Reviewed By Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite
There is good and evil, and then there is The Darkness. In this supernatural thriller, Shadow in the Light by Alex McCann Johnson, two men are drawn together in yet another lifetime to play out their roles as guardians of the light and the dark. Alex, a promising shaman, learns that he has a mission to help save the spirit world from the steadily encroaching Darkness that threatens the balance of good and evil, not only in the spirit word but in the real world as well. Drawn to Ash against the advice of his spirit guides, Alex becomes enmeshed in the evil that Ash is unleashing across the world. Unable to deny his love for Ash, Alex becomes desperate and does everything he can to stop the destruction of the good in the world, but the Darkness that has been unleashed proves to be too strong. Is it possible to embrace the darkness in order to commit the ultimate sacrifice for good?
Alex McCann Johnson weaves a complex and wonderful tale of love, hate, betrayal and revenge in both the mortal and spiritual worlds in Shadow in the Light. While providing an interesting look at the practice of shamanism with spirit guides and animals, Johnson tells a riveting story of the intensity of love that follows the two main characters through thousands of years. With engaging descriptions of real and imaginary settings and strong dialogue, the story unfolds so that you can’t wait to see how it will all play out. Amazing concept and with wonderful detail, the story captures your interest and leaves you breathless at the surprising end.
Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Shadow in the Light by Alex McCann Johnson is a story of struggle and trying to find the right way to get the best of both worlds. I loved how relaxing and soothing the novel was. Yes, it is a paranormal fiction about the life of a man, but the way that the story was written had a flow that was very relaxing. I enjoyed how complex the story was, how every chapter added a new layer so that I wanted to know more.
In this novel, Alex is a shaman who learns that he has a higher purpose in life and he has every intention of fulfilling it. He needs to save the spirit world from the ancient darkness that is threatening to engulf it and bring an end to the balance between right and wrong. However, Alex has no idea that his resolve will be tested by Ash, a young man whom he likes a lot. But Ash seems to be spreading darkness across the world and there is nothing that Alex can do to stop it. However, that does not mean he is unwilling to try to stop it. What can Alex do to save the spirit world and Ash? Is it even possible?
The novel itself is very complex and weaves a very interesting tale of love and struggling to find the balance between right and wrong. I enjoyed how much detail I could find in the story about Shamanism. It feels like the author did his research before writing the story and then implemented his knowledge beautifully. The connection between Alex and Ash was intense and their development was brilliant. I enjoyed every single bit of this novel.
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
Shadow in the Light is a work of darkly tragic supernatural fiction by author Alex McCann Johnson. The Alex of the story is a being who has existed for many lifetimes, one of a pair of shamans for whom life has never been easy. At the earliest inception of the world, Alex’s love created a Darkness that has forever cursed the planet since. Our story begins in the modern day when the Darkness is wide awake, threatening the last of his own multiple lives, but also the wider fate of humanity and the world of spirits. Once again, Alex finds love, and once again it looks like history is doomed to repeat its tragic pattern and leave him loveless, and perhaps lifeless.
From the start I wasn’t expecting this book to be LGBTQ, but I was delighted to find such a suitable twist to the dark fantasy-style love story and, as I read on, Alex McCann Johnson’s work only became more and more diverse. It’s interesting and unique to read a magical fantasy lore that is based around shamanism, and it’s clear that the author spent a lot of time building these legends and weaving them into a convincing world history that informs the plot. The characters were epically drawn like the heroes of old, and the love that both binds them and tears them apart was tragically well balanced to keep readers wondering and hoping right to the end. Overall, Shadow in the Light is highly recommended for paranormal and fantasy fans looking for something unique.
Reviewed By Teresa Syms for Readers’ Favorite
Alex McCann Johnson’s Shadow in the Light introduces Alex, our main protagonist, a Shaman and protector of all things good in the human realm, and the protector and last chance for the ancient spirit world. As Alex trains and learns from his spirit guides, it is apparent that he will soon have to make the greatest decision of his life. He must choose between what is right for the survival of the spirit and human realms and that of his friend and greatest love, Ash. Or will Alex succumb to the love and the ancient evil of Ash. Alex is destined to learn the secrets behind how the spirit world protects the human world. Good must always be balanced with evil, but Ash has other ideas. He is out to completely destroy Alex and everything that is good. He believes that by destroying good, he will be able to spend eternity loving Alex. Alex does not agree. Can Alex save mankind and the spirit world?
A complex story with a plot in which the author entwines the current world of humanity with that of the ancient spirit world. Alex represents the good in both realms, and he visits the spirit realm often as he learns from his spirit guides and travels with his spirit animals, surveying the damage being done by the darkness. In the real world, things are changing, and the darkness is growing as evil is on the rise. Alex McCann Johnson wrote a compelling, intriguing story. The reader travels with the protagonist, Alex, into the spirit realm, where you meet Pele, the Goddess of the Volcanoes, and the many others that maintain the delicate balance of the spirit realm. I enjoyed Shadow in the Light. It is a good story that transports the reader between two worlds… the real human world and the ancient spirit world. Shadow in the Light is difficult to put down until you have finished the entire book.
