Shadow's Dissident by Ariel Paiement | Book Review
Updated: Mar 20
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Thank you to Ariel Paiement for providing me with a copy for an honest review!
Kidnapped from her family, Gwenabhir has been forced into the brutal training program run by Oblivion. With the ability to harness light, she’s a prime candidate to be their next weapon. But Gwen refuses to bend to their ways. When beatings don’t break her, she is assigned to Sheppard. Known for being the best at breaking the willful, Sheppard hates what he has become, but he sees no other path. But when he begins to work with Gwen, he may just start to feel an inkling of hope that there could be another way.
Picking up a book by Ariel Paiement guarantees you’ll find yourself in a story with a wealth of relationship development. This time around the male counterpart has an alpha male personality at times, though as the story progresses he tries to dial it down a notch.
Sheppard has been through the mind breaking training Oblivion supplies. And he has had to kill those he loves for their twisted needs. His hope to escape died alongside the woman he loved. Until Gwen is thrown into his path. He is told to break her fiery spirit and bend her to Oblivion’s ways, but she may just be what he needs to rekindle hope.
Gwen is your typical teen, taking risks and oversimplifying the consequences of her actions. While she wanted to remain strong and refused to be broken by Oblivion, her naivety led her to believe the Masters wouldn’t inflict pain on others because of her. Despite all she faces Gwen doesn’t give up hope, and she is willing to sacrifice everything to escape. Her unflinching resolve made her a character worthy to follow.
Shadow’s Dissident takes place in a sci-fi world, but I would classify it as light sci-fi. There is talk of life on other planets and somewhat advanced technology, but the main focus stays on Sheppard and Gwen. I would have liked a bit more of the magic side of the story. I thought the shadow and light abilities were creative and fun. Though I have a feeling we’ll be able to see more in book two as it ramped up just as the story came to an end.
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About the Author
Ariel Paiement is a speculative fiction author who focuses on writing fantasy and the occasional sci-fi. As a reader, she enjoys lots of styles and genres, though fantasy and science fiction are her favorites.
Her favorite pastime is indulging in wild flights of imagination for new fiction pieces and other works. If asked what she spends most of her time doing, she’d tell you that she spends most of it working and writing. Life gets to be hectic, but in her small amount of free time she enjoys part-time editing work as well as drawing and listening to audiobooks.
She is the author of several short fiction pieces and other works, including On The Narrow Way and Rith’s Disciple (both of which are published in Port and Key’s anthologies), Leap of Faith in Glimpses of Time and Magic: A Historical Fantasy Anthology, In Darkness Lost, and the Legends of Alcardia series.