By: J.M. Muller
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, YA, Horror
Hunted as a human for his vibrant aura, Daniel held all the lethal promise Narivous looks for in a Velore. His color was both bold and bright, his potential limitless. He had the makings of one of the strongest undead Narivous has ever seen.
Until he’s turned in a forbidden way.
Resurrected from a poison death, he now has a toxic touch and a wail violent enough to eradicate all creatures within screaming distance. He is as his aura promised—dangerously powerful. Almost too much so.
Thorn, Narivous’ tyrannical queen, has outlawed the making of his clan, for good reason—their powers are beyond her control. The toxin roiling beneath his flesh makes him a threat but, worse yet, Thorn sees Daniel as a symbol of rebellion. He represents more than disobedience, he represents a rift in her realm.
And that places Daniel in a precarious position. Thorn will stop at nothing to restore her omnipresent image, and there are only two ways to do that: break Daniel, or destroy him. Daniel will soon be tested—become Thorn’s monster, or suffer death for a second, and final, time.
As an author and book reviewer, I have the pleasure of meeting some pretty incredible writers and read some excellent works of art. But every once in a while I find a true treasure, one that stands above the rest. This is one of those treasures. Book One, Colors of Immortality, was a fabulous read: original and very well written. But book 2, Shades of Death, takes things to a whole new level.
Like I said in my review of Colors of Immortality, J.M. Muller has created a unique world with unique fantasy characters. Technically, this is a twist on the overdone zombie craze. But I cringe saying that since Muller’s zombies are nothing like you’ve seen before. They aren’t brainless, walking dead flat characters. These are a rich, complex new type of being complete with emotions, backstory, and depth. The hidden world in which the Velore live, Nervous, is so well constructed through Mullers use of descriptive language that the reader not only can imagine what it looks like, but what it feels like, smells like—the fear and pain—this world Thorn created as a twisted attempt to heal herself and these creatures from their past. And in doing so, she has become their mother, their god.
And that bring me to Thorn. In the Legend of Colors of Immortality we learn Thorn’s backstory, giving dimension to what could have been easy left as a simply pure evil flat character by lesser writers. Muller gives reason for what she has become, why she does what she does, and why she chooses the ones she “blesses” with her supernatural gift.
But as much as I love this story—this world and all of its characters—the thing I love most and can’t get enough of is Muller’s ability to use the written word in such a powerful way. Every sentence, every word, feels carefully chosen to articulate the images in her mind in such a way that they become your own. Her talent is awe-inspiring. My only regret is how long I’ll ave to wait for the next installment.
Please, if you read this series (and you MUST read this series), DO NOT skip the Legends at the end of the books. They include important backstory pertinent to the experience!
*If you’re a book reviewer, Book One, Colors of Immortality is available for review request on Netgalley!
About the Author:
J.M. MULLER is a fan of both animals and villains, and believes every story needs a little darkness. She has a plethora of skills (okay, that’s a lie), but does enjoy writing and creating–to the very best of her abilities.
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