ARC Review: Counting Shadows by Olivia Rivers

Counting ShadowsTitle: Counting Shadows

Author: Olivia Rivers

Series: Duplicity (#1)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

How did I get it? Netgalley

Summary: Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.
Until he’s murdered.
With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.
But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.

Review: I’m not sure what I expected when I started reading this. The summary doesn’t mention that Faye is a princess, or that the actual revenge plotline makes up no more than 50% of the plot. So I was a bit blindsided.

Firstly, to get it out of the way, there were some things that weren’t working for me in this. The writing was well and good on its own, but the dialogue annoyed me, mostly because I couldn’t picture a princess/angel/king saying “okay” and there was also a good deal of phrasing that made me roll my eyes. The king also really bothered me, because at first, I got the impression that he was a very loving father, and then all of the sudden he does a 180 and becomes a heartless monster. I’m sorry, what?

That being said, I liked the concept of it. Faye being hated by everyone was certainly refreshing, and even if she and Lor had less than spectacular chemistry, it certainly felt more authentic than this “he completes me” routine with Ashe. I didn’t feel any real connection with the characters but neither were they incessantly annoying like they could have been.

But unfortunately, this one just fell flat for me. It felt a bit unorganized overall, more of a mishmash of ideas and thrown-together plotlines rather than a coherent story, and so many of my questions went unanswered that I just couldn’t make myself care about what was going on.

I understand that this is the first book of a series, however, so I might try reading the second book when it comes out to see if it gets any better.


Two Stars

Recommend it?

Probably not.

Purchase it:



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