Reviewed By Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite
In this dark mystical tale of good versus evil, Alex, a promising shaman, has a final chance to rid the afterlife of the Darkness. This deathly being is now more powerful than ever, and its mission is not only to bring about the destruction of the lost souls in the spirit world but then to enter the world of the living. Alex, with the help of his spirit guides, has little time to thwart the ever-increasing power of the Darkness. He meets and falls in love with a fellow shaman named Ash. They discover it was their love many lifetimes ago that brought about the curse of the Darkness. Will Alex be prepared to listen to the advice of his spirit guides and pay the ultimate price to save not only the spirit world but humanity itself?
In Shadow in the Light by Alex McCann Johnson, the author has created such an enthralling story filled with interesting, unique characters. Alex is a great protagonist as, from the outset, we see that although he is troubled, he has superb ethics and values. The relationship between Alex and Ash is endearing but complex. The transition between the spirit world and present day is faultless and builds the suspense continually. The conflict within the plot is evenly paced which makes for an engaging read. Throughout the twists and turns of the story line, I could not foresee which decision Alex would make. The climactic ending was explosive and nail-biting. This is a story not just about good versus evil but of love, relationships and friendship. There is a clear message at the end of the story that we must make our life count for something. Throughout history, men have sacrificed themselves for the well-being of humanity. With good and evil in everything, we will attract whatever our goal will be; positive or negative visualization. This is a book that will definitely leave its mark on the way you see your life’s goal.
I really enjoyed this book! I wasn't sure at first, with it being kind of a Sci Fi book, but I couldn't put the book down once I started. It really sparked an interest in Shamanism and Hypnotherapy for me, I was very intrigued the entire book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in shamanism, hypnotherapy, the spirit world, and LGBT Community or just looking for a great book......... READ IT.
This realistic fiction will have you hooked from the very beginning. It has such an interesting storyline that keeps you wanting more throughout. Alex does an amazing job of building anticipation and foreshadowing as well as describing people, places, and relationships so you really get a feel for the characters and what they are going through. The shamanistic twist on this book adds another level I have not seen in a lot of other literature. It really sparked an interest in me to learn more about Shamanism and hypnotherapy. I really enjoyed it! Great read for anyone into realistic fiction, lgbtq fiction, shamanism, or anyone who enjoys a quick easy read.
Reviewed by Molly Edwards for Readers' Favorite
Alex McCann Johnson is a new-to-me author and his debut book, Vindico is fantastic. It's a mythological young reader's book, but it's filled with action and it's never boring. It truly kept me turning the pages. By the end of the book, I was sitting there in awe over the fact that I really enjoyed the plot, characters, and the author's over all effort in the creation of this first book in the trilogy. Fantasy style books usually leave me a little confused at some point but with Alex's fresh writing and passion for his characters and plot, it really gripped me and pulled me into the story line.
I loved the names that Alex gave his characters. Zirk Zirk. I loved that name! He had the taste of human life, but now, he rages on in battles with Vindico as an immortal. And, of course there's also Logan, Apollo and Vindico. Each of these characters had their own unique personality, yet they blended perfectly in this world of fantasy to create a story that grips the reader. This book is filled with wonderful action and warring between the characters, all the while, there are friendships being forged between the mortals and immortals. It's a battle that causes great victory for some and great loss for others. As the battles rage on, Vindico comes to term with his ability and he accepts himself for what he truly is.
Each character brings spice to this epic story. The reader gets to experience the battles, fighting, and the immortal world of fiction. For the time that you read this book, you will escape into a whole new world of being able to live forever. Be prepared to fight battles to protect the immortal world and to protect humanity. It's all epic and it's a fantastic work of fiction!
So whether you are looking for fast paced action, fantasy filled battles or just looking for a new, fresh voice of fiction, this is a book that I would recommend to all readers young and old. This is an author who is sure to rise to the top and complete this trilogy with numerous fans waiting for each new release. Definitely worthy of 5 stars for capturing this non-fantasy lover's attention with a fantastically written book!
Review Rating 4
Stephanie Dagg rated it 4 stars
Vindico: I am Liberation by Alex McCann Johnson is an ambitious book. We have gods, immortals, wendigos and titans thrown together with humans. The book is a little reluctant to get going, especially after the prologue takes us off at a bit of a tangent. However, slowly but surely, a compelling story line emerges and we become familiar with the various qualities, both good and bad, of the various fantastical and human main players. The gods and immortals are fighting to gain an afterlife, but the titans are opposed to this and also struggling to keep humankind under their subjugation. Vindico proves to be the key in this battle. He’s an interesting, perplexing character. None of the gods we meet are particularly likeable. Apollo certainly isn’t, writing people off as ‘worthless’ to their faces. Thor too is ready to cast humans aside. Vindico isn’t exactly warm either but he befriends human Logan and immortal Zirk, among others, and proves to be a good friend to them.
The book has modern language, modern attitudes but its roots are in classical legends. The best way to describe it is as mythological urban fantasy in a historical setting. Is it too much to successfully harness together? Can the fantasy and reality meld successfully? I think ultimately they do. This author is striving to break moulds and has to be applauded for that. It’s refreshing to find a writer like this who dares to be different and who confronts his readers with an innovative and challenging universe. I’m impatient to see what this author comes up with next.
Make sure you review it when you are finished reading!