal or dystopian fiction with a ton of sucpense, intrigue, and action.