Review Type: Spoiler Free
Title and Author: Descended From Shadows by D.G. Swank & Alessandra Thomas
Genre and Subgenre: Paranormal Fantasy
Buy it here.
For centuries, Phoebe Whelan’s family of witches and mages has guarded the Book of Sindal, a tome filled with spells so evil it could destroy the world. After their parents’ death six years ago, it’s up to Phoebe and her older and younger sisters—Rowan and Celeste—to guard the book with their magic and their supernaturally fortified land. But Celeste’s expression magic is wild and untamed, and without their mother’s calming influence, Celeste is slowly going mad.
When the book—and Celeste—go missing, the Valarian Small Council believes Celeste stole the deadly book of spells. When they assign Captain Brandon Cassidy, the head of the Magical Protective Force and Phoebe’s former high school crush, to look for book, and things get a whole lot more complicated
Soon it becomes apparent a dark force has taken the book, which will only open with the blood of all three Whelans. The Dark Set has the strongest sister, now it needs the blood of the other two. Brandon’s mission quickly changes to include her protection, but Phoebe’s goal has remained the same—find the book and her sister, prove Celeste’s innocence, and let nothing get in her way, including her reawakened feelings for the man at her side.
I truly didn’t know what to expect going into this read since it’s my first D.G. Swank/Alessandra Thomas book. But I heard witches, magical government, and romance and I said- Witch, please! Yes, I am a cheeseball.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The worldbuilding was incredibly well done- from the witch government system to the abilities and limitations to their powers to even the history of witches in America going back to the Salem Trials- I was geeking out hardcore!
There were also some incredibly relevant themes throughout, from reverse sexism in the witch world to even some nods to extremism- I was truly impressed with how well thought out and relevant the intricacies of this world became.
I also adored the juxtaposition between the old world magic and modern-day technology and lifestyle. Without giving anything away, the balance between ancient magic and things like Netflix and cell phones made for some very funny and interesting moments throughout the story.
I was also surprised that I enjoyed the romance side to the story as well (because I can be very picky about that, as y’all know). Although there were definitely some cheesy parts that had me rolling my eyes, I loved the characters and overall thought the coupling was super cute.
My one criticism was that I thought some aspects of the story could’ve used more editing. I didn’t think the sister’s personalities were made distinct from one another quickly enough so there were a few moments that I thought were out of character for each of them. And then there were just some lines I thought could’ve been reworded to sound more natural and a few typos (it’s hard to turn off my editor brain when I read).
Overall, my criticisms were very minute & specific things because ultimately I thought this book was great. Would definitely recommend Descended From Shadows for anyone who enjoys paranormal fantasy reads, whether they be YA or Adult ones. D.G. Swank & Alessandra Thomas created such a rich, intricate, and complex world that I am looking forward to returning to in book two!
Thank you again to D.G. Swank and Alessandra Thomas for providing us with an ARC copy of this amazing book! Descended From Shadows is scheduled to publish today, May 29th. Order your copy here!