download ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ¿ Benjamin AldersonRst one the world building It isn t that it lacks in world building actually it was pretty decent but I would have like An Elf nicknamed Zac That s enough to DNR for me right there Let s break down the synopsis now the author puts feeding his family and avoiding a love interest into the same priority category Seriously Wtf is with the cover art It looks like something that would belong to gay fantasy fanfic featuring an Elf that works part time as a go go dancer in a gay club in Orlando And I say that as a gay guy living in Orlando YA can t we demand better than this garbageEDIT Okay gang I need to add a postscript to this review months after I wrote itI know I m getting huge hate but I m not changing this review At the time it was written I reviewed not the book s contents but what we knew about it The cover art and the synopsis While I wrote a review based on things we knew about an unreleased book others were giving this thing high starred reviews ust because Those same people then attacked me for reviewing a book before it was released Hypocritical much First of all I still hate this fucking cover Seriously this guy got totally swindled with it Critiuing a cover is of course legitimate If you re turned off by a book s synopsis and cover are you or less likely to buy the book Give me a breakSoon after I posted it the author himself put me on twitter blast and got his social media acolytes to come and harass me on here Then THE AUTHOR CHANGED HIS OWN SYNOPSIS ON HERE It used to read Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life feeding his family and dodging Petrer the boy who broke his heartand now readsZacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life hunting and dodging Petrer the boy who broke his heartSo this guy attacks me on twitter and gets his foolish Jonestown clan to go after me then takes some of my criticism WTF Also on this point let s discuss the synopsis uotes on the cover A world in ruin A kingdom of lies Okay so why is that shit not in the main synopsis Instead we re spoon fed this silly over prioritized gay romance meanwhile the world is in ruins In YOUR MAIN SYNOPSIS This whole thing is ust a poorly executed messNext let s get rid of the notion that anything about this is original Elves with light hair pointy ears magic and different colored blood is not original It s a straight up Lord of the RingsEragon ripoff The only original thing about it is it s almost exclusively gay characters which is the primary thing being marketed about this book Not the story not the personality of the mains not the conflict the sexuality I ll discuss my issues with this next Taken from the author s own twitter page here are some blatant rip offs Alorian elves have golden blood Morthi elves live in underground caverns Mirkwood elves anyone Niraen elves ride elks Again Mirkwood infringement THIS SHIT IS NOT ORIGINAL My final enormous critiue of this book is the marketing and I need to elaborateI love YA I love LGBT fiction I love YA LGBT fiction My top YA favorites is the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo They feature ueer characters My issue with Ben Alderson is that he exploits his and my sexuality to sell books He knows his fan girls will go crazy if he shells them some ueer romance He uses gay characters as blatant tropes to market his book Six of Crows isn t a story constructed around gay characters It s LGBT characters constructed inside a story Its seamless and not abused This is how you do ueer in fiction not my trumpeting your work as having gay characters and oh yeah some other stuff too How YA readers who apparently are offended at anything and everything can tolerate blatant gay exploitation is beyond me BLATANT SEXISM The female characters are portrayed horribly Saw this book in the Goodreads newsletter and noticed the impressive ratings and I LOVE LGBT fiction But please do NOT believe the hype This story is sexist in the worst way delegating most of its female characters to one dimensional bitchy bimbo stereotypes while the eually one dimensional male cast of Mary Sues receive the rest of the fantasy tropes This is NOT acceptable in 2017 Here s ust one early example and there are many many For context Zacriah is sitting in a wagon listening to girls gossip about having sex with the prince I wonder what he ll be wearing tonight Illera fiddled with her deep chestnut braid twisting it around her finger Something tight I hope Alerior chuckled nudging Illera s shoulder with her own You re terrible truly For as long as I could remember Alerior and Katill had followed Illera around like doe eyed puppies always feeding her with ust what she wanted to hear I knew steering clear of her was the best option I d gained her unwanted attention "Before And Became The "and became the of her boredom It didn t end well I felt almost sorry for whoever it was they gossiped about I can t wait to see his face when he sees what you re wearing later or what you are not wearing Katill also had a filthy mind it was her one redeeming uality Illera s laugh was shrill forced We ll see I