Malin’s mission to avenge her mother’s murder has uncovered dangerous secrets. As a Valkyrie-in-training, Malin must slay immortals who’ve had their time, to maintain balance between humans and immortals. But her quest could destroy earth’s stability – and unleash chaos.
Just when she needs to focus, her friend Asher is in grave danger. He’s been dragged into the underworld, where vengeful immortals plot revolution. Malin believes her feelings mustn’t distract from her goal – but is desperate to rescue him. So she ventures into the darkest of realms, knowing she may not survive. With new allies at her side and new enemies ahead, Malin will face terrible choices. She’ll have to keep her head – or be ruled by her heart
**** Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review! ****
**** Spoilers for “Between the Blade and the Heart”! ****
Honestly, “From the Earth to the Shadows” is just as fun and entertaining as “Between the Blade and the Heart”! I was very excited to find that all of the action, characters, and world building I loved in the first book were present here.
The story picks up almost exactly where the first book left off and I was happy that we went straight into the action. There definitely isn’t any lack of fast pacing or action throughout the entire plot either, I was turning pages constantly! While the majority of the story focuses on rescuing Asher and retrieving an item from Kurnugia (the Underworld) and ultimately saving the world, there are also a series of little mini twists, turns, and subplots. I’m serious when I say there isn’t a dull moment! Were there lots of shocking twists and turns? Not really but it still wasn’t predictable. Was it super fun to read through? Definitely!
Now my only issue was that a lot of things that occurred were a little too convenient at times just to keep the ball rolling. Overall though I didn’t mind since it kept the pacing up but it didn’t give the plot a lot of complexity.
My absolute favorite part of this book was the world building, there’s just so much creativity here! There’s TONS of different supernatural creatures from mythologies all over the world including gods and goddesses, just like there was in “Between the Blade and the Heart”. This time around though we got to see Kurnugia and that was by far one of the best parts in the book, such a unique setting!
As for the ending I thought everything was wrapped up very nicely and I felt there were no loose ends. Also I really, really love how everything ended for Malin!
I really do love all of these characters, they’re fun and full of personality! We see all of the same characters return with the addition of a new character: Valeska, she’s sarcastic but also badass! I can’t say anyone was very complex and they didn’t develop much but they’re all extremely likable.
Malin and Asher are the more prominent characters and she is just as kickass and loyal and he’s just as sweet and adorable. I did like that Malin was a bit less fickle with her love life in this book, she finally makes up her mind 100% between her love interests! Also Malin is bisexual, in case anyone missed that!
Oona, Malin’s sorceress-in-training best friend, makes a bigger appearance I feel like and she is the kind, sweet, voice of reason among their friends. I really love Oona she’s just so pure! Also her and Malin’s friendship is fantastic and portrayed very positively, we need more positive female friendships in YA!
We also got to see a bit more of Quinn, Atlas, and Samael who were all faves of mine in the first book! There really isn’t a shortage of badass characters here. Then of course we see Bowie the adorable wolpertinger too…….
The romance is actually a little more toned down in “From the Earth to the Shadows” and as I already mentioned Malin chooses between her love interests once and for all. So no more love triangle! I really do support her choice, while I did like both love interests I feel like in the end this one was what was best for her.
What I Loved:
- Fast pacing
- Non-stop action
- Fantastic world building with tons of mythology
- Great, fun characters
- A romance that didn’t completely drive me up the wall!
What I Didn’t Love
- Certain events throughout the plot were too convenient
- Not much plot or character complexity
I definitely recommend checking out “From the Earth to the Shadows” if you were a fan of the first book, it’s a fabulous conclusion to an entertaining duology! Also if you’re a fan of urban fantasy style books or love a lot of mythology and lore than I recommend starting this duology with “Between the Blade and the Heart”!
Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.