Book Review: Shade Chaser (City of Crows Book 2) by Clara Coulson

It's been a couple months since the incident in the first book, things have slowed down a bit, and Cal is trying to get to know his new team members and learn how to cope with the unsettling deja vu he acquired from his trip to the Eververse. But then a werewolf, a wizard, and a former mayor are murdered, causing the different supernatural factions to start blaming each other, and it's up to the DSI (Department of Supernatural Investigations) to solve the case and keep the factions from starting a war with each other.

Book Review: Shade Chaser (City of Crows Book 2) by Clara Coulson | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, urban fantasy
Title: Shade Chaser
Book Number: Book 2 of TBA
Pages: 281
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my review.*

It seems like there’s a lot of urban fantasy out there with male protagonists who are snarky and gritty and rough. Their favorite pastimes are drinking and gambling and smoking. They ain’t got no time or desire for romance or friendship. They’re always running around with machetes strapped to their thighs and their guns ablazin’. What I love so much about this series though is that it’s pure urban fantasy with a fun, snarky male protagonist, but he’s not quite so rough around the edges—he’s real and relatable. He’s a normal person, like you and me, he has struggles and emotions, but he just so happens to fight supernatural creatures for a living. And those fights with supernatural creatures do affect him mentally, just like they would any normal person. And even though he may not be ready to settle down into serious commitment, he’s not a misanthrope either and has people in his life he cares about and has relationships with.

But I gotta say, even though another one of the things I like about this series is the way the author doesn’t avoid the blood and gore, for once I’m actually glad an author didn’t go into all the gritty and gruesome details and instead skipped over some parts because I don’t think I could’ve handled some of what happened in this book. It was… wow. Awful. Torture. Legitimate, actual torture. Cal was still cracking the occasional joke in his mind because that was how he coped, but I couldn’t laugh until it was over. The poor guy already had PTSD and panic attacks and nightmares from all his previous trauma, so that definitely didn’t help. I actually shed a tear a few times just imagining how horrible it must have been and must still be for Cal, like when he told the story to everyone and when Desmond, Ella, and Cooper told him how worried they had been.

Once again though, even though all the horrific details weren’t present, Cal’s (and everyone’s) injuries were still realistic; he felt exhausted and sore, he needed time to heal, etc., and I loved that because that is something so many books are lacking. Including realistic injuries goes a long way in making the whole book feel so much more realistic.

I also liked how everyone mattered, at least to Cal (and the author, I suppose). For example, someone died who Cal didn’t know, he was just on a scouting team or something, but he had a name, and Cal made sure to learn and mention his name.

Anyway, once I got into this story, I didn’t want to stop reading. The plot was gripping, I wanted to know what would happen to Cal and if he’d be ok and how he’d handle things, and it was just overall another great, action-packed book in the series. It even had a bit more emotion and really touching friendships among the team members, and Cal was just as real and likeable as he was in the first book. I’m definitely looking forward to the next!


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  1. AngelErin

    This one sounds pretty good! I wasn’t sure at first, but the more I think about it the more interested I am. I added the first one to my to read list. I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I’m definitely down for a snarky, but realistic character! 😀

  2. Dragonfly [AKA Daniela Ark :) but shhhhh ]

    Well I can’t read fantasy for now. Big reading slump. Reading chick lit now. HA! how about that? So I can’t say I’ll read it soon but I’m glad he didn’t carry a machete and you liked it. Since you said torture and put “plot” and gripping together I’ll have to add it to the list for when I’m cure of this fantasy/sci-fi allergy 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh no! Fantasy is like 90% of what I read lol. Chick lit is quite the difference in genres! But if mention of torture made you interested, I think we’re gonna get along just fine 😛

          1. Kristen Burns

            Lol yeah I just saw Dragonfly and the blog URL and my mind never even looked at the rest until after I commented. I’ll go check out the message in a bit!

  3. Lola

    I was looking forward to read your review of this one after I saw you got it in your in recap post. I mostly have read urban fantasy with a female protagonist, so I didn’t notice that trend as much, although it is something that also happens with female characters. It is nice to have a character who is real and relatable.

    And after your comment about you were happy the author skipped over some things, I agree, I don’t think this would be a series for me. I mean if you are happy the author skipped over things it must be really bad as you usually don’t mind the dark stuff as much.

    I agree it’s nice when details like needing time to heal are well done. It adds to the realism. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is nice to have a character who’s real and relatable since yeah, both genders tend to get unrealistic sometimes in urban fantasy.

      Haha exactly. You know that if even I thought it was bad, it must be bad.

      I love so much how realistic the injuries are because it’s such a small thing but almost no book ever does it realistically, and that always bothers me. Thanks!

  4. verushka

    Isn’t it strange to talk about realism in an urban fanasty? But those elements totally make a book work especially when it comes to the tough things like PTSD.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I was just writing a review yesterday in which I said something about how everything was super realistic… except for the fantasy parts of course lol. But especially with urban fantasy, it’s set in our normal world, you know? So it’s important for all the non-magic to be realistic!

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m so happy to hear this second installment did not disappoint, Kristen. You know I love snark and it’s kinda neat that the violence, blood, and gore are realistic but not over-the-top. I like that Cal feels it after he’s done some fighting. 🙂 I added this one to your shelf…or rather my shelf that points a finger at you. 😉

    1. Kristen Burns

      If I’m remembering correctly, I think you might’ve already one-clicked the first book in this series when I reviewed it earlier this year lol. It is a really fun and great series though, and I love Cal! (Which you probably already know since you also saw my favorite male characters post and he was on it lol.)

      1. Bookworm Brandee

        You *do* remember correctly, and apparently better than me! I did one-click book 1. Now I just have to make sure I remember to read it…I think I’ll put it on my COYER list. 😀

  6. Lori

    This one is new to me, but it sounds really fantastic! I haven’t been reading many books about supernaturals these last few years and I love snark. I’m adding it to the TBR! Thanks for the great review.