Book Reviews

#BookReview – The Shikari by Dora Blume

Blurb

“A deadly betrayal, family secrets have been unveiled! In a world of demons, sacrifice is necessary. But no one said anything about Sloane having to sacrifice her whole life to save the ones she loves. 

When Minneapolis, MN is ravaged by demons, Erik is forced to go to his sister, Sloane for help. Sloane wants to live a normal life in Minneapolis and forget she was ever born a Shikari warrior. Erik would defy his father before he’d ever admit to needing help. 

Five years ago, their mother was murdered due to a vicious betrayal by one of their own. Sloane swore she’d never hunt demons again. Erik is more determined than ever to kill them. Both must put their past aside to save those they love.

Secrets known only to the Shikari have been revealed. Have they been betrayed by one of their own? Is it the same person who murdered their mother? 

Sloane and Erik are forced to work together to discover the truth and stop anyone else from being killed. Will they be able to put their past aside to save the city and everyone they love?”

 

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Review

I loved the cover of this book, and it gave me a lot of hope. I felt sure I was going to read an entertaining urban fantasy book. One star reviews are the bane of my life, I hate giving them, (and obviously hate receiving them!) but unfortunately there is little praise I can grant this book.

The Shikari follows Sloane and Erik, brother and sister born into a supernatural bloodline known as the Shikari. Imbued with the power of precognition and mind-reading, respectively, the siblings find themselves battling a demon epidemic in Minneapolis that nobody saw coming.

A few pages in, it was still difficult to figure out who the protagonist was. Sloane and her friend Amy take centre stage in the beginning, going out to clubs and enjoying their carefree lives. The points of view of Sloane and Amy switched every few paragraphs, and when additional characters are introduced, POVs begin to change almost every paragraph and it’s difficult to keep track.

Sloane ran away from her father and brother, and her destiny as a Shikari after her mother died, and when her brother, Erik, tracks her down at a club, things start to get interesting. Erik is portrayed in the beginning as a dangerous character who is good at manipulating people, and that he has been tracking Sloane down for years. Not long afterwards, when Sloane is reunited with her father at the family home, the story begins to contradict itself. Suddenly, Erik and their father haven’t actually been looking for her all this time, they just need her help with Shikari business. In addition, Erik isn’t actually the sinister character he is initially perceived as.

Amy is introduced as a primary character, and she soon learns about Sloane’s Shikari secret. This is initially considered to be a huge irregularity by Sloane and her Shikari associates, and a lot of emphasis is put upon the fact that a human now knows their secret. So, I was super surprised to see that Amy, who also develops into a potential love interest for Erik, completely disappears from the story less than halfway through the book. Worse still, Sloane and Erik appear to forget about her entirely, and Erik focuses his affections on his ex-girlfriend.

While the premise is really interesting, the journey and particularly the climax were disappointing. The main protagonists, Sloane and Erik, weren’t actually present for the final showdown, which was, to put it bluntly, flat. Lacking imagery, detail and emotion, the ending didn’t make much impact, which was perhaps made worse by the fact that only supporting characters were present.

The Shikari has fallen victim to a common problem in indie publishing which is a noticeable lack of editing. Countless misuses of punctuation, incorrect words used and some sentences beginning with all lower-case letters are every indication that the book was not properly edited. Typos are forgivable, but the number of errors in this book goes beyond a few overlooked misspellings.

On a positive note, the characters were all very distinct and moderately complex, although Sloane was a difficult protagonist to get behind because of her psychopathic tendencies. Sloane is happy to kill someone who has been possessed by a demon, rather than using a spell to dispel the demon and allow the victim to go about their lives. Erik, on the other hand, despite first impressions, is a cinnamon roll and I was rooting for him as soon as it became clear he wasn’t evil.

Overall, I couldn’t find much to enjoy about this book. While several of the characters were easy to connect with, the story was poorly written, and riddled with errors. The plot was messy, inconsistent and nonsensical in places, and book two just doesn’t feel like an appealing prospect.

You can check out The Shikari  on Amazon.

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