July 5, 2016

Girl in the Shadows Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Girl in the Shadows (Girl on a Wire #2)
Author: Gwenda Bond
Genres: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Skyscape


Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows.

Girl in the Shadows is the interesting second installment in a young adult fantasy series that revolves around magic and the circus. I didn't read the first book in the series, and I don't really think it made an impact on my reading experience with this novel. Basically, you don't have to read the first book in order to read and fully grasp what's going on in this one. 

The plot was intriguing, but a bit choppy in spots - it didn't feel like it flowed naturally in various places, which made it a little difficult for me to stay lost inside the character's world. Another issue I had (and this is purely my opinion), was the setting. I kept getting the feeling that it was set in the past - when joining the circus was a common thing. Yet, there wasn't anything that referenced the period the story was set it. Perhaps the author wrote it like this on purpose, which is fine and often done - but my brain apparently didn't want to go with the flow and kept putting me back in time. That was a hard thing to deal with while reading - I had to keep telling myself that it wasn't set in the past like I thought it was, and try to keep myself immersed in the story at the same time. I didn't do a very good job, but I'm planning on re-reading it at some point - maybe my thought process will be different then. 

The novel itself was well written with vivid details and descriptions, decently well-rounded characters, and a story full of magic and illusions. One thing I really liked was the author's use of the first person point of view. I'm a huge fan of that writing style for various reasons - one of them being that the reader can create a deeper and more personal understanding of the narrator. Honestly, if the book hadn't been written in the first person - I don't know if I could have hung in there. Again - please remember that this is my own personal opinion and other readers are surely going to feel differently than I do. It's definitely worth a read, especially for fans of the genre.

Gwenda Bond is the author of the young adult novels Lois Lane: Fallout and Girl on a Wire, among others. Lois Lane: Double Down and Girl in the Shadows, a companion novel to Girl on a Wire set in the Cirque American, are next up in 2016. She’s also hard at work on some secret projects you don’t know about yet.

Her nonfiction writing has appeared in Publishers Weekly, Locus Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. She has an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe. There are rumors she escaped from a screwball comedy, and she might have a journalism degree because of her childhood love of Lois Lane. Visit her online at www.gwendabond.com or @gwenda on Twitter.



  1. Great review, Steph! This sounds like a well crafted and magical story! I like how unique it sounds, and I love books involving the circus ever since I read Water for Elephants!

  2. I also love first person POV. this sounds like a series I should check out.

  3. I like stories with magic so I'll definitely have to check this one out.