Wren Reviews: ‘Hummingbird’

Title: Hummingbird

Author: Kay Causer

Genre: Urban fantasy, supernatural, action, YA fiction, romance




The shadows are moving…

For fifty years the gateways to the dark places have been closed. No dark spirits have escaped and no shadow weavers have been called upon to fight them. But things are changing.

Naomi keeps seeing a hummingbird in her dreams but she has no idea what it means. She also doesn’t know who the mysterious boy is that seems to be able to turn invisible, or why the Korean exchange student, Minhyun, is suddenly showing her so much interest. Worst of all, she doesn’t know what is lurking in the darkness, waiting for her.

But she is about to find out.

She is the first shadow weaver in fifty years…



Plot: The plot is quite action based. I like that in books. I don’t like that there is so much romance. The story seems to be quite quick about the training. I would prefer to learn about the training. It seems rushed. And Naomi seems to be invincible since we weren’t given enough of the training.

We start with Naomi on the beach. One of her friends almost drowns. She starts getting dreams with a hummingbird in them. She goes to a party for her friend and sees Minhyun. She has weird conversations with him. On her way back home, she is attacked by a shadow but saved by a strange boy. She meets the boy, finding out he’s a shadow guide named Jesse. She ends up being a shadow weaver, a person who protects the light parts of the world against the dark. She trains with him. She gets a talisman to protect her and lead her in the fights against shadows. She meets a light spirit and is given cryptic advice. A dark shadow guide will make things worse. She assumes it’s Minhyun and follows him. She becomes Jesse’s girlfriend and finds out that Minhyun is a shadow guide. But not the dark one. She finds out who the dark shadow guide is. Minhyun disappears. Jesse and Naomi go after Minhyun, going to where Naomi’s mom’s party is. They find Changsuk the dark shadow guide. They battle him, and Changsuk is wounded. They escape in the fire surrounding the forest and survive. Minhyun goes back to Korea.

But Changsuk is still on the loose.


Character Development:

Naomi. I don’t like Naomi. She changes from the innocent teen girl in the beginning to the shadow weaver she is in the end. I don’t like who she is. She is brave in ways I don’t like. She isn’t really selfless. She simply does things without thinking. She doesn’t tell Jesse that she’s stalking Minhyun. Why exactly? To protect him. To make sure she was right about her assumption. That is not right. You two could have done it together. You could have found out together. I hate how she seems as she fights. She seems invincible, only wincing when she gets hit. I don’t think that works in the real world. You can be numbed to pain, but you don’t heal in the way Naomi does. I really don’t like her. Her personality annoys me. Her fighting style is fantastic, but I don’t know where she learned that. In one summer? I don’t think so.

Jesse. Ah. Jesse the shadow guide. I don’t like him. He’s too cocky. Too full of himself. While I enjoy Wesley Ayers and his cockiness, Jesse takes it to a new extreme. Also, how does he fall in love with Naomi so fast? They’ve been together for only a few months. Maybe weeks. How does he love her so quickly? I can’t see it. I don’t see it. I like that he is strong and a strong to rely on, but this is taking it too far.

Minhyun. I like him. He’s a good character. It’s an awkward character to thrown in diversity. Why Korea? Why not Japan? That’s the eternal question, but I do appreciate the author trying to be diverse in her characters. You get tired of Americans over and over. I like how he’s caring. He wants the best for his world and the people around him. He is brave but reclusive. He doesn’t want help. He wants to prove his worth. I think that there is good potential with Minhyun. There is great potential for his character. Sadly, he isn’t the main character, and Naomi the main character is lacking in many aspects.


Problems: I felt like there were problems in this book that could be solved quite easily.

The romance was quick. Rushed. Where is the basis? I know that I can admit that I was waiting for them to get together. But it was rushed. They aren’t tentatively holding hands? No quick, rushed kisses? Full-on blushes? No. They are kissing like there is no tomorrow. And they might think that way. I actually wanted Naomi with Minhyun. It seemed like a good fit, but I’ll settle for Jesse.

The training was almost nonexistent. It could be bulked out. Maybe a short story. Maybe not. I felt like Naomi magically became this kick-ass heroine. Which she wasn’t very good at to begin with. It was a magical ‘poof’, and she knows how to fight.

Another problem is Naomi herself. I didn’t like her. Where is the emotional connection? Her past is shady. We get only divorced parents with Naomi staying with her dad. What does she think of her mom? Her stepdad? I feel like she isn’t very well written. She is a fantastic fighter. How? When was she taught? When did she learn? She is smart. Witty. Quick. This contradicts how slow and bumbling she is in the beginning. And it’s summer. Be real. No teen would be this quick during the summer.

There are grammar errors. Things I didn’t particularly care about. I noticed them, but I didn’t say much about them. I suggest a good editor.


Good points: I do like the premise. It was a fantastic idea. The execution wasn’t too bad. There were parts when I didn’t like what was done, but I felt like it was good enough.

I think some kudos should be given to Minhyun. He is a great character. He has a vivid past. We see more of his past than Naomi’s. He can be hurt. We are constantly reminded of that. I think Minhyun needs his own book. Really.

I do think that the author could have done better. I’ll admit that the plot was full of action. I enjoyed the rush, the thrill. There were spots where there could have been more fighting, more action. I do think this is a moderate book.


Score: 7/10

Recommended: If you like supernatural. If you like urban fantasy.



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