by E. Lee Smith
Shadowhorn: Age of the Revenant, by E. Lee Smith was a pleasant surprise. The story of a family who are unusually talented in fighting the vampires, known as the Revenant, that have ravaged the world destroying civilization, commerce, and most of humanity. There are pockets of human settlements, much like what was found during the settling of North American Continent. But most of the land is devastated and dangerous because of the beasts and Revenant who stalk and hunt the land. Most settlements have security forces called Watchmen and a few Stalkers, specialized in hunting and killing the Revenant. John Shadowhorn and his family are the best of the Stalkers, legends in their own time. Without being a spoiler, Shadowhorn: Age of the Revenant is an unpeeling of how they do what they do so well. Though, I suspect, based on how the story unfolds, there is more to their talents than is revealed in this story. A sequel possibly, Mr. Smith?
I enjoyed this book very much. To keep things honest, I must reveal that Smith is a relative and friend of mine and this is not a genre I normally read or enjoy. However, because I know how creative he is, I did buy the book and read it before being asked and deciding to review it. With that said, I was surprised that I enjoyed this story as much as I did. Vampire, zombie, and demon stories do not normally interest me as they are overdone and pretty much the same story with different names attached. Smith’s creativity with this genre delighted me. The ‘science’ and foundation he laid for this story, the cause and effects that he created, here were great. It made sense and told the story well. Relationships were revealed and created among the characters that made the flow of the story easy to read and allowed for more than one surprising turn of events, even for a seasoned reader. I love surprises in a storyline that enhance a story instead of just adding drama. Shadowhorn: Age of the Revenant has this. Character development was very well done. The ending gives closure to the story while leaving just enough questions like “what about…” and “what if…” that made me expect more later.
As a reviewer, I must point out what I missed, so here goes. There were some characters I would have liked to see fleshed out more, like Ethan Corey, Able Brewster. Who is Katherine, other than mom?
Jewel, though young, has talent only hinted at. Smashwords is a wonderful vehicle for e-books, but it would be great if I could get it on Amazon as well.
I cannot end the review without giving kudos to Mr. E. Lee Smith’s editor, Lisa Smith. Most self-published books have some trouble in the editing department. Shadowhorn: Age of the Revenant was very well edited. The only trouble I had was in reading on various devices and that was a Smashwords issue, not an editing issue.
I recommend Shadowhorn: Age of the Revenant to any reader who enjoys a good story of discovery and adventure.