Shadows by Paula Weston
Release: 3rd January 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Angels, Mature YA, New Adult
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
"Love. Nightmares. Angels. War. A fast-paced, compelling debut novel from a fresh new voice in YA.
It’s been 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?"
I love Aussie authors and settings, and I love paranormal Angel stories so when I heard about Shadows a book that features both I knew it would be a match made in heaven *cheesy pun totally intended* and so Shadows automatically became one of my most anticipated releases of 2013.
What surprised me with this novel was how mature it read. Our heroine Gaby is eighteen, lives with her best friend, and is out of school and working making Shadows appealing to an older YA/ New Adult audience. This wasn’t something I was expecting and was a really pleasant surprise as I enjoyed the mature writing style and characters.
I’ve read a lot of Angel books over the years and I think with so many of them out there it’s a tough genre to keep fresh and so I was really impressed that Paula Weston managed to add something new to the genre. Gaby thinks she is a normal girl, well normal regardless of her dreams about her killing demons every night with some hot guy she’s never met ever since the accident that killed her twin brother. When Gaby meets Rafa the guy from her dreams she discovers that she’s a descendent of fallen angels, a skilful demon fighter and holder of an important secret if only she could remember what it was. Her memories were altered on the night of the accident and she is in the centre of a war between the Rephaim who need her secret for either savour or destruction. Although Shadows covers themes that can be found in other Angel series I did find the overall plot to have a refreshing twist on the Angel legend.
What I loved most about Shadows were hands down the amazing characters and banter between them. I liked that Gaby wasn’t a helpless heroine and I loved the chemistry between her and Rafa. Rafa was protective of Gaby but also gives her space to do her own thing. Their relationship was fiery but also very grown up and respectful and I felt like Paula Weston got the romance spot on. There was also a great cast of secondary characters like Maggie and Jason who I loved just as much as Gaby and Rafa.
Shadows was consistent throughout but the last part of the book really amps up the action and is full of twists that sets things up nicely for the sequel. A lot of questions have been raised in my mind and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in Haze.
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