Cover Image: Casting Shadows

Casting Shadows

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Member Reviews

I received a free copy from Net Galley. I struggled to stay interested and finish this book. But I did it. The premise of the paranormal with the Civil War added in seemed pretty unique but the timeline was strange, and it was hard to follow the twisted thinking. Characters came and went without any explanation of who or why they were in the story, who is the Butcher, besides Derek's brother and how was he created? Did I miss that in all the description and run on events that seemed to have nothing to do with anything. The main character was written as an 18 yr old going on 40. Seriously confusing. Very hard to have any sympathy for her when she was agonizing between her best friend and a ghost. What's your future with a ghost who is the Gatekeeper. What's that you ask. I have no idea and I read the whole thing. Ok, I ended up skimming the last quarter because I was seriously done with it by then. Throw in the some random demon attacks at weird times and other times when she ran around perfectly safe. I could not figure this book out at all. It needs a good editor and maybe a tighter outline to start.
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I give this book about 2 stars because I had to struggle to finish this book. The Writing style was tough to read.  It was filled with so many rhetoric devices that I felt like I was reading a book for school and not something I would read for fun per se. Almost half-way through the book, I had to return back because I felt like I missed stuff. All through-out the book, I was so confused that I almost gave up on it. 

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Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this! 

I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis of this book but book 1 was slow for me. I am curious as to where the series will go. So i am intrigued enough to pick up book 2. I really enjoyed this book and the plot. I loved the writing style.
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The blurb for this book is very intriguing.
It’s always fun to try a new author and find a favorite along the way.
This book definitely caught my attention blurb - wise  but I realized it was not holding my interest as I started reading it and past the 25% mark.
This is mainly a ‘me’ thing but the writing was the main reason I put it off. It was very poetic and I struggle to understand metaphors, so I was majorly struggling with it.  
I decided to stick through it though and around over 50% the book started speeding up. Some things felt too rushed and I was often left in a state of confusion hoping I didn’t miss anything.
I think the characters were well done. I would need more warming up to them, which hopefully book 2 provides.
I think this book would definitely appeal to some people but it unfortunately didn’t make the cut for me.
Thank you to publishers and NetGalley for giving me a free review arc for this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received a free copy of this book.  I am leaving my honest review.

I couldn't make my way through the entire book.  The language was dense and flowery. Some of the phrasing was clunky, i.e. eyes swaying to follow something.   

The sequence of events were difficult to follow. The scenes didn't connect well.
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“Evil has no boundaries; it lives through time and history and gets carried through people. When you really give it some thought, evil is indestructible.”

Reading a book by an author that I've never read before is exciting. I don't know what I'm getting myself into and I don't know what to expect. It's thrilling as you get familiar with the writing style as the story develops. 

Dziyana did a great job at automatically catching my attention with this story. To combine history with the modern-day and put a twist on it is genius. It kept me entertained and interested in piecing all the clues together. I jumped into this not knowing much about the author or the story and I was immersed in the tale of ghostly beings and family secrets. 

The author's words were really beautiful and they flowed like poetry. She knew the right way to capture her audience and keep them glued to the story. As much as I enjoyed that, there was a tad bit of weirdness that came along with everything. A weirdness that I wasn't expecting. It threw me off the path of this great story and things kind of went a little south from there. It's not that the story was bad because I really enjoyed this one and I'm excited to read book two, I think I was just confused about the choices that Becca made and was thinking of making. Even after I finished this one, I'm still trying to figure out what her obsession is with a ghost that died in the mid-late 1800s.

Casting Shadows was a great read that took us on quite the journey. My war interested heart loved that this one included the Civil War because not many Authors involve that war in their stories. My hope for book two is that we learn more about the history of Rebecca, her family, and Derek and why Derek was the chosen one. I'm excited to see where the author takes us next time around. All I can say is that I'm excited.

And Becca! Girl! Make better choices!!
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Series Info/Source:  This is the first book in the Casting Shadows series.  I got a copy of this from NetGalley to review.

Story (2/5):  I got about 25% through this book before I decided to stop reading it.  The writing style is very poetic but also uses strange comparisons and imagery to try to explain stuff to the reader; it's almost overly flowery but awkwardly so.  At 25% in, not a whole lot has happened.  We get an initial chapter set during the Battle of Gettysburg where we watch a soldier who is supposed to be defending some sort of journal die.  Then we come back to the present time and start reading from Becca's POV.  Becca is an 18 year old girl who has had a recurring dream for 2 years, that just now makes her decide she should go to her grandmother's house in Harper's Ferry to sort things out.  In the first quarter of the book we get to her grandmother's house.

There are also some inconsistencies throughout.  For example Becca loses her phone and a bit of a deal is made about it, but then a few pages later she is using her phone....maybe I missed her finding it (this was pretty tough to read) but I don't think I did.

Characters (2/5):  A huge issue I had with the book was the "voice" of Becca.  She is an eighteen year old who talks like she's in her 30's or 40's (or maybe even older).  Maybe she is being portrayed as an old soul, but her thoughts, the way she talked, and her actions were not at all 18 year oldish (unless Becca was raised under a rock or in a time gone by).  I was constantly confused by the fact that she was bouncing between guardians houses and then constantly having to remind myself that she was only 18.

Setting (2/5):  Most of this book looks like it’s going to be set in Harper’s Ferry.  However, at 25% in we mainly have had very detailed descriptions of Becca’s grandmother’s house.

