Queen of Shadows

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 17, 2012

Queen of Shadows by Dianne Sylvan

Eight people attended this discussion at the Milwood Branch Library. Our topic was Queen of Shadows, the first novel by Austin writer Dianne Sylvan. The story is about an Austin musician named Miranda who gets involved with the world of vampires. None of us had read the author before. Five of us started the book, and all five finished it.

Everyone at the meeting commented said that they were not in general fans of the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre to which this book clearly belongs. Despite that, we found the author’s storytelling kept us interested all the way to the end. Most read the book in one or two days. Several of us appreciated the well-written action scenes.  We liked many of the characters and appreciated their distinctive and snappy dialog.

One reader liked this book a lot. She appreciated that Miranda had power of her own and did not have to keep getting rescued by vampires. She felt that the vampire romance “fit in the box, but fit nicely.”

Others did not enjoy the romance between Miranda and the vampire king all that much, calling it “boilerplate”. However we appreciated the supported characters. We particularly enjoyed Sophie, the vampire who trains Miranda in self defense.

Several of us liked the Austin setting that was such a strong element of the book. We enjoyed Miranda having ice cream with a vampire at Amy’s. The Congress Avenue bat bridge fit in well with the story. However we questioned Miranda’s tastes in local pizza and Mexican food. (Domino’s and Texican Cafe? Really?)

Near the end of the meeting we talked about other books we’d read in the group that were set in Austin. We mentioned Lunatics by Bradley Denton and Resume with Monsters by William Browning Spencer, both of which we liked a great deal.

Overall we found this book to be a pleasant surprise. After the meeting, many of us adjourned to a nice dinner at La Morada.

–A. T. Campbell, III