MY ⭐️ RATING: 4/5
FORMAT: Kindle eBook
Five years ago, the Boundary fell. Now the Union is coming to claim Shine Territory as its own. But not everyone wants to live under their heel. In a hidden town run by women with rough pasts, life remains untouched until greed paves the way for conflict. Faced with few choices, Grace Hart must stop the Union to protect the women under her care. Elroy McGlover has spent the past five years running from what he'd done in Matthew Esco's name. Haunted by ghosts from his past, he returns to where it all went wrong. Enlisted to help Arlen Hobson fight against Union control, Elroy soon finds himself in the middle of a war for the heart of Shine Territory. In the fight for the soul of the West, no one is innocent.
Sarah Chorn slays again with her prose skills in this emotional story of loss, addiction and regret, but also of healing and redemption. The story focuses a lot on the characters and the flaws they are trying to overcome as Shine Territory has to deal with a new issue that is The Union. Sarah does a great job telling us the stories of each of these characters and their inner thoughts as things happen. The characters are deep and fleshed out, dealing with loss and showing the heartache and emotion they face. Being haunted by their past and going through burnout from substance abuse withdrawal, and also dealing with the trauma of a past life left behind.
“I’ll be waiting for you, right in that spot where the sun rises, where light kisses away all that dark. I’ll be right there, forever, but you need to live.”
While I loved book 1, and was slightly underwhelmed with book 2, I came away a bit underwhelmed again with the third book… I thought some of this story could’ve been in Oh, That Shotgun Sky instead of in here, and that the plot of Shine Territory dealing with The Union could have been given more time on the pages. It was so character driven that there were a lot of actions that happened off of the page that I felt was a big missed opportunity to delve into the ramifications of what The Union was doing to the people of Shine Territory. Another part of this same issue was the ending, it just felt so anticlimactic because something pretty big happened off the pages instead of us experiencing it from the POV.
“Hope, it turned out, was a heady kind
Something that I didn’t really point out before in my reviews, and doesn’t have any inflection on my grade, is the romance part of this series. While there’s nothing wrong with romance in fantasy, I’m just not a big fan of it and the romance was given even more attention this time around. So if you are a fan of it, you’re in luck!