had to sneak my dress past father He would drop down dead if he saw what I d done to it She motioned with her two fingers Snip snip snip My laugh even surprised me The snort burst out of my nose which I tried to cover up with a cough It didn t work I turned away looking back over the side of the wagon but their conversation had ceased I didn #t have to see to know Illera was looking at me her gaze burned into the back # have to see to know Illera was looking at me her gaze burned into the back my head Something funny Her voice was sweet though I could taste the sickly undertone as she uestioned me my head Something funny Her voice was sweet though I could taste the sickly undertone as she uestioned me looked to Illera s violet eyes full of intrigue Her sharp brows pinched above her sinister smile Here we go I shook my head and held her gaze biting my tongue Don t fall for it Don t fall for it No Her cackle pierced my ears Well let me see you must have been daydreaming about your father who will no doubt fail miserably at the hunt this evening she drawled My canines bit into my bottom lip and my mouth filled with salvia and copper Oh I know I know She umped in her seat raising her hand in the air By this point the entire cart was listening watching Was it the thought of your mother having to beg yet again for food Yes that must be it Because that is hilarious She threw her head back and roared with laughter If that was not enough of a kick to the balls she clenched her fists pretending to rub fake tears from her eyesNyah is partially the exception and maybe this gets better later in the book but I can t stomach another page and first impressions matterAs if the misogyny wasn t enough to rate it one star let s take a look at the writing itself Purple prose grammar errors very weird metaphors on every page especially when magic is being used modern words constantly peppered throughout that break any sense this is supposed to be a fantasy world It feels like a series of roleplaying posts or a fanfic Also there s a complete absence of anything resembling story or compelling character motivation An example the first two chapters the main character is Still Life with Chickens just sitting in a cart Literately He sust a camera describing everything in purple prose every irrelevant detail that had nothing to do with his lack of motivation or personal conflict The plot instead seems like a lot of absurdly random coincidences the characters stumble upon rather than driving things through their own actions DNF and will NOT come back for the seuel MY BOOK IS OUT IN THE WORLDIM CRYINGThank you to everyone who has supported me and I hope you enjoy my book It is out now and I am literally crying into my Iced Latte Thank you all so so so so so so so much IM CRYING again ALL DAY This story means the world to me and I hope a young boy will read this one day and see how normal being gay is I AM WRITING A BOOKTHIS IS MY BABYI am so so excited about this announcement I am aiming to have it out early 2018 if not even EARLIER I will have a better estimate on release date mid 2017 PLEASE COME SHOW THIS SOME LOVE ADD IT TO YOUR PAGES AND GET EXCITED Beauty and the Beast inspired fantasy with Dragons well something similar to dragons and OHMYGOSH ust you wait and see Gay Romance and Elemental Control ARHHH. Omething much worseThe three elven continents are on the verge of war which Zacriah and his new friends find themselves in the midst. .
S that Zac no longer has to work in the kitchens because he saved Hadrian s life Yet the duel is still on So Zac who no longer has to work in the kitchens is duelling so he no longer has to work in the kitchens Early on in the book Zac seems worried about showing off his powers but less than a day later he throws himself out of a window in the king s palace which I assume is very heavily guarded and observed The further into the plot I got the consistent things did get and I could see improvement as I was reading mostly towards the very end of the book Also why elk Have you seen elk Their legsframes don t look like they can support a lot of weight The antlers are also an issue because with any animal you ride on the back of you are at risk of being thrown off Often forwards Being thrown into those antlers does not look like fun to me The whole moons as years thing How does that work Are we following the typical cycles of the moon that we have I m assuming so because the author mentions Orion so the skyspace situation seems to be the same as ours But if that s the case is Zac like one and a half years old Because if it s following our moon cycles that is around how old 18 moons is There were other things about the plot that confused me but I ll leave it at thoseThe writing Some of the descriptions are strange and felt clunky to me A sound is described as soundless A character s hands are covered by a lack of something I ll have some examples below There were some problems with continuity at times again I ll put examples down below A lot of telling and not showing On one page alone I counted 14 instances of where the character s movements were shown through I include action here sentences I turnedI tiptoedI steppedI heard etc The grape saga was a particular issue for me Several paragraphs in two scenes dedicated to grapes when the time could have better been spent describing the characters or places to get a better image of the world The king s emblem constantly being described as being on things was also not a good point for me Thankfully this ceased after a few chapters There were also a lot of scene breaks where I felt there didn t need to be scene breaks Some examples of issues I had with the writing I didn t blame their silence Finally realizing the smell was smoke followed shortly by The air was thick with smoke So the smoke filled air didn t smell of smoke Hands rose to blocks eyes Jumping from the wagon with a soundless thud Sound being described as soundless The lack of ewels covering his hand Covered By A Lack Drips of sweat broke away from my hairline to drip down my neck Drips dripped I know whose blood this belongs to The dialogue Dialogue is one of the things I struggle with most as a writer Some people find it easy but I know how hard it can be The dialogue in this book wasn t great Stiff in many places A lot of the humour fell flat for me which I think led to my poor impression of the characters Zac delivers what are supposed to be sick burns at a few points which I Paradox Bound just found uncomfortable to read There was also a weird mix of formal old timey language like shall and for and slang that seemed oddly modern and out of place This wasarring for me because it didn t allow for a proper pattern of speech to be established I ll put some examples of that below Clearly bugged from my lack of response Bugged ust seems out of place with the rest of the language Leave it to me sweet thing Maybe Zach of Zach and Cody has corrupted this particular expression for me because it stuck out like a sore thumb Everything is ust so fucked up Fucked up feels out of place in relation to the rest of the language especially because the word isn t used a lot in the book by characters BITCH Again not used by characters much and therefore seemed out of place The characters I either didn t like or didn t really care about a lot of characters in this book I m going to break it down by a few of the main characters in this book I have opinions about Zac Too much of a special snowflake for me He has powers no one else has He has pierced ears and no one else does He can climb stairs with ease and no one else can Maybe I m ust over the whole chosen One Thing He Also Seemed thing He also seemed know things he shouldn t have known There s a good bit of somehow I knew already with Zac That being said I did love how cool Zac is about his sexuality and he really did show that being gay is completely normal which is so vital in literature today Hadrian This prince seems to have a personal vendetta against doors Keeps kicking them down He seems like a relatively nice guy though the dialogue that was supposed to show him as kind of snarky and funny fell flat for me so I really didn t think much about him He seems like a nice guy and it s clear that he cares for Zac which is nice Petrer This guy confused me He cheated on Zac yet doesn t seem to know they re not together any I know he wasn t aware that Zac knew about the cheating but it doesn t take a genius to figure it out I honestly have no real impression of Petrer other than he was a guy who Zac used to have a relationship with The twist at the end with him becoming evil was unexpected which is always a good use of character Nyah I don t really have much to say about Nyah She seems like a good friend Her and Zac don t spend a phenomenal amount of time together or at least time we get to see Similarly to Hadrian she s supposed to come across as witty and funny but the flatness of the dialogue kept that part of her from me I did like how she was a strong woman who was ready and very capable of fighting We seem to get to know a lot of characters only through their relationship to "Zac And Not As Actual "and not as actual All of your characters should have goals other than interacting with the MC ust like everyone in real life has conflicting goals Final ThoughtsDid I hate this book No It annoyed me at times but I didn t hate it Did I love it Also a firm no To me this reads like a draft than a finished product There are indications that this could actually be well written While I wasn t a fan of how a lot of things were described here and there were some lovely descriptions that show a lot of potential I think a lot of the issues I had with this book could have been ironed out if the release date had been pushed back The amount of time between the first draft being finished to the book being published seemed really short from what I have heard Editing takes time and has the power to work miracles I know the prospect of getting your book out into the world as soon as possible is thrilling What is even thrilling to little old me at least is putting out a well edited book because you know you re selling the best version of your story First word is sometimes not best word However writing a book is a phenomenal achievement and Ben should be incredibly proud of himself It s something I still haven t managed to do I was actually happy to hear that Ben is writing He has a lot of potential and so much room for improvement Getting better is never a bad thing Seasoned authors get better with every book they write so I see things only
