My review is cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/shadow-marked-by-anna-j-evans
Demons walk among us, but closer to some than others. Samantha Quinn has felt almost inextricably tied to demons since childhood, when her parents sacrificed her sight and killed her infant sister in a demon cult ritual. The ritual also left Sam with an unwanted gift: premonitions of death. Sam’s visions gain strength and clarity after a surprising, erotic encounter with Jace Lu, her brother’s best friend. Then Sam has a particularly terrible vision, one that reveals Jace to be the demons’ next victim. Sam knows she has to save Jace, but to do so, she has to face a supernatural enemy connected to her bloodstained past.
Enter a demon-filled New York City in the fast-paced Shadow Marked, the first installment of Anna J. Evans’s Demon Bound series. Ms. Evans takes the traditional line that divides “good” from “bad” and then blurs it, which I greatly enjoyed. I also loved that, while Sam is blind, her blindness is treated as a simple result of what happened to her rather than as an easy plot point or ploy for likeability. The world of Shadow Marked is interesting and I don’t want to spoil it for readers by going into detail (the fun is in the surprises). What was missing for me was spark. Sam, Jace, and the supporting characters were lacking the usual depth of Ms. Evans’s characters. There seemed to be a disconnect between how the characters were acting and how Ms. Evans was trying to portray them. It was a bit disappointing, truth be told. Ms. Evans usually writes with such flair, but Sam and Jace weren’t memorable and I didn’t feel at all invested in their romance. I desperately wanted to feel something, but Shadow Marked just didn’t speak to me as Ms. Evans’s books usually do. Still, I did like the story and think there’s a lot of possibility in the Demon Bound series. Even though Shadow Marked may not have been the story for me, I still finished it wanting to read the next Demon Bound novel, Demon Marked.