Writing Style (2/5):  This is just flat out hard to read.  The flowery language compared with strange mental imagery just made things hard to picture and has an awkward flow to it.  Couple this with a number of inconsistencies and I struggled with this a lot.  For example, there are inconsistencies in what was happening (Becca’s phone loss) and inconsistencies in tone (Becca sounding much older than she was).  This was just poorly written and needs some serious editing.

My Summary (2/5):  Overall, the struggle I was going through to try and read this wasn't worth the payback.  I didn't enjoy the writing style, it was tough to follow, not much happened, and there were too many inconsistencies.  The premise sounded interesting but from the other reviews I’ve read it sounds this book gets worse, not better as you get deeper in, so I decided to stop.
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** Thank you To Netgalley for allowing to read the book for my honest opinion. ** 

To Star Thing’s Off i would say that i Loved The Pacing of the book. I love the style of the book that the Author Decide to take. As This is the First Book Ive read from Dziyana Taylor But If This is is going to be their Style of writing then we are all in for a wonderful treat. I Enjoyed the Metaphors and Descriptions of the book it Beyond Helped envision the scenes and characters in the book. Now with that I do Want to Say there were scenes in the book that felt very rushed but which kind of unbalanced the story a bit. 

The Book Starts off With Getting To know the main character Becca and her recurring dream she has had for years. This said dream has led her into the arms of a Psychic as she wants some type of clarity. After Her Little Visit she notices a lot of similarities that are happening in her life which pushes her into heading back home to her grandmothers home to find her answers soon after she is reunited with the childhood best friend Nick, Their Relationship was very warm and inviting even after years the care nick has for Becca is outstanding. 

Soon After Arriving To Harpers Ferry She sees things lurking in the Old Civil War Battle Ground That is The Small Town. She hears whispers and voices around which lead Becca into danger soon enough she is saved by A man named Derek and Things Start To Lighten Up For Our Poor Becca. 

With Knowing this is book One I was More than Excited to see what happens in the next Installment. 

I Will Be giving the book a 4/5
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Refreshing and intriguing, with a good dose of romance.

Rating: 4/5

I don't have enough good things to say about this book!. Dziyana Taylor's Casting Shadows is a fantastic paranormal read, packed with action, adventure, and the right amount of historical appreciation. I love Rebecca, and while I think she should have given Nick more of a chance I have to agree that there is something just too darn alluring about Derek. 

Casting Shadows starts out on a Civil War battlefield, so appropriate considering all of the political turmoil in the Capitol, and jerks us forward at almost blazing speed into the modern-day. Harper's Ferry is the perfect setting for Rebecca to get some R&R, and to maybe run in to some paranormal friends to spice up her life. Taylor's depiction of the area, and her appreciation for the antiquity of the DMV, was a delight throughout the book. 

I'm still hanging off the edge of my seat over the ending, and cannot WAIT to see what happens in the next installment in the series! 

I received a copy of this book courtesy of GenZ Publishing and Taylor. All of the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
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West Virginia has a piece of my heart, as do authors that write about it. The time pieces were beautifully interwoven and immersed me in her thoughts. Well done!
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This was at 4 stars for me at first, but I ended up rating it as 3 mostly because of the second part of the book and I'm going to explain why later on.

I must say I loved the beginning of the book! The first chapter was super interesting and getting to know more about Rebecca and her weird recurrent dreams was pretty cool. 

It all starts when Becca goes to a Fortune Teller searching for answers. She then notices how much synchronicities are happening in her life, which helps her make up her mind and go to her grandma's house in Harpers Ferry. She has a feeling she might get some answers about her dreams there.

When we get to Harpers Ferry we meet Nick, Becca's childhood bestfriend. I think their friendship was sweet and at this point I really like them both as characters. The way Nick cared for Becca was really heartwarming.

The story gets interesting when she meets Derek and a whole new world of shadows she didn't know was real. He was my favourite character.

As for the writing, I think it was beautiful, I must say it was even poetic at times. I loved the metaphors and the descriptions, which made it so easy to imagine the setting and the world of shadows quite beautifully. The world the author created was really cool I must say. 

However, as soon as we get past 60% of the book things start getting a bit confusing. Some of the scenes felt a bit rushed and I ended up going back to re-read and see if I missed something. The pacing at this point was a bit off, as if the writer had so much to tell and didn't know how to balance information and actions in a smooth and organized way. This was the main issue for me.

Also, I feel like some important information was left unanswered, Derek's background for instance. We get to know some of his past story, yes, however we don't know how he became the gatekeeper and this really bothered me.

If there's a second book, I'm looking forward to it.
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1.5 stars review

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to sink into the story, and I wanted to be able to relate to the main character, but unfortunately, Casting Shadows and I just didn’t...click. I DNF’d about 1/4 of the way through. 

I relatively enjoyed the first part of the book, the imagery was great, the character relationships with one another each held their own value, but I got to the part about the haunted house and I just didn’t want to go further. 

I felt like this main character wasn’t realistic with her responses to what would be a fairly distressing or scary time for her and she relatively just shook it off. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d really start to question my sanity if I started seeing shadows and hearing voices. 

Then there’s the main male counter part to the book. The prologue of the story was him from the civil war, then he arrives during the main storyline alongside the main character. There really hasn’t been any explanation as to what kind of supernatural force/ being he is. The only explanation we got at this point of the book was that he was a gatekeeper that protected a special diary and the world from demons. 

The blurb sounded interesting, and I’m sure that there is an audience for this book, I just didn’t have any patients for it. I was given this e-book thanks to Dziyana Taylor and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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