I reread Brianna just prior to reading this book, just to catch up with everything that was going on, and I almost wish I hadn’t. Then maybe I wouldn’t have had the two issues I DID have with Sheala. Judy Mays does excellent world-building, and her characters are multi-faceted. I loved Brianna, and Sheala was an interesting read with lots going on. But it could have been better. It could have been deeper.
In Sheala, Sheala and Marljas just got LOST in the cast of characters. This was supposed to be THEIR book, THEIR story. I wanted JUST her POV and his POV. Everyone else should have taken a backseat, a supporting role. NO ONE ELSE should have had a POV in this book. Shaela’s situation was terrible, and I wanted to see how Marljas’ love & devotion helped her heal, and helped them come together as a couple and move towards their HEA. I wanted their thoughts, their emotions, their hopes and fears and dreams and yearnings. Their sorrow and regret. Their rage. The stage was cluttered with too many characters having a say, and depth suffered for it.
The other thing I noticed was entire CHUNKS of narrative were cut from the end of Brianna and pasted into the beginning of Sheala. That made me angry, b/c Judy mays is better than that. It felt like a cop-out. I wanted those self-same scene rewritten from Shaela’s and Marljas’ perspective, to really take hold of the inciting incident (a tragedy) and then allow them to start moving forward. Marljas kills one of the villains with his bare claws, and someone else finds the shredded body. I NEEDED that scene to be in Marljas’ POV. I wanted his rage, his sorrow and outrage, his regret that he wasn’t able to get to Sheala in time. It wouldn’t have been an easy scene to write, but it would have been SO much more powerful.
I look forward to more books in this series. I would LOVE to see a book for Ban. That boy has a LOT going on in his life, lots of issues. An assassin with a playboy face, the black sheep of the family. HE could be really interesting to flesh out and give the spotlight to…