Shadow of the Storm is the second book in the “Out of Egypt” trilogy by newcomer author Connilyn Cossette. The first book in this series, Counted with the Stars, will most likely be on my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2016 list at the end of the year, so I was eagerly awaiting reading this sequel. As we all know though, very rarely does a sequel measure up to the original, and I’m very sad to say that this is the case with Shadow of the Storm.
I would highly recommend reading the first book before diving into this one, but for those of you who won’t, let me sum it up for you. Shira was a Hebrew slave who was part of the Exodus from Egypt, and the story catches up with her as the Hebrew people are beginning to “wander in the wilderness”, if you will. Shira discovers a passion for midwifery, which was fascinating, but consumes much of the book, as compared the first book, where a lot of the focus was on the “biblical” aspects of the “biblical fiction”, more so than the “fiction”.
Along the way in her midwife journey, Shira delivers a baby but loses the mother, which weighs heavily on her, especially as she grows in her attraction to the widower Ayal, and his three children. As tensions escalate within the tribes of Israel and with Egyptians who escaped in their midst, can Shira trust anyone?
I felt that the romance in this book was awkward, as the guy was married to another woman at the start of this book, and it just seems as if he’s come out of nowhere to suddenly be all chummy with Shira’s brother. I didn’t care for him for around 85% of the book, so I found it hard to cheer for Ayal and Shira to be together. Additionally, there was mention of rape in one of the character’s pasts, which was intense in and of itself, but then there was a whole scene dedicated to revisiting this, which I felt was wholly unnecessary. The point was made without reading a whole scene about it. It’s for this reason that I would not recommend this book to younger readers, especially combined with all the intense birthing scenes. To older readers and to fans of the first book, I would still probably recommend this, just for the sake of finding out what happens to the other characters.
Thank you so much to Bethany House publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
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