improving from here Also I am thankful that this book brought Ben s channel to my attention I followfrom here Also I am thankful that this book brought Ben s channel to my attention I follow few different booktubers and have been aware of Ben for uite a while but for some reason I never thought to look at his channel Now I have and I have seen a few of his videos which I really enjoyed I will be reading whatever comes next in this series and I am looking forward to seeing Ben improve as a writer If you made it this far good ob you This is of an essay than a review I know The English scholar in me doesn t know when to stop I hope anyone reading this found it insightful or even ust a good waste of time And as the saying goes that s all she wrote Cloaked in Shadow made me think of Throne of Glass and ACOTAR and a lot of set up books that put things in place before the shit hits the fan It felt like setting up a chessboard which makes me so much curious about the seuelI had high expectations when I started reading it And I can honestly say they were met It was a really nice and enjoyable readI want to point out 2 things though Fi. Tal Elven settlement in Thessolina and forced into King Dalior's new legion of shapeshiftersBut Zacriah is not a shapeshifter He is ,
Tbh I came for the gay but stayed for the storyThis was everything The whole time it felt like I was reading an ancient storybook because of the wonderful atmosphere and the breathtaking landscape BEAUTIFUL No wonder it is about elvesAnd this book is about a lot than you would think Oh boy the magic and the mythologyhistory Let me tell you it was smart and interestingI really need to get my hand on the next one The game has Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays just begun I thought about this meme the whole timeTHE THEME IS A MAZINGAlso my only complaint against it I know it s childish is that there is a LOT of purple and I hate purple with a burning passion lol Elves shifters and elemental magic oh my Ben s debut gives fans of the Shannara Chronicles something new to fangirl and boy D over in young adult fantasyOkay so I have to say First Year fans will love this one I sent countless messages to Ben as I was reading saying things like OMG Priscilla s twin Nyah is LIFE Ella fans will love her Your princeling is waaay nicer than mine because Darren hatersthose who love Ian will like Ben s book P Clearly Ben and I like the same stuff because his book takes place largely in a castle with a hot prince who trains Zac in fighting and who doesn t like fighttraining scenes and duels and then there is the sassy bff and the protagonist who is NOT PERFECT and WORKING ON LEARNING HIS POWERFIGHTING SKILLS Seriously I appreciate a flawed protagonist and Zacriah is that for me But mostly what I enjoyed about this book The way the protagonist s homosexuality was handled Zac already knew he was gay at the start he didn t struggle with anything relating to his homosexuality in this book the storyust flowed naturally and we could have a main character that was openly gay from page one and have it not be a big deal or huge plot point Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All just a natural element that went along with the rest of the fantasy storyline Well doneI m not going to drop spoilers or uotes in here because I was reading an ARC and it s not release time yet so I don t want to ruin the book for the rest of you guys but you should definitely check this one out this was nice but underwhelming itust felt like every other YA fantasy i ve ever read including the romance the fact that it was an mm romance was great because we don t see that enough in YA especially fantasy but even so it was What a Lass Wants just all stereotypical uoting Ben s not official description Beauty and the Beast inspired fantasy with Dragons Gay Romance and Elemental ControlShut up and take my moneyI m so sold I need this Disclamer Ben is a good friend of mine but let me tell you this book is OUT OF THIS WORLD I knew Ben was a good storyteller before he ever wrote Cloaked in Shadow but WOW did this book blow my mind It was as if I completely forgot my best friend was writing this book The story took over my mind and every twist and turn that this book bestowed upon me shook me to the core Plus gay elves WE NEED MORE OF THAT IN YA I loved the romance between Zac Hadrian it was sweet but powerful and left me needing MOREI cannot wait to read Found in Night and see where this story is going to go I am hooked xSasha A few disclaimers before I get into what is probably going to be a very lengthy and spoiler filled reviewOne of the main things I think is important in a book review or in any review is honesty So I m going to be honest I was a little bit sceptical when I started reading this book The main thing that led to my scepticism was the amount of time that appeared to pass