November 16, 2016

Fresh From the Bookshelf: Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette {Book Review}

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of being on the review team for rookie author Connilyn Cossette's first book Counted With the Stars. It was part one of a three part series, and after really enjoying the first book, I eagerly awaited the second book Shadow of the Storm. I hoped that this sequel would be just as good, or maybe even better than the first book--and I was eager to continue the Out From Egypt series with Shira's story.

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About Shadow of the Storm

Shadow of the Storm picks up just a short period of time after Counted With the Stars ends. In Counted With the Stars, we saw the Ancient Israelites being delivered from slavery in Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and arriving at Mount Sinai. Shadow of the Storm begins in the heat of trouble--with the Israelites in the middle of their infamous golden calf orgy while Moses is up on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments. This story follows the beloved character Shira from book one as she navigates the world of midwifery as an apprentice to the lead midwife Reva. After a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself in a situation that seems impossible and bound to a man who betrayed her trust. While dealing with contention between the Hebrew tribes, as well as foreigners fanning flames of rebellion, Shira also deals with long-hidden pain and secrets from her past.

My Thoughts on the Book

You can imagine how happy i was to know that my favorite character from book one was the lead female in this second book. I just really connected with Shira and enjoyed seeing her story flushed out. It was interesting to piece together all the things that happened to make her who she was. I also liked watching her find her feet and gain confidence in what she was able to do--her place within the people. She dealt with many ups and downs, and was so focused on her personal baggage shaping her, she forgot what it meant to be "set free" by God. Her painful backstory of abuse is real to many women today unfortunately--and the quote said by Reva to Shira about how she talks to herself regarding her self-worth is something all could take to heart:

"You are telling yourself lies and believing them. Instead of putting the oil of truth on those scars, you are allowing them to grow thicker. If you do not stretch those scars, tug at them, force movement into them, then they will continue to have a hold over you."

This book also shares a dual story with a Hittite woman named Dvorah who plays an entrical part in the overall story. I enjoyed having her character woven through, though there were times I wanted to shake her.

It was interesting to take on the view of an Israelite going through the events after Mount Sinai. To think about what it would have been like for a Levite to be chosen as the "special" tribe. To see the anger of God taken out on the people over events like the golden calf and the rebellion. It was an intriguing perspective, and I think the author did it convincingly.

I enjoyed seeing Kiya and Eben from the first book playing a substantial role in this book and hope we won't see the last of them. The next book in the series is set to pick up about 40 years later, and the author promises we will see a few of these other characters popping up.

I actually think I enjoyed Kiya's story a smidgen more than this one-mostly because the first book touched me in ways this one just didn't quite do. Shadow of the Storm was still a wonderful story and I enjoyed every part of it. But I didn't get moved emotionally like the previous book. As a side bonus, I will add that the covers of these first two books are just gorgeous! Loving the style!

Shadow of the Storm (Out of Egypt)
by Connilyn Cossette
Available in Paperback and Kindle

Make sure you remember to keep your eyes open for book three in this series, Wings of the Wind which will be coming in May 2017!

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