Monday, September 16, 2013

Shadows Blog Tour: Review

I am extremely excited to be a part of the blog tour for Paula Weston's Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series! I'd been eagerly awaiting its release in the U.S. and was beyond thrilled for the opportunity to review it for the tour, which you can follow by checking out the schedule.

Shadows by Paula Weston
Shadows (The Rephaim #1)
By Paula Weston
Tundra Books
Publication Date: September 10, 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

* A copy was provided by the publisher for review for the blog tour.

Synopsis: It’s been almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town and tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.

Review: I don’t want to jinx myself, but I daresay that I’m officially on a lucky streak with angel books. A little voice inside my head says it’s about time, given the number of so-so reads that I tried before finally finding some that clicked with me. I’ve always thought of angels as fascinating beings, but quite a few of the books I read just didn’t make them seem all that interesting. This is not the case with Shadows, which not only delivers a captivating take on angel lore but also vividly brings that lore to life all while cleverly unraveling the story of a young woman who doesn’t even realize she’s forgotten who she really is until a stranger with a somehow familiar face appears. Intriguing premise? Oh, yes.

I’ve never been big on books that deal with memory loss because usually one of two things happens: either you figure out the entire plot before the affected character does and then have to wait impatiently for the character to catch up, or all of the information is saved until the last possible moment, when it’s dumped on your head all at once. With Shadows, I truly felt like I was learning things at the same time as the character who can’t recall her past, in this case the protagonist, Gaby. In the beginning, I was as unsettled as Gaby was when Rafa, a mysterious guy claiming to have been friends with Gaby’s deceased twin brother, Jude, turned up. Rafa is simultaneously someone whom Gaby has and has not met—if you count seeing Rafa’s face in your nightmares as you fight demonic creatures with him as having made his acquaintance before. The novel excels at rebuilding Gaby’s past piece by piece with spot-on pacing that gives you just the right amount of details at a time, neither overwhelming you nor leaving you without a fresh morsel of info for too long. And the surprising turns the story takes—I loved all of the plot twists and how they weren’t simply thrown in for shock value only to be abandoned later. The plotting here is very, very well thought-out.

The angel mythology in Shadows is based on the story of the Nephilim, the half-human children of fallen angels, and these “kids” heavily embrace the warrior side of their angel blood in the novel. If you’ve ever seen depictions of angels in art where they’re wielding swords and managing to look both ethereally beautiful and ferocious at the same time, these are the beings you’ll encounter here. The action in the book was intense, and I absolutely loved it. Who says katanas and poleaxes don’t belong in an angel book?

The tension between Gaby and Rafa was fantastic. They squabble and insult each other A LOT, which is highly entertaining, and their bickering isn’t helped by Rafa’s arrogance. There were many times when I wanted to assist Gaby in smacking the smugness out of him, but guess who had the last laugh by the end of the book? That’s right—Rafa—because he won me over by repeatedly demonstrating that a rather decent fellow lurked under all of that swagger. Kudos also go to Gaby for her determination to discover the truth about what happened to her and her brother and for remaining strong despite how frustrating and frightening it must be to try to recover so many years of lost memories.

Shadows is a winning debut novel that illustrates how absorbing an angel book can be when it’s as creative and skillfully plotted as this one is. The suspense, supercharged action, and gasp-inducing revelations made this such a thrill to read. I desperately need the sequel, Haze, NOW.

All in All: Another awesome angel read! And it’s only the first book! I cannot wait to find out what other surprises this series brings, and I’m sure there will be plenty of them.

Find Paula Weston:

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  1. Great synopsis!! I loved this book so much, definitely my favourite Angel series so far. When does Haze come out again???

    1. I believe it's not being released in North America until next fall, which is quite cruel because I DESPERATELY want to read it this second, lol!

  2. This sounds really good! The angel mythology and the squabbling between Gaby and Rafa make me very interested in this one!

    Katy @ a blighted one

    1. Angel books and I have had a bit of a rocky history, but this one struck all the right notes for me, especially with how much Gaby and Rafa's arguing made me laugh.

  3. I've seen so many great reviews for this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lee.

    Cat @ Addicted 2 Heroines

  4. I love Nephilims and books that are an offshoot of this myth. Will you be watching Sleepy Hollow tonight? I'm curious to see if its any good.

    1. I can't resist a good Nephilim story, either. I did watch Sleepy Hollow last night. I thought it was OK- I wasn't blown away, but I'll definitely tune in to a few episodes to see how they go. I really liked Ichabod's character- must be the British accent, lol.

  5. I loved this book as well! My review will be up tomorrow. =)

  6. I agree, I really enjoyed the tension between Gaby and Raffe. I can't wait to see what happens in the next 3 books.

    My Friends Are Fiction

    1. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series, too. I can't wait to read Haze!


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