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Book Review: Walking with Shadows by Luke Romyn

Book Review: Walking with Shadows by Luke Romyn

After a couple of weeks, it's finally Book Review Wednesday again. I took a while with this one because I wanted to give it my full attention. Boy, was it worth it! Note: I reviewed another book by this author: The Legacy.

Walking with Shadows

A plane crashes in the midst of the Amazon rainforest, leaving only two survivors: Jonas Drake, a wealthy award-winning author, and a terrified young boy named Jeremy. Walking with Shadows 12 Jonas must find the strength to lead Jeremy through an army hunting them for ransom, predatory beasts, and all manner of perils not found in the concrete jungle he usually calls home. To keep Jeremy calm, Jonas shares extraordinary stories involving magical characters, tales from his early days as an author. Unfortunately, neither of them know what to do when these creations start to come alive in the jungle surrounding them. Filled with profound characters, this stunning adventure journeys into the heart of a man turned cold by a world he barely recognizes, who slowly thaws while learning to care for someone other than himself.

My Review: 4.5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, thanks largely to the addition of the stories woven throughout. The stories told by the main character were simple and childish, yet they each held a simple lesson that was brought out throughout the book. Definitely the best part, in my opinion. The character of Jonas Drake was well-written, though I found the antagonist to be a bit too stereotypical. He's exactly what you'd expect from a villain in this type of novel. No surprises there. The supporting character of Jeremy had a few of the clichéd reactions expected of children (not necessarily the way children actually are, but close enough). The writing flowed well, and the book held my attention. Despite a few minor flaws (such as failing to describe the terrible humidity of the Amazon rainforest), the book was well-written and worth a read!

Here's a Taste:

The river emerged beyond a small rise. It appeared much narrower here than back at the lake, and the current seemed faster as a result. Jonas pondered for a moment, wondering if the caimans would avoid the area as a consequence. Nothing triggered in his memory to confirm his suspicions, and he stood frozen with wide eyes and sweaty palms. A lead ball settled in his stomach at the thought of having to approach that water. The surface was churning as the current rushed over submerged rocks. Or caiman heads, his paranoia warned. Ignoring the internal voice, Jonas stepped forward, snapping twigs cracking loudly under his feet as he moved. Crouching down, he picked up a stick the length of his arm and tossed it into the water, staring hard for any sign of a response from a submerged lurker. Nothing reacted. “There are other ways to get water, you know.” The tone was old and gravely, nothing like Jeremy’s high piping voice. Nevertheless, Jonas still turned to the boy. “What did you say?” Jeremy frowned up at him, confused. “I didn’t say anything.” Jonas gritted his teeth. He knew that voice, but it was one he hadn’t heard for many years. He peered at the trees surrounding them, half expecting one of them to talk once more. Only the sound of wind whistling through branches reached his ears, and Jonas rubbed his hand across his mouth. Taking one last glance around, he took another step forward. “Why take the risk?” the same voice enquired. Jonas whirled around. “Who’s saying that?” he demanded. Nobody answered him. Jeremy stared up at him, worry creasing his expression. “Are you okay?” “Can’t you hear that? “Hear what?” “It’s…,” Jonas trailed off. “Damn, don’t worry. I must just be getting tired.” “But who did you think it was?” Jeremy entreated. Jonas peered around at the forest once more and blew out a frustrated breath. “It doesn’t matter who I thought the speaker was; it couldn’t possibly be him. Now, let’s just focus on safely obtaining some water.” The trees seemed to lean in toward Jonas as he walked warily toward the river’s bank. Roots curled upward in an attempt to hinder his progress, but he stepped high, beyond their reach. Logic dictated to him these things weren’t actually happening, but they felt real enough at the moment. Trying hard to push the distractions from his mind, Jonas focused on the water and on the bank of the river. If danger were to erupt from anywhere, those would be the most likely locations. “Are you okay?” he called back to Jeremy. “Of course I’m okay. We’re just walking.” Jonas exhaled a tight breath and tried to remind himself of that fact. They were just walking.The woods around the pair seemed to retract at the knowledge, and the ground became less rutted. Jonas stole a quick glance at one of the trees nearby and breathed a sigh of relief that it looked to be nothing more than a boring old tree. “Is everything all right?” Jeremy asked, his voice soft. “You’re acting weird.” “Everything’s fine. Keep your eyes open for caimans or hippos or bitey fish.” Jonas slowly unscrewed the bottle’s lid and placed it in the pocket of his pants, holding the uncapped container in his hand. The gurgling river rushed by in front of him. Peering down, Jonas tried unsuccessfully to see beyond the surface. Bubbles and sand combined to leave nothing but a churned-up mess, impossible to pierce with ordinary eyesight. “Here we go,” he whispered. The clear plastic bottle was gripped tightly in his left fist – if he were to lose a hand, he would prefer it wasn’t his dominant one. Jonas crouched down and paused for the briefest of moments before dipping the neck of the bottle beneath the surface. Seconds ticked by, each one filled with the expectation a giant reptilian head might pop up at any moment and drag him under the murky water. The memory of being dragged underwater by a set of toothy jaws struck Jonas hard, and he jerked his hand back. Breathing heavily, he glanced at the bottle. Still half empty. He swallowed, knowing he had to repeat the ordeal he’d just suffered. Prolonging it would merely delay the inevitable; if he could accomplish his task now, it would mean that much longer before he had to repeat such a torment. Sucking up his courage, Jonas slipped the bottle back beneath the water, trying to make as little disruption to the already churning surface as possible. His eyes darted left and right, searching for any indication of the silent predators. Every wave sent shocks through his heart, but he held firm until the bottle appeared to be overflowing. Jonas tugged his arm clear of the water and darted back from the edge. Pulling the lid from his pocket, he swiftly sealed the container once more. The bottle slid neatly into his pants pocket. “Well, that wasn’t so hard,” he proclaimed. “Um, I think we have a problem,” murmured Jeremy. Jonas spun around, only to find himself staring straight down the barrel of an AK-47.

About the Author:

Publishing his first book, The Dark Path, in 2009 saw it voted in the top 10 horror novels of that year, even though Luke denies ever intending the novel to be classed as horror. Luke Romyn has gone on to become a USA Today best-selling author and is now one of the most popular indie authors in the ever-growing eBook market. He personally completes everything from cover art to final formatting, working tirelessly with editors to refine the best stories possible for his readers. The results are international bestsellers you're certain to love diving into. Hundreds of thousands of readers can't be wrong. Find the book on Amazon: Goodreads: Find out more about Luke on his Tweet at Connect with him on Facebook: