Saturday 14 December 2013

'Shadows' by Paula Weston (****)

Well the clock is certainly ticking and November has come and gone- literally flashed before my eyes! I was having such a good month in October (and the beginning of November, actually) at reading my 'reviewing books', as I like to call them, and writing the reviews literally on the day I finished them, or the weekend immediately after. I was there feeling all cocky and proud of myself when I realised this morning that I haven't even written a blog post in a couple of weeks. The gratification has now burned out, so I'm intending on refuelling in time for Christmas with two more reviews for you; this time the first two books in Paula Weston's new Rephaim series. I absolutely devoured the first one and am a couple of chapters away from finishing the second one, so that will be up for you next week before the holidays officially start *squeal!* But anyway. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I'll just crack on with the review.

This is a remarkable book for a debut author and, if I'm ever lucky enough to publish, I just hope that I have a debut novel as awesome as Shadows. It had all the right ingredients mixed in to make it a perfect teen novel: romance, action, mystery, tension and even a little bit of violence for the guys out there. Honestly, I don't know who wouldn't like this book; the books I have been reviewing on this blog so far have mostly been a bit on the girlie side but this book I think a teenager of any gender would love. I've got to admit, at the beginning I thought the pace was a little too fast and we were rushed into the action too quickly for my liking, but that just might be because I was confused about the difference between the Rephaim and the Fallen and the Demons, but don't worry, I did get it in the end. I think that Shadows is one of those books you can really sink you're teeth into, they're not intellectually challenging as such but they are still complex enough for you have to think about them, and wonder what happens next.

Surprisingly for me, this has to be one of the only books where I didn't find a single character annoying at all. Gabe was funny, clever, powerful yet real, and Rafa was... Well, let's just say that Rafa was Rafa. If you have read the book, you will understand what I mean. I think that the point I'm trying to make is that all of the characters were obviously carefully composed by Weston and they all interact perfectly with each other- something that really drives the plot and makes me want to read on. I thought that the battle scenes were exciting enough to keep me reading, gory enough to make me cringe, yet not too violent that a girl like me couldn't handle it. Actually, I ended up feeling pretty macho about reading those chapters, but I think I'd sound pretty sad if I made a whole song and dance about that fact that I read a battle scene.

Overall, there wasn't really anything about the book that I can moan about, and it was refreshing to read a genre that I honestly haven't read before. This is the point where I profusely thank Fierce Fiction for sending me such fabulous books that I wouldn't have otherwise picked up in a bookshop- and getting me interested in loads of different genres.

Thank you so much for reading, everyone, and stay tuned for next week for the review of Weston's second book in the Rephaim series- Haze!