In 1995, after witnessing the atrocities of war (including rape and genocide), a photographer goes missing in the woods of Bosnia. Several years after the war, two of the photographer’s closest friends, and one former lover, reunite in Sarajevo with the intent of finding him… or his remains. The Evolution of Shadows, the debut novel of Jason Quinn Malott, is about this search and the relationships each character had with the missing man.
The storyline goes back and forth between the present time and the past. Though the flashbacks are mildly interesting (and graphic at times), the overall plot is thin. The reader feels no emotional attachment to any of the characters. All are rather two-dimensional, and their dialog is flat.
Shadows does have a definitive ending, though it is not a surprise to any astute reader. The vivid war scenes tell us that Malott has potential; his first effort, however, is a swing and a miss.
Well-described, even frightening images of the war in Bosnia.
Plot and dialog as flat as stale beer.
The Bottom Line:
The Evolution of Shadows may never see the light of day.