Thursday, September 13, 2012
Review: Shadows by Paula Weston
The Rephraim #1
Reviewed by Noelle September 13, 2012
Published July 2, 2012 by Text Publishing
Goodreads • Buy at Text • Fishpond
You might not know this about me since I don't review them but I'm a huge Urban Fantasy fan--check that, a huge adult Urban Fantasy fan. I've never found a YA Urban Fantasy that came close to what I considered belonging in the genre (or particularly enjoyed any of the ones that kind of sort of came close.) Let's just say that before today, my Venn diagram of my love of Urban Fantasy and YA had no overlap.
Not anymore! Shadows is the most successful Urban Fantasy** YA I've ever read and it might be because it's can barely be considered a YA novel. It's like when you're watching True Blood and the viewer warnings come on the screen--the more extensive the warnings, the better the episode and Shadows has it all: graphic violence, language, steamy situations. AND FUN. Did I mention fun?
Gaby is just a normal 18 year old trying to live her life. Sure she's grieving and recovering from the car accident that killed her beloved brother a year earlier but she has her friends, her job and her writing to get her through. What else but an active imagination could explain the vivid nightmares she has every night beheading hell beasts and battling demons? If she were honest with herself, there would be one aspect of her nightmares Gaby wouldn't mind being real--the intriguing (and hot) guy who fights by her side every night. However, when mystery guy walks out of her dreams and into her bar speaking of a past history with her brother that Gaby can't remember, her whole world gets turned upside down.
Someone has gone to a lot of trouble making sure Gaby doesn't remember her true identity (or sword-wielding skills) and now Gaby is scrambling to catch up, unsure who her true allies are amidst all the hidden agendas and competing factions. Who is the real Gaby? And what really happened that tragic night?
Despite being put in the weak position of knowing nothing about what is going on, Gaby still manages to be awesome. It was fun discovering everything with her and ooh boy, is there a ton to discover. No one is quite what they seem and there are no easy answers. The ever unraveling mystery and action keeps you wanting more. The pace was so excellent that I stayed up until 3am to finish which my love of sleep rarely allows to happen. I can't wait to see what happens next.
If you like an action-packed book that keeps things moving (and swooning), Shadows is the book for you. Rating: 3.5/5 stars.
** Despite the Goodreads blurb name-dropping that book, I would not call Shadows a paranormal romance. I agree with Jeannie Holmes definition of urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance and Shadows definitely falls under the former.
Also! Shadows was picked up for North American publication so watch out for it stateside later this year!