Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: Shadows, by Paula Weston

Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)

Title: Shadows (The Rephaim #1)
Author: Paula Weston
Genre: Paranormal
Pub. Date: September 10, 2013

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. -Goodreads

*Recieved from Netgalley*

My faith in the PNR genre, namely angels, has been restored. First Angelfall, and now this beauty?

There are two things I learned by reading Shadows:

1) Never, ever, doubt Aussie authors. Man, I’m so close to moving to Australia, just so some of those magical writing abilities these authors seem to have can somehow rub off on me.

2) Don’t judge a book by its cover—or rather, its blurb. I’m serious; did you read that? I’ll admit, it almost scared me off. It gives the impression that this would be a heavily cliched and generic angel book. But thanks to the glowing reviews, I decided to give this one a shot.

Shadows begins with the beautiful setting of Pan Beach pulling the reader in. Gaby, the main character of the novel, has lost her twin brother a year prior in a car accident, one she survived. She is trying to live an at least partially normal life with her friend Maggie, but then Rafa arrives. This is where the story takes off, and we are sucked into the world of the Rephaim.

Now, let’s start with the characters. In short: I loved all of them. Every. Single. One. Know why? Because they were each deeply fleshed out and the character development was perfect. When pretty much all the characters are lovable, I knew that this will be a good book.

While the actual plot didn't scream uniqueness, it hints at more subplots to arise in coming books, which has me waiting in anticipation to get my hands on Haze. I was quite surprised to find that there were quite a few fighting scenes, which were much unexpected.

The banter between Rafa and Gaby was a non-stop thing- they never seemed to agree on anything, and I found this strangely endearing. Undoubtedly one of the most entertaining parts of the novel

Rafa's lines are totally quote-worthy from the sheer hilarity of them. He'a probably my favorite character. He is such a complex character, and for once, his insistence on being mysterious doesn't annoy me. He has a soft side, and while very few and far between, I never thought of him as a jerk.

Something about Daniel makes me instantly intrigued by his character; I really want to know the back-story of him and Gaby, which will hopefully come in the next novel. I still hate him, though.

One of the things about this novel that stood out to me was its loyalty to angel-folklore, which seems to be lacking in other books. I appreciate the fact that the author did her research and added her own to make the story more original, without shoving at us information many of us couldn't care less about. 

Although, there is one thing that made me drop half a star from my rating. Shadows left way too many questions unanswered, and virtually nothing was resolved. In my opinion, I don’t think that all the mysteries of Gaby's past should have been kept from us; after all, us readers don’t like to be completely left in the dark. The ending was a bit abrupt and not something I appreciated.

Shadows is a book that redeems the almost-hopeless angel genre, and manages to put a smile on my face and keep it there for a majority of my reading experience. I recommend this to people who enjoy angel books, but were hopelessly disappointed with most books of the genre.

Like I said, the books Australia publishes never seem to disappoint, and this is a book that should not be overlooked.

4 1/2 stars!

I will be part of the blog tour for the release of this book in North America on September 19, to do an interview with the amazing author, Paula Weston. *squees* 


  1. Yes you should definitely move to Australia, we rule. Haha lol. It sounds like an intriguing story because I can't imagine loosing your twin, your other half. Sounds like the characters are really well done. Reviews like this makes me wonder what it must be like being an author and receiving such glowing reviews. I really want to read this book because 4.5 is such a good rating and I'm really started liking the angle sort of genre as I'm now moving on from vampires.
    Great review!!!


    1. So true! There aren't many great, well-executed angel novels out there, but this is definitely one of the best. :) Thanks Francoise!