About the Book
Book: The Dark Shadows
Author: Carol Alwood
Genre: Young adult romance with a supernatural twist
Release Date: July 26, 2020
First love can be dangerous.
Seventeen-year-old Violet Blackstone is in love, but everyone seems to think she’s making a cosmic mistake. “You don’t know him the way I do,” she tells her friends and family. But the moment she accepts a promise ring from Dakota, she must fight harder to protect her relationship.
Dakota’s ex-girlfriend returns to town, a coven member makes threats, and Owen Parker tries to prove Dakota isn’t what he seems. The closer Violet gets to Dakota, the more she sees his dark side and the terrifying Shadows she thought she’d never see again. Can she fight the forces seeking to destroy her relationship and life? Should she be with a Christian guy like Owen Parker instead? Violet leans on her faith to keep going, but the dangerous forces grow stronger every day.
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About the Author
Author Carol Alwood grew up in the green haven of Bellingham, Washington, the setting of The Good Shadows series. Now living in Southern California, she misses the raindrops on maple leaves, so when she isn’t home for a visit she writes stories that take place in her hometown. Carol adores fiction and is the author of the novelette, Ghost of a Girl. She also wrote Focused Backstory: The Key to Writing Deep Character Journeys, a newly released writing-craft book. Connect with Carol on her website or on Facebook, and check out all of her books on Amazon.
It takes a talented author to pen a sequel that not only lives up to its predecessor’s potential, but even surpasses it. As impressed as I was with The Good Shadows, I have to say that this continuation of the story moved me even more, and I did not want to put it down until I had read the last page. The target audience may be young adults, but anyone from that age group onward will absolutely benefit from reading this series, particularly if they are being influenced by the New Age movement or know others who are. This is an excellent series to read and study with teens, and author Carol Alwood has provided a seven-week Bible study at the end of her story (as she does with The Good Shadows) that addresses the occult elements in the book, what the Bible says about them, and what God tells us our response should be according to His Word. I really love and appreciate this extra effort on her part because it can be difficult for people of all ages to understand why a certain practice or activity is wrong, particularly when it seems like the status quo.
As witchcraft and other occult practices become more widespread and normalized in contemporary society, books like The Good Shadows series shine the light of God’s truth on the darkness by exploring the inherent dangers that are always involved in dabbling with magick. Whereas book one introduces the characters and shows how no one is immune to the enemy’s attempts to influence us and turn us away from God, The Dark Shadows takes readers deeper, further demonstrating the consequences of inviting demonic influences into our lives. I appreciate that Alwood does not shy away from the fact that there are always negative consequences from meddling with the occult, and that she lists multiple Scripture references regarding this in the Bible study section. Given that the subject matter of this series could be considered controversial, Alwood makes her intentions and viewpoint clear in the foreword and again in the introduction to the Bible study.
The story itself has a dual first-person narration, told sometimes from Violet’s point of view and sometimes from Dakota’s. I found this very insightful in understanding both perspectives: that of someone who is a Christian and that of someone who has been raised as a Wiccan, because as a Christian myself, I admit to being largely in the dark about Wicca and related practices. While I certainly don’t advocate for Christians to spend time diving into the occult, as Alwood states, it is important not to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and to always be willing to be a witness for Christ without compromising our convictions. As Violet wisely observes regarding the darkness, “Just because it chose you doesn’t mean you have to choose it back. What if you were meant for something else?” Indeed, one of the main messages in The Dark Shadows is that “God is stronger,” and that is a fundamental truth no matter what we face, and a fact that we can hold on to even if we encounter dark shadows.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