Nascent Shadow by Matthew S. Cox Review

Nascent Shadow is a very fun and engaging read. Armed with inventive items and awesome action sequences, it got the captivating goodness of a fantastical story set in a contemporary world. The protagonist, Brooklyn, was a genuine ass-kicking character who knows how to hold her own, not because she's half-demon (let's just put it at that) but because she's a feisty lass with a heart.

Nascent Shadow by Matthew S. Cox Review
Nascent Shadow by
Series: Temporal Armistice #1
Date Published:
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
ISBN: 9781974281251
Format: ebook (I got a digital ARC via Netgalley for an honest review)


Brooklyn Amari knew not to get in car with a stranger; when a man tried to lure her―she killed him.

As if taking a man’s life at the tender age of ten wasn’t bad enough, her childhood home burned to the ground two years later. She doesn’t remember how she survived, but she’s felt a pull toward the conflagration ever since. After a troubled patch in her teens, she’s become a respectable firefighter, rushing again and again into the inferno that almost killed her. A routine sweep-and-clear during a hotel blaze takes a deadly turn, but also explains how she escaped death eleven years ago: she’s probably a demon.

Brooklyn had always enjoyed having psychic abilities, but wings?

She’s still trying to come to terms with what she might be when she gets a vision of an arsonist planting a magic bomb. The Fire Marshal’s office is ill-equipped to handle magic, and since she’s the most paranormal thing they’ve got, they offer her a temporary promotion.

Unfortunately, she soon finds herself neck deep in an investigation that goes straight over her head.

And oh yeah―she’s supposed to destroy the world.
Review

I was a bit let down with how tedious the protagonist's life was at the beginning until 10% into the book. Brooklyn turns out to be a real badass. If you have an inner sociopath in you, you'd love this.

When an enchanted meth lab exploded two trailers down her home when she was 12, Brooklyn survived for some bizarre reason. She thought that was the catalyst why she eventually became a firefighter. As it turns out, she's just a half-Shaar'Nath. Just take all the descriptions of a demon except that demons don't exist. Nor angels. Such beings exist but not in the context that humans put in them. Simply put, there's no heaven or hell, just two worlds eternally at war with each other. Think of all the descriptions put into an angel and you'll get an Elestari.

When Brooklyn got caught up in an arson case because she turned out to be psychic, she was temporarily absorbed into the Fire Marshal's Office where she gets to do some investigation. When suspects won't answer her properly (when she can read their minds), she'd stare them in the eyes and let her eyes glow like that of a White Walker; that is, with an odd bluish glow. It's Elestari's eyes that glow crimson red.

Brooklyn is like a female version of Lucifer in the TV series, Lucifer, when her wit's end is concerned which I find funny. She'd pretend to be a real demon (again, they don't exist) in a way that humans perceive to get the information that she wanted.

Someone owes me a soul, and if I can't find him, you're next on the list.

And the poor victim would spill the beans.

I love how the book wasn't front-loaded instantly with information that the world the character exists in isn't entirely vanilla or modern. Mages and magic do exist alongside humans, just not entirely embraced in a way that puts mages in a more advantageous position. I was surprised to find that magic-wielders don't have to hide from normal humans, so do bizarre magical creatures (they could register themselves). The world-building sounds as normal as it is until shit hit the fans.

Everything in Nascent Shadow screams how far we can plausibly go with technology even without the magical element, like spatial and photo recognition attached with the GPS function (still in development in real life). If you happen to go into a portal and stand on an unknown place on the other side, you merely have to take a picture on where you are and your phone app will tell you.

I engulfed this book practically in one sitting (with eight hours of sleep before finishing the last 10 pages). Nascent Shadow is just so funny to boot.

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