Series: Shadow Born #1
Published by Samhain Publishing Source: Author
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.
She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.
Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.
As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.
So the biggest problem I had when it came time to review this book was trying to decide if I liked it or I loved it, which is always a good sign. This was easily one of those books that I want to sit in one place for a few hours, have no one disturb me, and just submerge myself into the world and the characters and escape for a while. I genuinely enjoyed the book from beginning to end.
A couple of things stood out to me as I read the book. The first thing was at the very beginning, it starts with Brenna’s point of view, and then she meets Gray. I knew I was going to like Gray, not sure how I knew but I knew I would. As the writing progressed I remember thinking in my head, “I really hope Angela includes Gray’s point of view too, it would make the book so much better”. Three pages later bam there was Gray’s point of view. I think the story could have been told in only one POV, but having both just made it so much better, gave everyone so much more depth, and, well, made me happy.
Brenna as a character just works for me. She’s got a tough exterior, but on the inside she’s a bit on the tortured side. She’s strong, but loyal. She has a great moral compass. There were several times throughout the book where she could have taken the easy route of self-gratification and just gone for the easy vengeance, but instead she does the right thing, the right thing for her, the right thing for justice. I wish I could explain more, but I am so not going to ruin it for future readers. Brenna has a serious job, basically policing the world from things that go bump in the night (there’s some great backstory here about the Fall and the Rise). But the thing about her job, is that really, it’s all she has left. The people she works with are the only people she has left really. So when something starts really threatening the people she cares for, Brenna has no choice but to put herself out in front of everyone to do her best to protect them.
As for Gray, well I like him too. Again not sure what it was that won me over, but I like him. He shows up as kind of a mystery for Brenna, and he seems to be out for revenge, except he’s playing the long game, definitely not in it for instant gratification. Only as the story goes on and you learn more and more about him, the more he realizes he doesn’t know as much as he thought. Like Breena he is loyal to those he cares about, is a tough guy, but what I really like about him, is he doesn’t try to be in charge of Brenna, and more than that, when she uses her magic for something he can’t do, he is literally in awe of her. He respects her for who she is, and I like that. I hate when a man just overpowers a woman, so their dynamic really worked for me.
I like the backstory. I like how the Veil has been torn and now people from different worlds are all in one place together, causing problems and learning to co-exist. The big bad in this book wasn’t too surprising, but was written well. I liked that the fight scenes or actions scenes were easy to follow. I really liked the true mix of people and races of people that were in this book. I hope in the next book we get to see more of Brenna and Gray’s home world, and perhaps learn more about their respective histories and families. But as a first book in a series, I can honestly say this is one I enjoyed without a doubt.
In the end I am going to give this book a “Loved It” review, because it really was such a good read. I think I could easily recommend this book to anyone who likes urban fantasy, and the is even a little something in their for the folks that like paranormal romance as well. Can’t wait to read the next book, although I have a feeling I will have to wait until next year.