Hello Dear Reader!
This book review is on Running with Shadows by Kaitlyn Keller, which is available on Amazon! I received the ebook version from Kaitlyn herself, and I am really glad I got the opportunity to read it, because I absolutely enjoyed! So, if you want to check her out, her Instagram handle is @kaitlynkellerauthor. She posts some amazing content!
Anyway, onto the review!
Running with Shadows is probably the most mature book I’ve ever read mainly because of the topics mentioned and covered throughout the story, so children beware! The book, to me, seems to be targeted to more of a new adult audience and is a mix of different genres including a light, slow burn romance that is actually kind of cute. It can also be considered an inspiration novel because it focuses on a single character, Kei Sterling, and how he overcomes the darkness of his past.
But before I get more of that, here is the book’s synopsis(from Amazon):
Twenty-year-old Kei Sterling isn’t a stranger to pain. After more than a decade of neglect and abuse, there isn’t much he hasn’t faced. So when he joins Genesis–a group of societal outcasts–he expects his nightmares to end, not get worse. But with clingy, obnoxious comrades, and a leader unworthy of their title, Kei finds he’s on the verge of breaking for good. Then Genesis comes across Lucy Aims, the sole survivor of a suspicious string of fires destroying the country. Though Kei can see through her plan to exploit them, he recognizes pieces of himself mirrored inside her. At first, Kei is resistant to accept Lucy as part of Genesis, but the more he resists, the more he realizes that he just might need her. Sometimes life can’t begin until you’re willing to come out of the shadows.
End synopsis. Time for the review!
Main character Kei Sterling is a very complex, very dark, and very calculative persona who does not like taking unnecessary risks, especially when it comes to interacting and dealing with people. That all starts to change when he allows for the survival of Lucy Aims. While Kei’s background is very dark and not something that people can relate to, his journey in overcoming his past is. Kei’s story is one of overcoming the shadows that continue to haunt him from years of abuse from his family and the struggles of opening up about his backstory to the people closest to him: the members of Genesis. While cold, his reactions are all reasonable, and it’s a great reminder that change doesn’t come easily, especially to a wounded soul.
And speaking of the members of Genesis, at first, they seem like a cast of stereotypical characters. For example, one is a total flirt who apparently has sexual relations with different women, and another is someone who loves fighting and blood just for the fun and satisfaction of it. Another member is also the prime example of a manipulative person whose great love drives her to unreasonable and dangerous measures. Kaitlyn Keller was so good at making this character unlikeable, that I found it pretty incredible. Also, like all friend groups, not everyone in Genesis gets along perfectly. There are a fair amount of arguments and disagreements in the group, which I love because of how realistic it is.
The world that Running with Shadows takes place in seemed pretty vast to me. There were numerous cities and small villages, each one with an atmosphere unique to its own terrain, such as a city literally carved into a mountain and one founded right by the ocean. While the city details weren’t explored much in the book, I think Kaitlyn Keller did a really good job of building each one up and creating a great setting.
While the story was fantastically written and the character development of the main protagonist was phenomenal, there were a few typos I noticed that were scattered throughout the book. They didn’t take away from the story at all, especially the sweet little romantic moments scattered throughout. I’m just a sucker for those.
So, Running with Shadows rating:
10/10 and probably going to read her other book, Walking with Strangers. This book is definitely a one I recommend. The characters are all relatable and realistic in some way, and the pacing of the character development isn’t rushed at all. Give this book a try, and just be wary of some of the mature themes covered.
That’s all for this review! I hope you enjoyed reading it. Check out indie author @kaitlynkellerauthor on her Instagram because her books are amazing, and she posts great content. Her passion really shows!
Thanks for reading!