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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review: Shadows by Paula Weston

Shadows by Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publication Date: July 2, 2012
Publisher: Text Publishing
Pages: 388

It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare. (Summary from
Love. Nightmares. Angels. War.

Conflicting emotions, instincts and truths collide inside Gaby's head as she tries to figure out who and what she is. What she thought she knew about herself is only a shadow of the truth, but Rafa, the man of her dreams - literally, she's been dreaming of him since the accident that killed her twin - strolls into town to shine a light into the dark abyss inside Gaby's head.

I haven't read very many books about angels (only The Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver and the Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick) so I didn't really know what to expect of Weston's twist on the genre. I enjoyed certain elements a lot and others not so much. I'm not sure if Weston's research into angels is accurate (it may well be) but it didn't quite line up with the information I've read about in other novels so I guess you'll find out when you read. :)

I'm going to get my nags out of the way first so that we don't end this review on a downer because I did actually enjoy this novel as a whole. My main concern about this book was that I felt as though I was being told a lot of the information rather than being shown it - I suppose it just could have been slightly more subtle; I know that the protagonist, Gaby, needed to be told some things but I just felt like a whole text book on the history of religion/demons/angels was being regurgitated from other characters so that I found it was hard to keep up.
Another nag is that this novel included some stronger language (The F word) which I totally don't mind, it's a YA novel and mature at that, but I think it should have been used more... strategically so that it had more of an effect rather than being dumped in dialogue every now and then.
My final little nag is that characters would say something like "You don't think?.." and another character would cut in and just nod and I'd be sat there like THINK WHAT?! Maybe it's just me being slow but I didn't like how I was supposed to be able to assume what the characters meant (this happened about 3 times throughout the novel).

Those nags aside, I really did enjoy this novel. I wasn't bored, though I wasn't utterly drawn in to start with either, but towards the end of the novel I grew more and more attached to the characters and now that I have turned the final page I am definitely craving more! The small mystery of who can I trust? is fun because Gaby is confused about herself and you're just as keen to find out the truth as much as she is; I mean who can you trust when you remember absolutely nothing?
The characterisation was what drove this story forward for me though (although there were some good, unpredictable twists throughout the plot too!) as the passion they have for what they believe in and each other is admirable.  I love the 'thing' that goes on between Rafa and Gaby - whatever it is! I also loved the way the relationships between characters altered depending on their situations - allies are those who share the same enemy for sure in this novel.
My favourite character had to be Rafa! He was cool, cocky and oh so hot! *Swoons* He's one of those I really shouldn't but I will anyway kinda guys. He's been in Gaby's dreams since the accident and now he has waltzed into her life, aggravated her curiosity and stormed her heart.

I think fans of the genre should definitely give Weston's spin on Angels a go, I certainly enjoyed it. 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi