Book Review : Evenfall (In The Company of Shadows #1) by Ais
Years after the bombs of WWIII have changed the physical and political landscape, the Agency ruthlessly works behind the scenes to take down rebel groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means. Hsin Liu Vega (Sin) is their most efficient and deadly assassin ever. However, he tends to go off on unauthorized killing sprees and somehow his assigned partners all end up dead under suspicious circumstances. That is why the Agency has had him locked up in a box on the fourth floor for years. But now they think it is time to put the psychopath back in the field. With a new partner.
Boyd’s mother, a high ranking Agency official, volunteers her teenage son for the position. Boyd is not afraid of death. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair for the last few years that he’d welcome it.
Can these two broken men form an efficient partnership? Can they learn to trust anyone, let alone each other? Sin doesn’t give a fuck about the Agency, or the androgynous boy who holds the remote to the shock collar that is supposed to control him.
On the other hand, Boyd is strangely unafraid of the man everyone calls ‘monster’ and Sin seems reluctant to let his keeper get himself killed on any missions. Yet.
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
“But even though he’s like super assassin, he was always fuckin’ up. Killing the wrong people, sometimes killing everyone. I mean, honestly, I don’t give a shit about that if that’s what he’s assigned to do but it’s the other stuff that bothers me…”
The voices went in and out. He could catch what the were saying, but when the tried to hone in on who said those words, a headache immediately bloomed and scrambled all his thoughts. Staring out of the cell of a small box that they have forced him in, Sin tried to focus on his surrounding. If for nothing other than to give himself something to concentrate on. He could not focus too much on this box. Because if he did then all he would be able to think about was how little space he had for himself. How the four walls are pressing in on him, as if they were trying to slowly suffocate him in panic.
No, Sin wouldn’t focus on that. He had to force himself to think about something else. God knows with the amount of whatever drugs that they have been pumping into him day in and day out, he wouldn’t be able to escape. At least not in the state that he was in right now. He would wait though. The right moment would come, and when it did, he would not hesitate to rip the guards’ throat if it came down to it.
Sin’s reverie was cut short when he was unceremoniously pulled out of the cell and dumped roughly on the tiled floor. After being locked in the cell for so long, Sin could not even thought to break his fall with his arms as he fell against the sterile floor. Wearing only a close-fitting black shorts, Sin should have felt the chill of the room, but as he slowly took in his surroundings, he felt nothing but exhaustion, hunger, and fear.
Sin could handle a lot of things, he knew that about himself. His father made sure of it. Physical torture had never phased him. He knew because he had been through his fair share of pain and torture. But that cell, that box that was too small to even move in held all his fear, and he knew the Agency knew it. Trust the Agency to use his crippling fear of small spaces against him.
There was a lot of shuffling and whispers of conversation floated to him every now and then, but Sin was simply too exhausted to put any of his attention into it. He kept his eyes downcast, thoughts empty until he heard the cell door open and a pair of clicking heels walking towards his direction.
“I should hope that you are intelligent enough to understand that you are a tool to the Agency,
Despite the drugs running rampage in his system and the fact that he could barely concentrate on anything, Sin managed to raise his eyebrows mockingly at the lady. Vivienne Beaulieu, the second in command of the Agency. Her face was a like a mask, her eyes completely unreadable as she watched him. Where an average person would have probably turned away from such expression, Sin’s eyes remained trained on her in the same narrow-eyed, hawk-like manner.
They continued to watch each other for a few moments, until Sin eventually shrugged and fell back against the wall gracelessly. Already getting bored over whatever enjoyment he gained from attempting to intimidate her.
“Give him another dose of the drugs you are using to control him. If he has the energy to be disrespectful, he has the energy to escape. Remember that.”
Those were the last words Sin heard before his vision went black.
This book is one thousand two hundred pages long.
No, you didn’t read anything wrong. It is 1200 pages long. And I finished it. I –– excuse me mademoiselle and Monsieur for my french –– fucking finished this book. I mean, I don’t know how it felt like to climb a mountain, but I would assume the sense of accomplishment one gets after reaching the summit would pretty much equal to what I feel after managing to wade through this thick ass book.
