Welcome to my spot on the blog tour for Ignite the Shadows by Ingrid Seymour-a YA Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy novel published by HarperVoyager on April 23rd 2015. You can find the tour schedule here if you’d like to visit the other blogs, which contain a mix of reviews, excerpts and author interviews.
About the Book
Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. However, she’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy.
Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth.
Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares.
Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse.
Disclosure-I received an eBook copy of Ignite the Shadows in exchange for an honest review.
I was looking forward to reading Ignite the Shadows because I really enjoy urban fantasy and sci-fi and was intrigued by the bold cover. I’d never read anything by Ingrid Seymour before, but the synopsis got my attention.
I thought the premise of the novel was really unique. ‘The Shadows’ or ‘Eklyptors’-parasites that infect people’s brains and change them into hideous hybrid creatures-were a different take on the deadly disease and paranormal creature tropes that are popular in sci-fi and urban fantasy. There was an element of psychological thriller as the main character, Marci, always wonders whether she’s imagining the shadows and going crazy. The idea really appealed to me as you could possibly interpret the shadows as a metaphor for depression or another mental illness that you’re constantly having to battle with unbeknown to the rest of the world.
I thought the story was quite unique and the plot was so action-packed that it was near impossible to put down. I don’t really want to reveal too much more about the plot because I don’t want to spoil the twists and turns, which you really want to ride yourself. The setting is realistic enough to be convincing, and the concept of creatures that could infect people and change them from the inside out into is truly terrifying. Like Marci, you don’t know which characters to trust and which could be something other than human…
Luckily, an organisation called IgNiTe are dedicated to battling the Eklyptors and recruit Marci for help. Marci is realistic and easy to relate to. Instead of being a stereotypical female or a sexy gun wielding assassin-type that I’ve seen in quite a few YA urban fantasies, Marci is instead a brave and feisty heroine who is talented at hacking and karate and a bit of a geek.. Very refreshing. Although sometimes she could be frustratingly moody and failed to see what was right under her nose and I just wanted to shake her! But she became more likeable as the novel went on.
I had mixed feelings about Xave. I loved his X-men inspired name and his history with Marci. He and Marci grew up together and had a really sweet friendship. But unfortunately you don’t get to see the best of their relationship, as at the start of the novel they’re already fighting and because he’s been friendzoned, Xave comes across as being overly moody and harsh on Marci, in my opinion. It would have been nice to see some of the lighter side of their relationship before the fallout happened, because at first he just he just seemed a complete git*.
Some of the other characters, like Luke, were hard to work out as they were not fully developed and sometimes inconsistent. I couldn’t really connect with many of them. But this was good in one way because it kept you wondering whether certain characters could be trusted or if they had a hidden agenda. I did wish that more time was spent on exploring Marci and Luke’s relationship as I was really interested in seeing what would happen to them after the revelation in the first few chapters. Perhaps Luke will appear more in the sequels.
The main thing that I struggled with was the lack of forthcoming answers to some of the mysteries surrounding IgNiTe and the Eklyptors. I guess I’m just one of those people who has to know what’s going on and I was surprised that Marci didn’t ask more questions or push for the answers when people refused to tell her, but rather she seemed to go along with everything like she didn’t have any other option. Some details were left unexplained at the end, which might appeal to some readers but I personally prefer to have things wrapped up.
Overall, despite a few issues, I really enjoyed Ignite the Shadows and would definitely pick up the sequel. There’s something for everyone in this book-action, mystery, psychology and angsty romance-and it covers a wide range of themes from family turmoil and grief to what it means to be human. I would particularly recommend it to those who enjoy urban fantasy and sci-fi novels and are looking for a fresh take on the genre.
* British English for ‘total douche’.
About the Author
Ingrid Seymour is the author of Ignite the Shadows (Harper Voyager, April 23rd, 2015).
When she’s not writing books, she spends her time working as a software engineer, cooking exotic recipes, hanging out with her family and working out. She writes young adult and new adult fiction in a variety of genres, including Sci-Fi, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal and horror.
Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She is a dreamer and a fighter who believes perseverance and hard work can make dreams come true.
She lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband, two kids and a cat named Mimi.
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