Hi Aaron, thank you for submitting Shadowman to us. I was instantly intrigued by your story and wanted to know more about this new world. I really liked the Creole woman who was healing and teaching Adja about his new powers and responsibilities. She came off as being wise and motherly, which were attributes I think Adja needed. While your plot is strong and you start the book with lots of action, we are unable to offer it an endorsement at this time.
One of the main reasons we cannot endorse the book is the extensive use of “telling” instead of “showing”. Showing is an important storytelling technique that allows the reader to be a part of the story rather than watching the action happen at a distance. For instance, when Adja first wakes up in the woman’s home I would have liked to have felt his pain and confusion. Describing these emotions will help us connect with him. Another example of “telling” is at the bottom of page seven, when Adja leaves the woman’s house. You tell us that it was foggy and humid. If you show us these descriptions by letting us see the world through Adja’s eyes we can learn a lot about him as well as immerse ourselves in his world. There are a number of examples where “showing” scenes could really take this story to the next level.
Another problem with the story is the repetition. On a number of occasions you tell the reader over and over about something that is happening. This repetition slows the pace and makes the book feel clunky as we read and reread things. A good example of this is the scene with the blue footprints that Adja is following. You mention the prints over and over again. I think if you showed us the prints and then allowed Adja to react to them, it would make the scene much more streamlined. You may consider working with a line editor to help you pull out the repetitive sentences.
I have to admit I was very excited when I first started reading your book. I think it has a lot of potential. Your plot is intriguing and the story is action packed.
So why did I share this with you bloggers, readers, and authors?
First of all, you should check Compulsion Reads. Second, I think it is imperative that we-as authors-pay attention to what those-as readers- are telling us. Now, Shadowman was my first completed project, and was released quite a awhile ago. I have grown since then, and will share with you all again once I have sent in another book for consideration. I think I’ll do Cayneian next.