Friday, 11 October 2013
Review: Haze by Paula Weston
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: October 3rd, 2013
Gaby Winters' life used to be pretty normal. She lived with her best friend. She worked in a library. She was slowly getting over the death of her twin brother, Jude. Until Rafa arrived. Now Gaby has discovered she is one of the Rephaim - descended from fallen angels. She knows demons exist. That they are coming for her. And that Jude might be alive. What she does next could change everything.
I read Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim Sequence, back in January 2013 and absolutely loved it. Like, REALLY loved it. I've been eagerly awaiting Haze ever since then and am so happy to say that I was in no way disappointed, as I sometimes am with sequels. Haze is just as good, if not better, than Shadows, and I'm now even more in love with the Rephaim world Paula Weston has created. And Rafa, too, but that's a conversation for another day.
Haze picks up right where Shadows left off and instantly puts us back into Gaby's hectic life alongside demons and fallen angels. The search for her twin brother Jude has ramped up significantly, with Rafa, Jason, Maggie and even Simon willing to do literally anything to track him down. Australia is still the main setting though, thanks to shifting, the Rephaim can travel anywhere they like at the drop of a hat. The descriptions of settings and locations in Haze and so vivid and real it was like I was actually there with them. Ha, I wish!
I don't want to give anything away about the incredibly tense plot of Haze, but I was practically on tenterhooks for most of it. I didn't know what would happen from one page to the next, and that's all down to Paula Weston's ability to shake things up and twist the story and characters in ways I never imagined. And the ending... well... all I can say is that I am dying to read Shimmer!
Haze has a magical quality to it; utterly enthralling and addictive. Just like Shadows, it sucks you into a story of good vs. evil, demons vs. angels and girl meets boy. There's a nail-biting, chemically-charged romance that peppers the pages but, happily, it's not the sole focus of the story and doesn't even take centre stage. It's part of Gaby and Rafa's story, but it's not all they are and it's not all they will ever be. I love that most of all, these two people can be so connected but not let it take over the bigger picture: survival and possible war between races.
This series is one of the most mature YA series I've read so far, and one that deserves to be huge where the urban fantasy crown is concerned. It has fallen angels fighting with Katanas, demons ready to rip your throat out and a cast of characters so layered and realistic it's like they're standing right in front of you. It's quite possibly my favourite of all the urban fantasy/paranormal series out there; I honestly can't think of anything that could better it (excluding Twilight, of course, 'cos I still have a special love for that book), and I don't say things like that lightly! Read it!