Review: Out of the Shadows by Emma Carrie

Out of the Shadows (The Tacket Secret, #1)Out of the Shadows by Emma Carrie

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“A genetically enhanced teen assassin on the run. A rogue general on the hunt. And a relationally damaged detective sucked into the chase.

Three years ago, Emily Brelin escaped the general who trained her. She fled across the globe to Golden City, New York, where she sought anonymity and redemption.

But now her murky past is about to catch up with her.

When the professor who protected Emily’s secrets dies, the will names Detective Victoria Tacket as her new guardian. The detective botches the adoption process, leaking Emily’s location. Emily fears the general will kill anyone to recapture her, so rather than risk the detective’s life, she plans to run away.

Detective Vick Tacket is shocked when she learns her best friend has died. Furthermore, her friend had a hidden dependent and named Vick—a single woman with no maternal interest—as the girl’s guardian. Convinced she’d be a terrible mother, Vick plans to decline guardianship, until the teen disappears.

Vick scours the streets of Golden City, searching for Emily—but what she discovers threatens not only her own life and Emily’s, but others’ lives as well.”–Goodreads

“Out of the Shadows” by Emma Carrie is a mystery-soaked suspense novel that left me wanting more. A lot more. Only a minor story arc was resolved in this novella, while the main plot was left hanging. It only barely scratches the surface of the story waiting to be told, and feels incomplete. Perhaps this would be better as “Part One” of a full-length novel than a stand-alone novella. However, the writing itself is good, with a few rocky spots. It was tight, and fairly well-crafted for a beginning author. You can tell there was a lot of thought and effort put into writing and revising this work. I’m eager to see how Carrie develops with her writing in coming works.
The characters were vivid, and full of personality. However, I feel like the author was a little hit-and-miss with this aspect. For example, while the protagonist (a fourteen-year old girl) was supposed to be very smart and mature for her age, at times she felt a little too smart and mature, almost to where she felt robotic. The other protagonist had the opposite problem–even though she was supposed to be an experienced homicide detective, she got carried away by her emotions several times, and was led into bad decisions. I think with a little more work, the characters would be spot on—but as of now, they fell a bit flat.
I was very curious about the setting. It takes place in Golden City, New York. It was unclear whether this was set in the present or the future—I lean towards present—and if it was even a real city. I think some more details to round out the setting would have been good.
Overall, I’m afraid I can only give this book 2.5 stars. The story and characters were good, but had some iffy elements, while the world-building was almost non-existent. It did a good job of holding my interest, but ended far too quickly and left many things unresolved. You can tell the author has a lot of talent— it just needs some developing. I do look forward to reading more of her writing in the future, however, and have high hopes for coming books.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Recommended: Yes. 12 and up.

Content guide:
Language: 0/10
Sexual Content: 0/10
Violence: 5/10 (characters are attacked and injured)

*Many thanks to the author for providing a copy to review!*

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