between the book being finished and its publication Rome wasn t built in a day and neither are good books The edition of Cloaked in Shadow I own is the Kindle edition It s possible that some of the things I m talking about are different in the print edition That doesn t make some of the stuff I m going to talk about fine Every edition of a book you put out should be as perfect as possible I am in no way trying to trash this book Writing and publishing a book is a tremendous achievement There are some people out there who seem to love this book which is great Itust wasn t for me What I m hoping to give here is constructive criticism As a writer myself I find criticism #ONE OF THE BEST WAYS I # of the best ways I "experience and improve as a writer I m going to include uotes to back up some "and improve as a writer I m going to include uotes to back up some the stuff I m saying Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis: Advice from Twentysomethings Who Have Been There and Survived just so anyone reading this can see exactly what I m referring to Another point I want to make is that I wrote this in the midst of writing my thesis proposal so I may have been a little cranky at the time I ve tried to look over this review a number of times to make sure my cranky thesis brain wasn t clouding myudgement These are my own opinions If you loved the book then great Nothing is better than reading a book and liking it and I m glad you had that experienceOkay with that beast of a disclaimer over let s get into the reviewThe GoodThe LGBT aspect of the novel Incredibly well done The author himself posted on here saying he hoped that someone would one day read this book and see how normal it is to be gay and I think he has really achieved that I m a straight white girl and I cannot tell you how tired I am of reading books about straight white girls Representation of minority groups in fiction has been so problematic in the past so it s wonderful that now that and readers have access to characters who they can relate to The pacing Stuff was constantly happening Sometimes it was stuff that confused me but it was stuff nonetheless There weren t any moments where I was bored simply because nothing was happening except for the grape saga on that later The time between events seemed reasonable enough even though sometimes things did seem to be conveniently timed to progress the plot The author knows how to keep a book moving and this is definitely a skill that will help him when writing the rest of this series The font I thought the font used on the chapter headingscover was delightful It really fit in with the vibe of the whole novel which is a very important aspect of any book for me Those are the main things I liked about the novel The next part you re going to read is under the heading of bad I am uite hesitant to use the word bad because to me that comes across as me trashingdragging the book and the word bad because to me that comes across as me trashingdragging the book and is not what I want to do So although I kept the heading of bad for the sake of simplicity I d rather the next few things I talk about be considered areas where there is room to improve Sorry for the plethora of disclaimers in this review Dealing with a book by someone who is really popular on social media can be uite daunting because it can sometimes be met with uite hostile reactions which are never the creator s fault The BadSpelling and Grammar Maybe I m Mexican Hooker just particularly picky about grammar and spelling but there were a number of mistakes in the Kindle edition that I found hard to ignore I m one of those lucky people who find spelling and grammar easy and I ve studied English literature for almost four years Some people aren t as lucky and find it hard and that is completely fine However editing and proofreading should get rid of as many of those mistakes as possible and several rounds are needed to really iron out the creases I ll leave a few examples below of things that particularly bugged me so you can see what I m talking about I d kill double the pray Instead of prey curly black hair nestled between his pecks I believe the proper spelling is pecs correct me if I m wrong her adored hip Instead of adorned I promise I won t peak Instead of peek This one came up uite a few times The cover Itust wasn t for me Some people love it including the author which is great It The League for the Suppression of Celery just wasn t my thing We ll leave it at that The plot Some thingsust didn t make sense or were too convenient For example the king invites a bunch of elves to his castle without giving any reason and they all The Thirteen-Gun Salute just go without asking any uestions on the ride there But when they arrive at the palace the king seems sure they must have uestions The whole duel situation was also confusing I was of the belief that Zac only had to enter the duel so he would no longer have to work in the kitchens again correct me if I m wrong about this But the King later decide. Zacriah Trovirn's main concerns are feeding his family and avoiding his recent heart break PetrerThen he is taken to Olderim the capi.