I loved the first chapters of Shadoworld, the fourth installment in Rachel E. Kelly’s Colorworld series. Wendy’s difficulties in learning to live as a normal human being seemed like a wonderful parallel for anyone dealing with changes in capabilities, and I sympathized strongly with how she had to learn how to function with her new normal. Unfortunately, the tonal shift about a third of the way through the book threw me off a little, although, admittedly, it would have been abject navel gazing if the entire story had been Wendy examining herself and trying to grow, and it took me a few chapters to figure out the point of the sudden shift. However, by halfway through the book, I was completely on board again, and I loved seeing more depths to Mike. Bringing Letty, Wendy’s high school best friend, back into the story definitely added some lighthearted fun, as well, plus female bonding is always a good thing in my opinion. By the end of the book, I couldn’t believe how quickly I’d ripped through it, and I kept tapping my Kindle convinced I had somehow missed pages. The world shifted so much through the course of the story that I was sure there had to be more right away.
While there are hardships, losses, and conflicts in Shadoworld, I found it much less emotionally painful to read than Lumaworld simply because none of the issues carried the personal impact of drawn out illness; however, it is still darker than the first two books in the series. Hope, growth, and positivity continue to be focal points for the main characters, and even the worst events have a purpose rather than serving as melodrama or fridging.
Shadoworld was a light, fluffy read after the emotional trials of Lumaworld, but it’s not just a puff piece to fill pages. Wendy is morphing from girl into capable young woman through the course of the series, and she learns who she is, how to adjust to a changing purpose, and the nature of love through the course of this book. If you love Kelly’s characters the way I do, this is a must read, but please don’t jump on here. You need to start at the beginning to fully understand why Wendy’s resolution and strength are so meaningful and to fully understand how all of the cast intertwine with one another.
4.5 Prime Abilities out of 5