Marie and her sister Ama mix and sell perfumes during market day in their small town in hopes of making enough money for one sister to marry well. However, they have a secret and it is not how they make their perfumes….
I am so grateful to NetGalley and the author for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I found the concept of the book extremely interesting and THE COVER IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! However, I had mixed emotions about the book and just wished the characters just gave a little more.
When I first started reading this book, I found the setting just amazing and the characters to be very compelling. I would have loved to explore the little town and I love the external and internal dialogue of French that the author spread all throughout the text. It made me want to go back to school and take French just so I could sound like they did. The town they lived in also gave off a very Puritan vibe and the fact that the main character and her sister were considered outsiders just added to that shady element. So I was really digging it until about 100 pages in… then things seemed to get a little hairy.
I feel like this book has a case of too much going on and not enough pages to resolve it all in a timely and detailed manner. It was all just too much and my head was constantly spinning.
We had an element of witches that have powers, but don’t. The witches didn’t really make sense to me in that their presence and their power wasn’t really explained in a way that made sense to the mystery of the plot. They had a big role in the plot, but their reasoning behind their role just didn’t make sense to me AT ALL…. Like their presence didn’t make any sense, neither did who they were or how they even got their powers.. One of them straight up disappeared and it was never explained…. It was honestly a mess in my opinion and could have been done a LOT better.
The mystery of the plot itself was interesting, but again, not well executed. I feel like the multiple storylines affected the plot and didn’t allow the true mystery to shine….. The true mystery being how Ama became a beast and if she is the one killing the children in the village. I also didn’t really understand what kind of beast she really was… At first it was explained that she was like a wolf and then later she was like a lion… just so unnecessarily confusing!
The characters in the book were all very interesting except one…. Sébastien LeClaire…. He was sooooooo meh. I mean Marie did all the work and she almost died a few times and he just brought nothing to the party. All he did was whine really so he wasn’t necessary to the plot and I thought that Marie could do so much better. Marie was such a cool character and she deserved so much better than she got!
The twist at the end and the culprit really didn’t make sense…. I mean it did and it didn’t. I wanted more details because the culprit was kind of one of my favorites other than Marie.
Overall, this read was an interesting concept, but I wish it had been better executed.
My Book Rating
3/5 Book World
Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin
Genre: Gothic YA Fantasy
Published on September 14, 2021 by Amulet Books
Copy Read: ebook (Kindle)