A very smart choice of narrator for this fantastic series
I’ve been hearing great things about this series for a while now but I was hesitant to read it because I’m not a fan of historical fiction. The genre usually reflects the misogyny and homophobia that was commonplace in the past (and unfortunately, sometimes in the present too) and I prefer to avoid it. But every now and then a historical fiction novel comes out and makes a difference and I’m happy to read it.
The Shadow Series is formed by In the Shadow of the Past (book 1 released in 2021), In the Shadow of Love (book 2, 2022), In the Shadow of the Truth (book 3, coming out in 2023) and In the Shadow of Victory (book 4). The series has to be read in chronological order as the events of each novel are connected and the romantic arc develops throughout the books.
Set in the 1940s during the Second World War, the Shadow Series follows the relationship between reporter Jenny Ryan and OSS agent Kathryn Hammond as they are thrown into a web of intrigue, danger, and love. The author describes the books as lesbian noir, a genre called after the French word for darkness that features morally grey characters and a dark world overview. However, despite the somber period of history that the story reflects, the author conveys a hopeful message that fingers crossed, will have a positive finale in book 4.
Even though the war, crime, and intrigue play an important role in the series, this is a romance at heart. Both main characters are very well fleshed out in their strengths and shortcomings and together they have superb chemistry. Book 1 is very slow-burn but the story so far pays off in the romance department.
Books 1 and 2 are both narrated by Abby Craden who, as usual, did a fantastic job in bringing the story to life. I loved the voices of all the characters and the overall tone of the narration. Definitely a very smart choice of narrator for this fantastic series. Here’s hoping that Ms. Craden will perform books 3 and 4 too and J.E. Leak delivers a great finale. For the moment, it’s a 5-star rating from me.