ARC Review: Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

Title: Girl in the Shadows
Author: Gwenda Bond
Series: Girl on a Wire, #2
Pages: 370
Publisher: Skyscape
Release Date: July 5th 2016
*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, which does not influence my review.* 

      “Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.
      When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.
      But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.”

swirl (2)

Gwenda Bond’s Girl in the Shadows, the sequel to her novel Girl on a Wire, tells the story of a girl who longs to be a magician like her father, but is destined for an even bigger stage. I haven’t read the first book in this series, so I was a little nervous going into this one, but this novel focuses largely on a different character and doesn’t necessarily require you to read the first. Moira wants more than anything to work magic for audiences, but her father has always been against the idea, despite the fact that he is a talented magician himself. I admire Moira’s drive, even with her father’s disapproval, she still continues to pursue her dream and becomes a gifted magician. One major drawback for her character though is her relentless need to take huge risks that didn’t feel necessary. She never seemed to learn from her past mistakes and even when another character pointed out that she didn’t need to take certain risks, she would inevitably do it anyway.

Moira’s love interest Dez was a character that felt largely incomplete and also graded on my nerves. When we first meet Dez, he’s exactly what you’d expect from a run-of-the-mill cocky, hot love-interest. His smiles are irresistible, his attention is flattering, and he’s hiding this softer side that only the female protagonist can see. What really annoyed me the most was that Dez was in constant need of reassurance. He continually would point out to Moira that he wasn’t good enough for her, that he didn’t deserve her, and they were too different. She in turn had to continually tell him he was worth it. This would have been fine if it happened once, but it felt like it kept happening over and over. I did not care much for their relationship, as it takes off rather quickly and really felt like it had no real depth.

There is an element of real magic to the novel that probably would have been more interesting if Moira had met someone with the same kind of ability she had, who was also an ally for her. Instead the protagonist must discover how to use her abilities on her own, with only vague clues to work with. The magical system felt very incomplete as a result. The adults were another part of this book that I didn’t like. Most of them seemed to be either infuriatingly passive or frustratingly overbearing. For the most part, they functioned as obstacles in Moira’s story and didn’t feel well-rounded enough. One saving grace for the novel is Moira’s dedication to her female role-models. Before every performance, she would take the time to dedicate her show to a real life female magician that she drew inspiration from.

Rating: 2/5


4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

  1. How frustrating this book must have been to read, huh? I feel it in your review. Was Moira’s risk-taking out of arrogance? I’m usually such a sucker for a sweetheart like Dez, hard on the exterior, vulnerable in the inside, and all that yummy stuff. I don’t feel the chemistry…he must be quite incomplete. Ha ha. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one. I’ve seen this floating around. I think I will pass for sure now. Lovely review as always, Alicia. =)

    Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.