Industry Reviews

Shadow of the Son

  • Midwest Book Review

    Shadow of the Son
    Ivan Obolensky
    Smith-Obolensky Media
    9781947780170, $19.99, PB, 474pp

    Synopsis: "Shadow of the Son" by Ivan Obolensky is the hauntingly majestic tale of broken promises, old scores settled, second chances, passion and jealousy.

    What starts as a simple question from an uninvited guest descends into a complex game of move and countermove, as ties between the guests surface, and secrets behind secrets are revealed. Everyone, and all that resides at the mystical heart of Rhinebeck, must come to grips with someone who hides sadistic and malignant intentions -- one who has calculatingly affected all their lives and is determined to do the same again. Will love and loyalty triumph over darkness and diabolical cunning?

    As with "Eye of the Moon", be transported into a world that will captivate you and have you reading late into the night.

    Critique: The impressively entertaining sequel to "Eye of the Moon", author Ivan Obolensky's new gothic novel "Shadow of the Son" is an inherently intriguing and deftly crafted story of magic, intrigue, and mystery in this. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shadow of the Son" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

    Midwest Book Review
    Small Press Bookwatch, the General Fiction Shelf
  • Laura Harrison

    In "Shadow of the Son", Obolensky has crafted a novel with complicated characters struggling with the deep themes of love, forgiveness, time and connection. A sequel to his first novel, Eye of the Moon (a must read!), he yet again creates a taut, dramatic and chilling atmosphere... all taking place over a weekend in a fabulous estate located in Rhinebeck—which harkens back to the addictive mysteries of Agatha Christie. As a murder mystery fanatic, I love Obolensky's narrative style, which challenges the reader to think about life after death, ghosts and the supernatural... and ultimately the pain of love lost and the price of forgiveness.
    Laura Harrison
    Publicity Consultant, Bradley Communications Corp.
  • Jane Ubell-Meyer
    I was thrilled to get my hands on an early advance copy of the "Eye of the Moon" sequel, "Shadow of the Son".

    The first "stand-alone" novel, "Eye of the Moon", is a page-turner that weaves together stories and characters that will leave you wanting more. That's exactly what happened with the sequel, "Shadow of the Son", which does not disappoint! I was literally up till 2 am for three nights. Set in historic Rhinebeck NY, two young men brought up as brothers pick up from the first novel and plan for a weekend of uninvited guests, aristocratic entanglements, paranormal visions, magical potions, and a sequence of events that kept my head spinning. Ivan Obolensky is a master wordsmith and storyteller. I left, still wanting more.
    Jane Ubell-Meyer
    Founder, Bedside Reading (book promotion)
  • Susan Sewell
    Bizarre events transpire when an uninvited guest crashes a cozy weekend in the thrilling paranormal novel, "Shadow of the Son" by Ivan Obolensky. Percy is still trying to reconcile his ownership of Rhinebeck and his unbelievable luck in becoming engaged to Bruni. Preparing to entertain a small group of close friends over the weekend at Rhinebeck, Percy is stunned to learn that his estranged father, Lord Bromley, is planning on coming to stay at Rhinebeck. Although he has never met him, Percy has heard about Lord Bromley's unethical and cruel exploits and wishes to have nothing to do with him. Unable to prevent Lord Bromley's arrival, Percy adjusts his guest list to help him cope with the unwanted visitor's appearance.

    However, because of Lord Bromley's sinister history at Rhinebeck, the metaphysical aspects of the estate appear unsettled. Will the ghost of Rhinebeck allow him to stay without repercussions? How will this affect the weekend for Percy and his guests?

    Containing surreal experiences with the occult, "Shadow of the Son" by Ivan Obolensky is an extraordinary paranormal novel that incites the imagination and chills the blood. Brilliantly written, the poetic lexis and rhythmic flow of the story create a timeless work of art. It captures the essence of an era long past, enchanting and transporting the reader to a world of gentility and urbanity.

    Brimming with mystery and intrigue, supernatural elements eerily whisper throughout the plot, creating an underlying gothic sense of horror and suspense. It is the sequel to the also outstanding novel "Eye of the Moon", where the original characters return. The story ends in the perfect place to segue into another creepy adventure. It is a fabulous series, and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves stories with a gothic feel that leave you with a sense of unease.

    Susan Sewell
    Readers' Favorite
  • María Cristina Restrepo
    "Shadow of the Son" is the novel that the readers of "Eye of the Moon" have been impatiently waiting for.

    The plot unfolds at the same palatial estate on the banks of the Hudson River, a bucolic setting crisscrossed with mysterious undertones that can be at times benevolent or threatening.

