The Write Reads Blog Tour – Sapphire Smyth & The Shadow Five by R.J. Furness


R. J. Furness has been passionate about great stories since he was able to read. At an early age, he would frequently create new characters, worlds and creatures, then write crazy tales all about them. However, until now, he has always kept those ideas completely secret. After having a lifelong interest in animals, music and anything spawned from pure imagination, R.J.’s first love are now his wife and children. Over time, he has also developed an overwhelming desire for mugs of tea and good biscuits to dunk. He lives in Southport, England, with his family, a dog and several fish, chickens and quails.

Website: https://rjfurness.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjfurness


Have you ever seen something you can’t explain? Did it vanish as fast as it appeared? Perhaps that thing you saw was lurking in the shadows, and you caught a glimpse of it before it went back into hiding. There’s a good chance, of course, that the thing you saw simply emerged from your imagination. Or maybe, just maybe, it didn’t… Sapphire Smyth is no stranger to rejection. When she was only a baby, her father abandoned her after her mother died. Since then, Sapphire has never felt like she belonged anywhere, or with anyone. To make things worse, her foster carers have now turned their back on her – on her eighteenth birthday. After living with them throughout her childhood, Sapphire has to find a new home. Is it any wonder she finds it hard to trust people? Abandoned by the people she called family, Sapphire is alone and searching for some meaning in her life. Except that meaning has already come looking for her. When she discovers mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows, Sapphire soon realises that her fate is unlike anything she had ever imagined.


This is the first book I have ever read that was written in a ‘Serialised format.’ The author explains at the start of the book his reasoning for this, remembering stories he read in a similar format and it definitely made for an intriguing idea.

Sapphire Smyth is a bit of a loner. A kid that doesn’t really fit in anywhere, and has just been told by her foster family that they can’t afford to keep her now that she has come of age. Determined to make it on her own she runs away to the local park only she isn’t alone. When danger approaches her mothers bracelet that she was given for her 18th birthday starts making weird sensations, and before she knows what has happened her attacker is on the ground. Sapphires only friend, Ben might be the person to give her answers, if only she can get him to open up.

Sapphire was an interesting character. Understandably confused, hurt and upset about being abandoned by her foster family, and then all these weird things start happening. I’m pretty sure any one of us would act out & go searching for the answers to questions she doesn’t know how to ask. With it being a serial story, you don’t get to bond with the characters as much as a full story, that being said I definitely felt for her and the situation she suddenly finds herself in.

The writing style was not overly descriptive, but that didn’t stop me from being gripped by the plot. I found the story line quite fresh, with the idea that things live in the shadows that only certain people can see & interact with. I definitely wont be looking at shadows in the same way for a good long while!

Because this was a new format of reading for me I found it slightly harder to delve into the story, especially with how quickly I flew through it. You can read the whole ‘part’ in a matter of hours, but reading more about the style of writing made me realise that these are written to be reminiscent of TV shows, an hour a week etc. After realising this I found myself enjoying the story more, knowing that I would not find out much in this part but that the follow ups would give me the information I desired.

I think after reading this I will definitely be searching out more ‘serialised’ style stories. I like the idea of picking up a few chapters a week etc, and can easily be read around other books. I enjoyed the plot and the characters enough that I will definitely be picking up the next instalment. 3.5/5

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