The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak

September 22nd, 2015 Kimberly Review 54 Comments

22nd Sep
The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak
The Shadow Aspect
by Melanie Karsak
Series: Harvesting #2
Genres: Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy
Source: Author
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

When Layla took the final step through the labyrinth, she thought she was saving the ones she loved. She couldn’t have been more wrong. The unwitting victims of a grudge seething for eons, Layla and the other survivors now find themselves in a war for our world. With vampires lurking and shapechangers plotting vengeance, if mankind has any hope of survival, Layla must decide whom to trust: the carnie girl? The quiet doctor? The tarot reader? The stranger with alluring gold eyes? Or the man she loves? And then there are the voices. What does it forewarn if the dead can speak? When the world burns, mankind’s shadow side rises. Do we deserve to survive?

After loving the Harvesting, I was excited to begin The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak, the second novel in her Harvesting series. Karsak perfectly blends fantasy and horror creating a tantalizing, nail-biting story that kept me on edge.

I loved the Harvesting, which started out like a typical zombie apocalypse and quickly blew my mind.  Midway, a novella in the series gave us Cricket’s story and it totally rocked.  Shadow Aspect picks up right where the Harvesting left off and we wasted no time diving right back into the action.

Admittedly, I struggled to regain my footing and reconnect with the characters since the story dove straight back into the tale as if I simply flipped to the next page. In fact, I stopped and went back to read my review of Harvesting. I am glad that I did, because the opening scenes were intense as our group suffered losses, and faced danger. After my refresher, I quickly slipped into the story and reconnected with the main characters. In this instance, I think a recap or prologue would have been beneficially.

This time we find ourselves in a different setting as we are introduced to new characters. Layla is uncertain of whom to trust but she is stubbornly determined to keep her group safe. They find themselves at the mercy of another group of humans who have found sanctuary with the walls of a university. Tristan, whom we met towards the end of Midway, is present, as is Cricket. They both will play an integral part in the story as it unfolds. The romance between Layla and James continues, as do other budding relationships showing that even at the end of times, we are capable of happy moments. These are secondary to the main plot, but serve to flesh out our characters and endear them to the reader.

Zombies are still wreaking havoc, as are the vampires but Karsak has hinted at more throughout the series and we finally learn that we are the unwitting victims of a battle that has raged for eons. She weaves a complex tale, with foreshadowing and strong, unique characters. A woman within the group reads tarot cards and her readings are uncanny. A Doctor tries to find a cure, and Layla makes a startling discovery. Tristan shows himself, and oh lordy things are about to get complicated. Brilliant and original I become completely caught up in the story.

The Shadow Aspect was action-packed, with intense battle scenes that will leave you biting your nails. Think Walking Dead with supernatural and paranormal twists. Karsak is a genre bender taking my love of zombie apocalypses and weaving in a surprising fantasy aspect that held me spellbound. Her characters are strong, particularly her female characters who are not afraid to leap into battle and take heads. I loved it, but do not become attached because Karsak will rip your heart out and leave you bawling.

The Shadow Aspect  ends with nail-biting cliffhanger.  No! No! No! I slammed the book shut and screamed. You best be writing Ms. Karsak..and quickly! Please.

About Melanie Karsak

Melanie Karsak is the author of the Amazon best-selling steampunk series The Airship Racing Chronicles (Chasing the Star Garden and Chasing the Green Fairy) and the award-winning horror/dark fantasy Harvesting Series. She grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania and earned a Master’s degree in English from Gannon University. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and zombie whisperer, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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54 Responses to “The Shadow Aspect by Melanie Karsak”

  1. Melliane

    Oh it’s nice, a new zombies story! It’s been a while since I haven’t read one so I confess that I’m quite curious! thanks for sharing!

  2. Naomi

    Now, this is a little freaky… we are review twins today!!
    I thought this was a good follow on too. I liked meeting the new characters, but I had to do a little refresher too, so I read my review and the last few chapters.
    Great review girl!

  3. Melanie Simmons

    Now I want to read this, but a cliffhanger. NOOOOOO! Maybe I’ll wait for the next book to be released because this does sound really interesting. I’m really starting to love more zombie books. I haven’t read one with zombies and vampires.

  4. Nick

    Fantasy and horror? Interesting! I like the sound of this, but I’m not gonna lie, I’m terrified of zombies. But also, cliffhanger! Boo! I dislike them more often than not. Anyways, I”m glad this series is going strong for you, Kim.

  5. Jenny

    I do not like the sound of that cliffhanger Kim!!!! Not one little bit. And it’s always a touch frustrating when a book picks up immediately where the last one left off and doesn’t give any kind of well-integrated reminders as to the previous book, especially if there’s been 6 months to a year in between. Still, it sounds like that wasn’t enough to detract from your enjoyment and I’m glad this was such a great read for you!

  6. Sarah

    Oh boy, those cliffhangers are hell, aren’t they?? Though I do like the sound of this world with vampires and zombies 😀 I love The Walking Dead, so I love that you compared The Shadow Aspect to TWD with a supernatural world. I love it!

  7. Braine Talk Supe

    I’m on the lookout for a good zombie book, the ones I’ve tried so far aren’t to my liking. I enjoyed her steampunk series, this zombie series just might be my ticket to the decaying undead

  8. Haniya

    Action packed scenes!! Strong female characters! Nail biting story and a cliffhanger!! This sounds like a hot series!

  9. Ramona

    Fantasy and horror blend sounds like a winning mix 🙂 I’m going to check out the first book. Thank you for this recommendation, Kimba, it’s fantastic!

  10. Debbie Haupt

    Great review Kim, its a love hate thing when starting another book in a series takes right off from the last one, especially if you have to wait a while for the new one to release. It’s why many times I’ll wait until there are at least two books in a series before I delve. 🙂

  11. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    What the what….cliffhanger. The horror part of this appeals to me a LOT! It was already on my radar but now I am sure I want it but the question is do I wait cause we all know me and cliffhangers do not get a long at ALL>

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Me too Felicia, and I like that while this is horror, she weaves in this unexpected fantasy aspect that totally makes sense in regard to the current horror.

  12. Faye la Patata

    Damn. I just added both books to my TBR and am biting my nails because I want to read them both, and soon. I am such a fan of horror survival, and seeing how kick-ass this is, I have a feeling I’m going to have a wild ride. AMAZING REVIEW, KIMBERLY!!! This is one excited bookworm over here 😀

  13. Priscilla and her Books

    This reminds of School Spirits, a YA novel I read a couple of weeks back. “I loved it, but do not become attached because Karsak will rip your heart out and leave you bawling.” Boy, am I curious with this quote! 😀