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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Shin: A Journey Through Deadly Ancestral Secrets by Taya Cook is the story of the mysterious Shin as he tackles life while doing what he must. Shin is a gardener to a vicious Madame who has no regard for her employees and especially Furi. But he is no ordinary man; he is a shapeshifter, a master of disguise and he has more than his own life at stake. What started as a journey to find purpose in his life turns out to be the fight for someone else’s life and betterment. So, what does it matter that his life is at stake? He is already considered a bad omen by most. He always lived his life according to someone else's wishes. But now, he has a plan for himself. His misery has a silver lining to it, but only if his plan goes as he wants it. Can he do what is expected of him or will he do something that no one expects?
I am fascinated by the mythology of different regions and countries, so when I picked this book up, I wanted to be educated and mesmerized. I was not disappointed. I usually read very quickly and inhale books at a rapid-fire pace, but I savored each and every word of this one. The pace is perfect, the narrative runs smoothly and you experience something phenomenal from the first page. Shin is complicated, he is smart yet he is so vulnerable at the same time. Sometimes he is a slave to his mind and then there are times when he is so powerful that it got my heart racing. The elements of magical realism take the story up a notch and make sure the reader is not going anywhere before they reach the end. The author appears to be a master at weaving pictures with words and storytelling. Everything was precise, nothing was out of place and even the most minor details added more to the story. I am in awe of Taya Cook's abilities to create magic with her words, make it believable, and allow the reader to lose themselves in the pages for some time. Intricate and entertaining.