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