Cloak of Shadows (Netherwalker #1)
by C.K. Dawn5 out of 5
What if all you've ever known of King Arthur's legend was a lie to mislead you from the truth? What if Camelot truly existed, but was destroyed to keep its secrets? What if there were descendants of the Knights of the Round Table defending us today from the creatures that lurk within the shadows? If the gloaming came looking for you would you answer its call?
Fourteen year old Abigail Thorne answered the gloaming and it turned her life upside down. Along with her mentor Lourdes Reese, a seasoned hunter in the King's Court, she now banishes the evil shadows while most dociles sleep in their beds.
Fighting hidden creatures that feed on humans, glimpsing fractures that lead to another world, and wielding magical weapons all before geometry? That's a normal day for Abbey now, and she loves every minute of it. But, she has no idea that being sent to Britain for her last hunter trial will unleash a chain of events that will change everything and everyone she loves forever.
A life will be lost, a life will be taken, and an unexpected new romance will emerge all while the fate of two worlds balances on the edge of a hunter's blade.
The shadows that lurk in the corner of your eye, that terrify you as a child, they are real. Netherwalkers slip through into our world, greedy to consume human lives. An ancient order of hunters are the first and last line of defence. And Lourdes Reese is the best they have to offer.
I'm not actually sure where to start with this book, there is just so much going on!
The world-building is fantastic. C.K. Dawn takes a new spin on the Arthurian legend, giving us an alternate history. The King's Court is a secret order that's woven through several legends, it's task is to banish the netherwalkers, and to protect innocent human lives - preferably whilst keeping them ignorant to the danger.
To become a part of the King's Court, you have to be descended from the original residents of Camelot. Most are born within the King's Court families. But some, like Abbey Thorne, are born outside and after fearing for their sanity when they see creatures no one else can, end up finding their way home.
The story follows Abbey, a 14 year old apprentice hunter; and her mentor Lourdes "Lourdie" Reese. Both of these female characters are strong, confident, and can take care of themselves.
Lourdie in particular was a very cool character. On top of being one of the best hunters in her home territory, Lourdie's unique abilities has earned her a trip to England, to train the best hunters from around the world.
Abbey is... a teenage girl. As much as I liked the character, I also found her very annoying and a little tiring to deal with - which kinda reminds me of my own baby sister!
The girls have their girly moments, they enjoy shopping and observing the bevy of fit young men at the Castle; but they never allow it to interfere with their duty.
There are some awesome scenes throughout the book, whether they are training within a holographic projection; or fighting demons for real. Actually, some of the simple interactions between the characters is equally awesome, and shines out.
This was somewhere around a 4.5 out of 5 for me, and very hard to rate.
Despite the fact that on paper, it ticks so many boxes; and that it is written really well; I was missing that "grab-me-and-don't-let-go" factor. I really wanted this to be one of the books that kept me up until three in the morning, because I had to know what happened next.
The worst thing is, I can't actually put a finger on why. So I'd like everyone to try this book for themselves and not be put off by my mini-negative note.
This is a series I'll definitely be continuing, and I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions.