Monday, October 14, 2013

Shiloh

Shiloh by Helena Sorenson, April 22, 2013. 248 pages. Published by Alpha Wolf Publishing. Source: Author for honest review.
In a world of perpetual darkness, a boy is born who wields remarkable power over fire. Amos is no more than seven when he kills a Shadow Wolf and becomes a legend in Shiloh. He would be destined for great things were it not for the stories his father tells about a world beyond the Shadow and a time before the Shadow. Only madmen hold to such tales, and in Shiloh, they have always come to bad ends.

Amos is fearless. He walks with easy confidence, certain that the Shadow cannot touch him. Even his family is in awe of him. His father marvels at his skill with the bow, his mother thanks the gods that he has all the courage she lacks, and his sister, Phebe, worships him for saving her from an attack of the Shadow Cats.

On a trip to the village of Emmerich, Amos rescues the Magistrate’s son, Simeon, from the village bullies. Simeon, fair-skinned and pale-eyed like other Dreamers in Shiloh’s history, becomes Amos’s constant companion and dearest friend. Simeon becomes a part of Amos’s family, listening to fireside stories told in a way he’s never heard them before and learning to wield a bow and arrow.
First Sentence:
Amos was no more than seven when he killed a Shadow Wolf, in the dark of the Whispering Wood, no less, where wolves are as thick as the undergrowth.
Helena Sorenson’s Shiloh has been sitting on my TBR pile for a couple of weeks, waiting for me to finish up some tour books. So, when I finally had a break in tour books (may have signed on for too many), I decided it was high time to read it. Shiloh was definitely a surprising read in many ways, of which I’ll be sharing with you, dear readers, shortly.

As I progressed through Ms. Sorenson’s book, I was surprised to find that the book was more about Simeon then that of Amos, but in the long run, it made the story all the stronger because you got too see how Amos’ decisions affected those he cared about.  So, while I was surprised by who ended up narrating the story, I enjoyed seeing things from Simeon’s perspective because it put everything in a clearer light and showed how one person’s decisions can affect everyone.

Even though some aspects of the story were predictable, I really enjoyed watching the characters evolve throughout the book and seeing their struggle to face the darkness within their world and themselves. Seriously, it was quite enjoyable to see all of these characters facing difficult times working to overcome the things that were keeping them locked in the darkness Shiloh.

What I really enjoyed about Helena Sorenson’s book, Shiloh, would have to be the underlying message that within the story. I thought it was interesting to see how the author worked in the difficulty of sticking to your beliefs into her book, a well, as how easily one can lose their way when things get rough. For me, this is what makes Shiloh such an interesting read because you got to see how that one moment of weakness and doubt changed Amos’ whole life and his struggle to make things right.

So, while I enjoyed reading Shiloh, the one thing I did not like about the book is that the end came entirely too quickly. It felt like there was still so much to tell in the tale of Amos, Simeon, and Isolde (and everyone else) that the climax felt like it came out of nowhere.  While I am glad that the end of the book, were they journeyed deep into the Shadows, was not drawn out too long, I felt that the end came a little too swiftly. Even though the ending caught me off guard, I enjoyed the bitter-sweetness of it because you knew that there was no way they would make it out unscathed from their encounter with the dark.

Final Verdict: Shiloh-


Shiloh earns 4 out of 5 pineapples. 


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