Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved. Seventeen-year-old Iris Kohl has been able to see bo...

Review || Shadow Eyes by Dusty Crabtree

Iris thought she could ignore the shadows…until they came after everyone she loved.

Seventeen-year-old Iris Kohl has been able to see both dark and light figures ever since a tragic incident three years ago. The problem is, no one else seems to see them, and even worse…the dark figures terrorize humans, but Iris is powerless to stop them. 

Although she’s learned to deal with watching shadows harass everyone around her, Iris is soon forced to question everything she thinks she knows about her world and herself. Her sanity, strength, and will power are tested to the limits by not only the shadows, but also a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows, a new friend with an awe-inspiriting aura, and a mysterious, alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend. As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, Iris must ultimately accept the guidance of an angel to revisit the most horrific event of her life and become the hero she was meant to be.

First of all, isn't that a fantastic cover? Kudos to the cover artist. I think they really captured the feel of the book.

Shadow Eyes follows seventeen-year-old Iris Kohl. Iris experienced some type of trauma at age 14. Since then, she has been able to see dark figures around others that no one else is able to see. 

Based around the very interesting premise of Iris' secret, we learn very quickly about Iris' ability but not how it came to be, or exactly what it is that she sees. We don't discover the answers to those questions until the very end of the book. What comes in the middle is a slow plod through high school with Iris. I did like that it's not an idealized version of high school. There's good and bad rolled up into it all. It doesn't just show the sunshine and rainbows. 

I found it very difficult to like Iris. She made some very dumb choices. It was kinda like watching a horror movie and the dumb girl goes for a walk in the misty street at midnight with a killer on the loose. It was hard to watch. She spent the vast majority of the book quaking in her boots, scared to death of what she is seeing. You'd think after three years, she'd be a little more jaded about seeing these things wherever she goes. Instead, we got the repetitive occurrence of Iris seeing something and running away, even when her own family was involved. While she does redeem herself in the end, the time we had to spend to get her there was exhausting.  I don't know that I was ever that young and naive, but anything's possible, I guess. 

I think this would probably be a really good read for Christian youth. It has a lot of religious undertones and a message that comes across loud and clear about what is "right" and "wrong". It's very much an Angel vs. Demon, good vs. evil, type of story. It was a hard read when you are expecting YA paranormal fiction. I think it would do much better being presented as a YA Christian fiction as that's what where I feel the majority of the messages originated. Not at all a bad read but what you have is a very young, emotional MC, along with slow pacing and a strong moral tone. Those things combined made it a difficult one for this grown-up who prefers her paranormal fiction like her coffee  much darker. 

Dusty Crabtree loves a good story, but she also loves young people. These two loves are evident in all parts of her life. She has been a high school English teacher since 2006 and a creative writing teacher since 2014. She's also been a youth sponsor at her local church for as long as she's been teaching. She feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. With her love of reading in the mix, becoming an author of young adult books was just a natural development of those two passions in her life. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.