Out of the Shadows by Ashlee Nicole Bye is a debut Urban Fantasy novel that presents the paranormal world as a dimension that at one point connected with our own. The shadow world is filled with all the creatures of our myths, some that wanted to protect the fragile humans and others who wished to dominate. As an intermediary between these two fractions you have the Order of Dark and Light, which are reapers that schedule death and collect souls to carry them off to the world of shadows.
I have been looking for a new Urban Fantasy series to add to my must-read pile, and this is the series. The world building is not unique, which would be hard in such a saturated market, but it is solid and well built. Characterization is a strength of Out of the Shadows. At first, it was a little hard to follow who was who. I mixed up two of the main male characters a few times. It was never bad, I always felt connected to the characters and the story. There are quite a few characters in the story, with a few intertwining subplots. Bye does a good job, and as the book continues an excellent job, of giving each of those characters a unique voice. I knew that it was a story I was going to enjoy from the first chapter.
There were times in the novel where my connection to the story was halted because of the writing. The words and sentences did not flow as well as they could have, and I had to reread to understand what the author was trying to say. It was not major disruptions, but it was a slight concern when I first started to read. However, by the end those disruptions were rare. You can see the growth of Bye as a writer from the start of the novel to the finish. I am excited to read the second book in the series; I am sure that it will start out a lot stronger then Out of the Shadows. Although, Bye did an amazing job with her debut novel.
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