A Shadow of a Dream
Author: Isabella Carter
Title: A Shadow of a Dream
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: Five Petals
On the Author's Website:
Solving a murder is never an easy matter, even when circumstances are ideal. For Basil, circumstances are far from ideal. The murder is far more complicated than at first it seems, and before he can even begin to solve it Basil must contend with a council that refuses to listen to him, a partner he despises, and a thief who is a temptation that Basil cannot seem to resist...
In my opinion, Isabella Carter is one of the most under-acknowledged M/M authors and A Shadow of a Dream proves why. The book is very well thought out so each aspect of the plot is interesting and necessary, the world is dynamic, and overall it was a very good book.
Basil is an odd creature. He doesn't know what he is, but at some point in his recent past he had a run in with a demon and that changed him irrevocably. He works for an organization tasked with finding magical creatures and stopping them before they're able to hurt anyone. As a magical creature himself, Basil knows he's working for the enemy, but his job allows him to find and stop the truly evil people using magic to hurt others so he persists anyway. That amount of intricacy in such a small aspect of the plot is just a small example of what Carter was able to create. The rest of the book is just as well crafted.
The magic in the book is also very interesting. There is a second world called the Reve where all magic originates, but that world has been corrupted by nightmare. The nightmare is slowly leaking into the real world, which is what Basil fights every day. I thought this was a very unique take on the two worlds idea. I was disappointed that Basil didn't have the opportunity to try to save the Reve, but that wasn't his story. Someone else will have to save the Shadow King in the Reve, but as this story is not part of a series I will just have to imagine it for myself.
The only problem I had with the book were some formatting issues. A good example of this are the conversations conducted via telepathy. In the beginning of the book those conversations are in italics. In the middle of the book those conversations are only in quotations. By the end of the book those conversations were both italicized and in quotations. The lack of consistent formatting was distracting, but since it didn't detract from the overall story I didn't remove any petals for it.
This is definitely one of the better M/M romance books I've read. I highly recommend it. The plot, the magic, and the world were so intricately crafted that I can't help wanting more. I am planning on reading more of Carter's work, so expect to see more reviews soon.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.