Now, before we get into the review however, I just wanted to let you know that there is a Director’s Cut version of Evenfall. Divided into two books, which are in totally about 600-700 pages long. So worry not, if this book intrigues you, and you plan on reading it, pick up the Director’s Cut instead. Unless, you are a masochist like me and love to some pain to accompany your pleasure, then by all means go ahead.
“Have I bored you already?”
“Mm. No. But after sleeping on linoleum for the past six months, I may just doze off from the sheer opulence of your chair. Or maybe it’s the fucking horse tranquilizers you pumped me full of for those six months that are still slowing me down?”
“Are you hungry?”
“No. After six months on a liquid diet, I’m watching my figure.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the review.
First things first, the plotting. It was good. Good as in it made sense enough for me to continue to be intrigued, and want to push through hundreds of thousands of words to get to the meat of the story. To simply summarize, in Evenfall, Sin and Boyd are partners who got paired together by chance and a sprinkle of fate. Sin’s job description is to kill terrorists, or anyone who are against the Agency. The thing is though, Sin has the tendency to go berserk and go on a sudden killing spree when provoked.
Since the Agency is supposed to be on the down low, they can’t really have Sin just go around killing people whenever he pleases. That is where Boyd comes to play. Boyd is hired to be Sin’s partner, basically to keep him in line and make sure he doesn’t indulge in violence when it wasn’t needed.
Throughout the story, the plot seems a tad bit inconsistent. It could be because the author wanted us to understand more about Sin and Boyd’s connection or want more screen time for them or whatnot. But I couldn’t put my finger on why the scene towards the ending just didn’t sit right with me. It felt out of place. Especially towards the end of the book where mission just seemed to be thrown their way for no reason at all. When you try to analyze the progression of the story and just how it meshes together, the sequence of the incidents that happened in Evenfall towards the end was a tad bit odd. It was as if it was just stuck there to lengthen the book. Which is really no need, seeing the book is already long enough as it is.
“We need to act now before they induct every single ragtag rebel group into their fold. They’ve swallowed insurgent groups here and overseas and their influence is spreading.”
“Sounds dire,” Sin replied blandly.
Carhart glared at him. “Can you take this seriously?”
When it comes to characters development though, your girl must admit, she don’t have no complaints when it comes to this. Boyd and Sin’s chemistry with each other are simply magnificent. It was so amazing to see them from being hostile to slowly warming up to the idea of one another, and eventually ended up truly caring for the other’s well being. It is truly solely because of how in love I was with these two that I even finished the book in the first place.
These two are just perfect for each other in every way imaginable. Not to mention, Sin and his sarcastic jab and his love for sweets are everything. He’s such a precious little smol bean that deserves all the love and protection that this world can offer.
Now let me just say, I know full well going into this book that it’s going to be a long and tiring journey. I could have picked the Director’s Cut, but since I did not want to miss anything of import, I chose the original version instead. In this version of Evenfall however, I really do agree with most readers out there who has read this book. They need an editor. There are some very simple grammatical mistakes and typos that would have been very easily spotted by any decent editors. Not to mention the fact that there are just so. many. words.
There are so much, and most of the are honestly just the same thing over and over again. I mean, I get the need to build the world for your readers, but really, do you need to describe to the umpteenth detail every single time of how the shadows hit the floor, or the placement of the furniture, or write in detail about a how-to make a dish?
That aside though, I wouldn’t get too critical with the writing in this version. Since there has already been a revised version of it, and I believe a lot of unnecessary words has been cut out and the plot tightened, I wouldn’t go too much into the details of what the writing lacks in this version of Evenfall.
The Verdict :
Altogether, it was an enjoyable read, despite the length. The storyline from the beginning towards the middle managed to grab me by my imaginary balls and literally had me staying up late just so I can quench my curiosity. Towards the end, the writing and plotting was a tad bit scattered, but I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt since this book did start out as an online story after all.
To summarize, I will definitely be continuing down this series as I need to have my fill of Boyd and Sin. By now, it’s almost like an addiction. I just need to get my next fix of these two or else I’ll go stir crazy. *wink*
“Do you trust me?”
His eyes slid open and he stared up at Boyd through a haze of passion. “Yes.”
Boyd’s lips curled up into a smirk. “Good.”
Then the knife abruptly plunged into his chest.