Me and My Shadow is the third book in Katie MacAllister’s Silver Dragon series, which is set in the same world as her Guardian series. In fact, many Guardian characters (including Aisling and Drake) reappear in her Silver Dragon series. My personal favorite carryover character is Jim, the demonic Newfoundland. His inappropriate and ribald comments had me laughing aloud frequently.
The story itself is about May, a shadow-walking doppelganger who is the offspring of Cyrene, a Naiad, and Magoth, a demon lord. To create May, Cyrene sacrificed her own common sense and enthralled May to Magoth. So from birth, May has been forced to do Magoth’s bidding (stealing) while she watches over her loveable but common-sense-less twin. The series tells the story of May’s quest for freedom, self-identity, love, and, um, foreplay.
Earlier in the series, May fell in love and mated with Gabriel, a wyvern (head of the silver dragons). In this third book, May’s quest is to get rid of the shard of the fabled dragon heart that she has absorbed and which is threatening to take her over completely and turn her into a dragon. Along the way, she must deal with her twin falling head over heels for Gabriel’s bitterest political rival; escape from her thralldom to Magoth (possibly at the cost of releasing him from hell); avoid the temptation of using the demonic powers she has been awarded; escape from hell (Abaddon) more than once; sidestep the “help” of aspiring demon lord Sally; tiptoe around the very pregnant Aisling and her horrid mother-in-law; solve the mystery of the shadowy puppetmaster behind everything; and stop burning down bedrooms every time she has sex. Oh, yes, and she would like to just once have the foreplay promised by the well intentioned but fast-starting Gabriel.
What’s not to like? Well, let me first say that this novel hits my personal sweet spot: funny, fast-paced urban fantasy with a kick-butt female protagonist. The characters are memorable, and the setting does what it’s supposed to do. And the dialogue is generally sharp and witty.
On the other hand, the love interest develops rather abruptly in this series, so if the gradual development of romance is what does it for you, then this may not be your series. And it’s not going to win prizes for deep themes or flowery prose.
What I can say is, I loved it. The novel never dragged and it made me laugh — a lot. I read it straight through and can’t wait for the next installment.