Friday, 1 February 2013
Review: Shadows by Paula Weston
Released: January 3rd, 2013
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?
This is the first paranormal YA book I've read in a long time. It used to be my favourite genre, but then everything kind of blended together and nothing stood out for me besides existing series I was already reading. Shadows is like a breath of fresh air in an over-saturated market, and I urge any paranormal fiction fans to pick up a copy immediately. It's fast-paced and exciting, not to mention really well written. I'll admit I'm still surprised by how good it is!
Shadows opens with an intriguing premise and goes on to tell an original (yes, really!) story about fallen angels and demons. I was prepared for the usual run-of-the-mill romance mixed in with a few black wings, but wow was I wrong! There's tons of action, intricate supernatural lore and a rich history spanning centuries. There's also several twists and turns that I didn't see coming, including clever shocking moments and revelations that made me turn the pages faster than I usually do.
The main setting is Australia, which is where author Paula Weston is based. Her descriptions and enthusiasm for the locations used shows a love for the country, and I always find this helps immensely when setting a scene, especially in paranormal books. I also need to mention how cool Gaby and Rafa are - they particularly stood out for me. If they were real, I'd seek them out and ask to be their friends! They're pretty down to earth and normal considering everything they're going through and finding out, and I like that. Their realism sets this book apart from others of the same genre, making them characters I can't wait to read about again. They're also slightly older than what I'm used to which works very well for this book and its events. It's a refreshing change.
Shadows made me stay up way past my bedtime for two nights on the run, which is pretty unusual for me these days. I just had to know what happened next and couldn't bear to put it down - I kept saying "just one more chapter", which I know every book addict is familiar with! I'm really excited about the sequel, Haze, being published in June, and I haven't been this excited about a paranormal sequel for ages - it's one I'll be reading as soon as I get a copy. I can't recommend Shadows enough and I really hope it gets the readership it deserves. It's absolutely brilliant!