From Shadows

The Lost Library Series Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
504 Pages
Reviewed on 11/08/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

From Shadows is the first book in The Lost Library Series by author R. E. Journeys. In this epic fantasy for young adults, our hero Zev Porter wanted nothing but a job when he received an opportunity he could pass up. A very strange job description caught his eye. All he had to do was listen to the story told by an old woman and live through the night. The moment he entered the home of the woman, he knew something was up and something was very wrong. However, listening to her story proved to be the catalyst for the biggest adventure of his life. Before he knew it, the future of a magical world rested on his shoulders and he had no idea what he was supposed to do. But he had no choice. He either saved the magical world or it would die. Was there any way for him to get out of this mess or was it too late for him?

From Shadows is a fantastic epic fantasy. R. E. Journeys gave a complete background with a heavy dose of mystery, a protagonist who we could stand by, and set the tone just right so that we could enjoy the story at our own pace. I loved how simple and reasonable Zev’s reactions were. He showed how he was feeling and what he thought. He had a crystal-clear personality and his will to survive played a vital role in moving the story forward. I enjoyed the doomed atmosphere, the magic, the creatures the author introduced with almost a fanfare, and captivating dialogues that had me hooked to the story. You may think of this book as typical young adult fiction, but you are in for a surprise.

K.C. Finn

From Shadows is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author R. E. Journeys. Written as the opening novel to The Lost Library series, this first adventure is recommended for the mature end of the young adult reading age group, due to some moderately graphic content that features explicit language usage, violence, and death. The plot focuses on Zev Porter, a fortune hunter who finds himself out of work and losing his love for the wild lifestyle he used to lead. But when his unemployment leads him to a series of events that could ruin the world, Zev is forced to face his inner demons and find out if he has the courage to be a hero.

Author R. E. Journeys has crafted a fascinating and high-octane fantasy novel that mature young adults and adult readers alike will be sure to enjoy. In terms of world-building, I enjoyed the creation of Ulterra and its magical lore, peppered with atmospheric details, but also familiar and pseudo-historical references that make this fantasy world feel more real. I also really enjoyed the fact that the novel was penned in the first person present tense, which gave it a real sense of immediacy and provided a closeness to the central character, particularly through the suspenseful and emotive times. Zev is a resourceful and wily protagonist who knows how to have an adventure, and overall, I would highly recommend From Shadows for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, and the like. An accomplished series opener indeed.

Vincent Dublado

From Shadows is the first book in the Lost Library Series by R.E. Journeys. This is an epic fantasy novel about Zev Porter, an out of luck fortune hunter who gets more than he bargained for from the Fortune Hunter’s Bureau after receiving a job of listening to an old lady’s tale about a king and a set of twins with remarkable power. As he listens to the old lady’s tale, he begins to worry that he was not getting the full story, and then he passes out. He regains consciousness in the company of elves and tries to muster his rational faculties to convince himself that magic does not exist in Ulterra. The elves ask him to aid them in defeating a demon that controls their kingdom—and this is just the beginning in his quest to restore magic in Ulterra.

The first impression from any prospective reader will be, “Why write another fantasy book hero?” From Shadows will captivate you with a mystery where insurmountable evil can be overcome. Journeys writes of a hero who does not exactly project heroic ideals, but it is the commonality of his doubts and flaws that make him relatable. As an epic adventure, this book has something pertinent to say about the heroic subject. You might feel that Porter may be deficient or incomplete in some way, but it does not negate the fact that he gets the job done. Two months after he started his adventure he finds that the world of magic is more interesting than the ordinary, and he emerges as a more mature character. If you wish to trace Zev Porter’s development as a hero, then this book in the series is where you start.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

From Shadows by R.E. Journeys is Book 1 of The Lost Library Series. Zev Porter is an unemployed fortune hunter, once searching for high adventure but never thinking he would find it. In desperation, he takes a job that requires him to listen to an old woman’s story at her manor. Nothing hard about that; it’s only a story after all. But as he settles down to listen to her talk about a king and two powerful twins, he finds himself transported into the story. Now he has to save the magical world from destruction and restore magic back to the Kingdom of Ulterra. Along the way, Zev is forced to face his own demons and, given that there are some who don’t want the magical world saved, he has some tough decisions to make. Will he sacrifice everything to return the magic or will he give in and join the Shadow Dwellers?

From Shadows: The Lost Library Series Book 1 by R.E. Journeys is a young adult adventure story. It does contain graphic language, death, and violence in places so younger readers should be aware of this. This is an unputdownable story that grabs your attention right from the start. The descriptive nature of the writing and the author’s enthralling tone pull you straight into the story, drawing you ever deeper into its intricate web. The story moves at a decent, steady pace and it is action all the way. This is a story that stimulates your imagination, with a unique plot and some wonderful characters that may be fantastical but all have real flaws and are easy to relate to. This would suit fans of fantasy adventure stories but discretion is advised due to the graphic nature of parts of it.

Pikasho Deka

From Shadows is the first entry in The Lost Library series by author R. E. Journeys. It's an action/adventure fantasy novel that follows a tenacious young man named Zev Porter, who works at an agency called the Fortune Hunters Bureau. One day, working on an assignment, Zev visits an ancient house occupied by a mysterious woman named Clara. While listening to her story, Zev unwittingly transports himself into the story. Zev soon learns that a group called the Shadow Hunters are influencing mythological stories, which is seeping magic out of Ulterra. Now, with the help of two elven twins named Ethra and Letha, and a talking magical creature named Tyre, Zev must visit each story and defeat the Shadow Dweller King to restore magic and hope among his people.

I couldn't help but compare From Shadows to The Witcher novels as both series are based on premises where protagonists go off on adventures to fight magical creatures. But the similarities end there as R. E. Journeys has woven a unique yarn that reiterates the importance and impact that stories have on people and how these stimulate their hopes and dreams. There is not a single dull moment to be found in here as it moves at a brisk pace and is action-packed. The worldbuilding could have been better, but given the fact that this is the first novel in the series, I can't complain much. From Shadows can be wildly imaginative, gleefully playful, and surprisingly somber at times. I would recommend it to fantasy fans who love adventure stories.