    The story resolves some of the pending issues from "Eye of the Moon", while new ones are introduced. The Rhinebeck estate is shown to be once again a microcosm where anything is possible: the love story between Percy and Bruni that could result in not only marriage but a business partnership; the roles of Stanley, the butler, and Dagmar, the cook, which influence the destinies of the guests; the protagonists confronting their pasts, the convenience of hiding rather than revealing. Surprises follow one after another, making it difficult for the reader to put down the book.

    By the start of the second novel, you are familiar with the characters and have likely taken sides. But your opinions may change when new characters arrive, adding complexity to the situation. Some doubts will be resolved, while others will be raised. The doors will open to reveal new secrets, all of which make this book, like the previous one, a true thriller.

    This is a novel that wholly fulfills its mission: the telling of a story in the best possible way. Written with mastery characterized by his elegant prose and a fine, penetrating humor that is at times sharp, yet always intelligent, Ivan Obolensky develops a brilliant narrative with a sure hand that does not let up for a moment.

    "Shadow of the Son", with its mixture of mystery, romance, intrigue, secret family stories, and those small and large power struggles that are revealed, will light up the days and nights of its readers making it, without a doubt, one of their best reads of the year.

    María Cristina Restrepo
    Novelist and Literary Translator
  • Tom Hyman
    "Shadow of the Son" is the sequel to Ivan Obolensky’s award-winning debut novel, "Eye of the Moon". It picks up where that novel ended.

    The cast of characters is much the same as before: Percy’s close friend and erstwhile business partner, Johnny; Johnny’s parents, John Sr. and Anne Dodge; John’s mother, Mrs. Leland; her daughter, Bonnie; Stanley, the family butler; his wife, Dagmar, the cook; Malcolm Ault; the Baron von Hofmanstal, his wife Elsa, and their daughter, Bruni.

    Also making his way to the estate for the weekend is a villain of formidable stature—Lord Bromley.  Bromley, once Alice’s husband and tormentor, is on his way to Rhinebeck to demand possession of some treasures of Alice’s that he claims belong to him. Percy must negotiate some kind of arrangement with this devious and dangerous individual in order to save the estate. Almost everyone present at the weekend gathering has strong personal reasons to fear and hate the man, including Percy himself.
    And Stanley, the butler, has reason to want him dead.

    Several days of hushed conversations, secret plotting, accusations, and acrimonious confrontations, build up to unbearable levels of tension and suspense that explode abruptly in a shattering climax the night of the elaborate formal dinner at the end of the week.

    Obolensky has created a compelling and exceedingly well-crafted drama, full of marvelous detail about the upper-class lifestyle of the 1970s, an ambiance quite familiar to Obolensky. His grandfather was Serge Obolensky, World War II hero and member of Wild Bill Donovan’s OSS, who married into the Astor family.

    Sequels can be difficult to pull off, but Obolensky manages to do it here, and with style. "Shadow of the Son" can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel, but the reader will enjoy it even more by reading "Eye of the Moon" first.
    Tom Hyman
    Author of "Seven Days to Petrograd"
  • Marta Botero
    Reading Ivan Obolensky's new book, "Shadow of the Son", relives the magic of Rhinebeck's environment as the characters from “Eye of the Moon” reunite. I had become familiar and close to them after the end of the previous novel.

    "Shadow of the Son" succeeds in the narrative tension of the story from “Eye of the Moon”, marked by new interrelationships between the guests, in another weekend full of mystery and charm, where the reader experiences being one more guest in a privileged position—
    that of observer in the foreground.

    It is a novel that ensnares from the first chapters by the technique of pacing, suspense, and by the development of events,
    in ways never intuited.

    The author, through direct and poignant dialogues between the characters, allows us to become eyewitnesses and not just readers in this encounter, where hidden truths are made evident with a dynamic that gives a powerful undercurrent to the story.

    The author unfolds fragments of the characters' lives with literary skill and links facets of the past and present that clarify with fascinating rhythm, throughout the chapters, the relationships between their lives.

    Ivan Obolensky possesses the narrative magic of great novelists, due to his ability to put together scenes, create dramatic tension, and slide characters into unexpected situations. The surprising succession of events prevents us from putting the book down. Obolensky achieves everything with a crafted literary language, a profound interpretation of the characters, and the unbeatable staging of the setting, where the details are carefully assembled in this intricate storyline.

    Once again, we find ourselves in a mansion where anything can happen, in a refined environment that enriches sensory literary experiences. Obolensky invokes an experience that the reader, beyond just following the plot, lives the events as an exceptional witness.
    Marta Botero