I really enjoyed The Shadow Reader, I considered it a bit of a guilty pleasure as it did have faults but it was absorbing. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for its follow-up, The Shattered Dark. The first half of the novel is slow, boring and quite simply tedious at times. I kept thinking it was the writing style, but compared to the first book it was written the same. Unfortunately the plot was dull and little to no forward motion appeared to be occurring with the overall story, especially relationships. I also began to find McKenzie extremely annoying. She seems a bit immature, especially in terms of how she handles and understands relationships. For instance, she actually believes Kyol has moved on completely despite it only being a couple weeks (after ten years of lust/love). And she also can't seem to get a grasp on her relationship with Aren. One moment she seems to be on the fence, the next she is forgiving him for him awful past with little really going on in between the two thoughts aside from McKenzie's being in Aren's presence and lusting after him.
Also, how many freakin' times did McKenzie need to be injured, nearly killed and/or kidnapped in this installment? It just felt like more stalling of the plot and made me question the fictional characters' actions and the author's.
The ending. Seriously? I wasn't terribly upset since I do think I lean more towards Kyol, but talk about a way to further underhand romantic progression. We get almost nowhere in the plot and then when McKenzie and Aren might finally get somewhere Kyol has to save her by life bonding with her? *sigh* I feel the worst for Kyol, since he is the only seemingly consistent character. McKenzie, as noted before, cannot get a handle on mature relationships and Aren says one thing and does another. Aren has stated before that he would fight for McKenzie, even against Kyol, so why the hell does he find out about the life bonding to save McKenzie's life and totally give up? Seems like an obstacle other fae have overcome but suddenly Aren can't handle it. So frustrating, what a wanker.
With the limited entertainment value for the first half and the poor relationship development and ridiculous ending, I just could not bring myself to give the book more than 2.5 stars. I will however read the next (final?) book in the series.