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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Alianne Donnelly’s Shadow Hawk is a science-fiction story involving survival. Laura Belden had just been notified that her husband William, who has a degenerative disease, had decided to go to an assisted living center. While she was fuming over his decision, the Shadows attacked. Three years passed, with Laura trying to survive with the refugees as their supplies dwindled. Meanwhile, Finnegan "Finn" Rowe had arrived to seek out Laura. He wasn’t expecting her to welcome him after he had abandoned her twenty years ago to join the Shadows. When he arrived, Laura’s wrath was unleashed without her listening to him. When he learned that Laura was going to a group of Shadows for supplies, Finn discovered that they intended to kill Laura and her group unless he joined them. Finn knew that he couldn’t return to the refugees without endangering them. His disappearance causes Laura concern since William was unable to travel.
Alianne Donnelly builds intense suspense with the impending threat to Laura’s compound. The ailments the refugees suffer due to the fallout heightened the risks. I felt empathy for Finn after learning what he was forced to endure as a Shadow Hawk. The transitions between character perspectives gave me a glimpse into the true intentions of several participants besides Laura and Finn. The vivid details of the implied threats engaged my imagination with all the possible outcomes. The dire situation and their ailments didn’t hinder the children’s playful antics, which tugged at my heartstrings. Laura’s denial made her leadership questionable since she wasn’t facing reality. The end of the story was bittersweet and left a clear opening for the sequel. I am eager to read the follow-up, and I can say this book has become a favorite for me. Shadow Hawk will appeal to science-fiction readers who enjoy adventure with several character perspectives.