When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy. Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance. When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Nicole Cassidy isn’t at all excited about being the new kid at school! It’s awkward and weird, she doesn’t know anyone, and all that is compounded when she finds out in her first period class that she isn’t just the new kid, she’s also a witch. What the what??? Are you kidding??
No, dear reader, I am not kidding! Nichole Cassidy isn’t just a witch, she is one of a select few in her new school and given the fact she had no idea prior to day one that she’s a witch, she’s behind and has a lot of witchy business to catch up on. Thankfully, Nichole meets Kate, a quiet and nerdy girl who is willing to help Nichole with the basics. In what turns out to be a surprise to all, Nichole doesn’t just pick up on the basics, she excels. In fact, Nichole is learning to control her magic at a far faster rate than the average witch. Very interesting . . . . .
What’s even more interesting is what happens to Nichole, Kate, and three others from their homeroom the night of the Olympian Comet. As the comet passes over the Earth, Nichole and crew find that their considerable powers are enhanced with each now having control over one of the five elements, air, water, earth, wind, and aether. What’s more, the comet also has the nasty side effect of unleashing some seriously ancient critters that are hell bent on destruction and mayhem. To be sure, those critters have a master and it will take each of the group members and their unique talents to solve the riddles that will shut down the big bads for the time being.
The riddles aren’t just lying around waiting for anyone to find because that would be way too easy. In fact, the group is sent on a harrowing scavenger hunt with one riddle set aside for each group member. The hunt not only tests the group intellectually but it also stretches the limits of their new-found abilities. With each riddle solved, the group gets closer and closer to grave danger and some answers. Mixed into all of the riddle solving is the group dynamic that is shifting the more involved they become with one another and the tasks at hand. Nichole and Kate are fast friends, Kate is shy and rather introverted which means she keeps her feelings for Chris to herself. Nichole is instantly drawn to Blake but must keep her feelings in check since he is attached to the final group member, Danielle. Blake likes Nichole as well but Danielle is a little scary and willing to perform harmful magic in order to keep Blake. As you have already guessed, the group dynamic makes working together as a team all the more difficult.
The Bottom Line: While the Prophecy of Shadows is very reminiscent of the Percy Jackson series, I simply don’t care. I loved the Percy Jackson series (the original, not that crap that came later!) so reading something similar with a twist is right my alley. There was a lot of ground to cover in this book: 1) witches and witchcraft, 2) the coming together of the group of five, 3) the origin of the group and the big bads, 4) the actual prophecy that sets all the action into motion, 5) and the set up for the next book in the series. Madow has done a decent job of covering all the bases and I suspect (and hope) we will be seeing far more character and plot development in later installments which will serve the series well. Overall, I liked this read and feel comfortable recommending it to lovers of witches/witchcraft, Greek mythology, and YA/high school reads.
About the author and where to find her:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship. To get instant updates about Michelle’s new books, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Amazon!