Standalone Sunday #2 | The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan


Happy Sunday Everyone!! I hope you are all feeling super chilled before the start of another week!!

Standalone Sunday is hosted by Megan @ bookslayerReads and it gives us the opportunity to shed some light on the standalone books out there. I feel like standalone books are definitely alot harder to find these days, nearly every book seems to be part of a series. There has been many times when I have started what I thought was a standalone, only to find out by the end that none of my questions had been answered…because it was the first in a series!!

Today I am talking about:

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan

the shadow hour.jpg

Nineteen twenty-two. Grace has been sent to the stately and crumbling Fenix House to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps as a governess. But when she meets the house’s inhabitants, people who she had only previously heard of in stories, the cracks in her grandmother’s tale begin to show. Secrets appear to live in the house’s very walls and everybody is resolutely protecting their own.

Why has she been sent here? Why did her grandmother leave after just one summer? And as the past collides with the present, can Grace unravel these secrets and discover who her grandmother, and who she, really is?


Firstly, I loved the cover of this book and I am pretty sure it was one of the reasons why I bought it. It is so pretty, and a bit gothic looking as well, which I love. Then the fact that this book is based in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was an added bonus because I have a soft spot for these eras.

For anyone who loves a mystery novel, this book definitely will not disappoint. The chapters alternate between Grace who has just started her job as governess, and Harriet back when she commenced her job as governess fifty years earlier. It is quite amazing to watch how their experiences run parallel with each other, and how Grace unravels things along the way.

Kate Riordan is a beautiful story teller, with her words and descriptions often poetic in nature. I loved reading both ladies stories, but Harriet’s was definitely the most heart wrenching, watching the difficult decisions and sacrifices she has to make in the space of one summer.

My only issue with this book, which for me brought it down to 4 out of 5 stars, was the ending. Yes, all of your questions are answers, however I feel like it could have been tied in a neat little bow before finishing…and it fell short of that. The ending felt a bit rushed I guess, and it seemed as though there should have just been one more chapter tying everything off. Otherwise this would have been 5/5 because it was such a beautifully written novel.


Have you read The Shadow Hour? Do you have any standalone recommendations to add to my TBR list? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Steff xx




  1. Megan @ bookslayerReads · November 21, 2016

    I haven’t read The Shadow Hour, but it sounds interesting! Do you know if she’s related to Rick Riordan? Silly question probably, but just curious. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • littlebookynook · November 21, 2016

      I just googled it and Kate Riordan is from England, while Rick Riordan is from America. I guess they could be very, very mildly related? Not a silly question though because I had wondered the same thing lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Standalone Sunday :: 11/20/16 | :: bookslayerReads ::

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