Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla

Posted November 25, 2011 by Kate in loved it, Review / 0 Comments

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I have been about this book coming out. The cover blub was super intriguing and it made me want to read the book, but for me it was more than that. Amanda is, in my opinion, an author who is truly awesome at using social networking. She has a twitter, facebook, and blog, and why this is important is because she feels accessible. Over the past few months, every time I left a comment on her facebook, or tweeted her something, I ALWAYS got a response. So while I was excited to read her book without her being awesome, the fact that she is awesome as so nice just made me all the more excited to read the book.

I have this before about some other books, that one of the best ways to world build is to have to character discover the world along side of the reader. You get to not only know the character but also the world at the same time, and I think it creates a bond between reader and in this case Darian. The that made that unique was Darian already knew she wasn’t human, she already had all these preconceived notions about who and what she was, and then all of a sudden she find out she is wrong about everything. Bonilla is able to introduce you to Darian and you believing everything Darian believes, so that when the truth of the world is actually revealed it takes you on this great ride with Darian of trying to figure out what is really the truth of who she is.

Darian, to me, is a great character. She has a lot of depth to her to start out with and Bonilla is able to build on that and grow her as a character so much over the period of just one book. And by the end of this book, you can already tell that it’s only the beginning. The reason I like Darian so much at the beginning is because she is so different than everyone else. You find out right off the bat that she has been around a hell of a lot longer than the average human. Even if I hadn’t know that I would say she has an old soul. Darian feels like she has cut herself off from the world, just doing enough to survive, but she really seems to have kept herself from getting into any meaningful relationships or even friendships after a terrible ending with the man who made her immortal, Azriel. It’s really great to see not only the supernatural world open up to her, but seeing her open up to the people in it.

Darian is an assassin, and she pretty much believes herself to be well a bad ass in the beginning. And when she gets a job to assassinate a certain man named Xander, she finds out she is not the only Shaede of her kind and that she isn’t as bad ass as she thought. I like the Shaedes because I find them to be really unique, or rather that they are a part of the “mainstream” of UF. I think what’s great about that is that there is a lot more room for the author to use their imaginations and really create a unique world. Amanda really shows her writing and imagination chops throughout this book, it truly was unique.

I really like the side characters too. Tyler is guy every girl wishes they had, he’s clearly a bad ass in his own right, but when he is with Darian he is so good to her. As the book progresses you find out he is so much more than you thought he was, which just makes him all the better. I also love that Amanda uses the phrase “Tyler never disappoints” throughout the course of the book, after the few couple of times every time it shows up it made me smile. Raif was my second favorite, in that I think he was the most truthful to Darian of anyone throughout the book. He ends up being, at least for me, one part good friend and one part father figure. Xander is the King of the Shaedes and is interested in Darian just like Tyler is. However, while I did like him within his role in the story, I feel like there a lot I don’t know about him, and I can only hope more and more is revealed about him as the story continues on. He has his good points and his bad points, but I will say I believe he does everything he does for the good of his kingdom which is admirable.

In conclusion, I was right to be excited about this book, it was awesome. I’m really excited to see where the series goes, Amanda did the perfect balance of world building and open endings, I have a feeling there is a lot more to come for Darian. And the ending was perfect, no unsatisfying cliff hangers in sight. It’s a great urban fantasy, I can totally see readers of the genre enjoying it. It also has a little thrown in there for the paranormal romance readers as well. I think this book would be a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves to read.

Check out her website! http://www.amandabonilla.com/ 

****Amanda Bonilla is going to be features in UFR’s December Newsletter sign up to receive it today! http://eepurl.com/heSvM****

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