Review: Shadows by Paula Weston

September 9, 2013 3 - 3.5 Stars, Angels, Kick-Ass Heroines, Paranormal, Paula Weston 4 ★★★

Shadows by Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim # 1
Published by Tundra Books on September 10, 2013
Genres: Angels, Paranormal
Pages: 388
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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.
How does an author write a story about angels while maintaining a sense of originality?  Give the main character a major case of memory loss.  Gaby, the narrator, is still mourning the loss of her brother, Jude, in a car accident.  She doesn’t remember much, but she has bizarre nightmares of fighting demons.  A guy named Rafa shows up and claims to have information about Gaby’s and Jude’s pasts, but it seems too far-fetched for Gaby to believe.  Readers unfamiliar with angel lore will get a good crash course in Shadows.  It’s explained in a way that’s detailed and informative, and it doesn’t interfere with the story-telling.

There’s great chemistry between Gaby and Rafa, in particular, and there are numerous well-fleshed-out secondary characters who seem likely to feature more prominently in the sequel.  Several of these characters have motivations that don’t seem entirely on the side of good, but that only makes them more interesting.

I considered abandoning this story at numerous times, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because the last 25% of the book provided a very nice payoff.  For the first 75%, however, the story dragged, and it felt like it was taking Gaby too long to piece her past together.  When the action finally began, it did so with a bang, and the battle scene between angels on opposing sides and demons was exciting and suspenseful.  We finally got some more information about Jude, and I’m intrigued enough to want to know what became of him in the sequel.

Note – I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review posted at Goodreads.


4 Responses to “Review: Shadows by Paula Weston”

  1. Kim

    It’s always nice when you stick with a book you were thinking about giving up on, only to have it turn out to be worth it. Though, it does suck a little that it took the last 25% of the book to make up for the start of it. Great review!

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