Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shadows Before the Sun (Charlie Madigan #4)” as Want to Read:
Shadows Before the Sun (Charlie Madigan #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shadows Before the Sun (Charlie Madigan #4)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  1,803 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!

After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective CharlieMadigansets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out s
Mass Market Paperback, 335 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Pocket Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shadows Before the Sun, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shadows Before the Sun

Insurgent by Veronica RothThe Forever Girl by Rebecca  HamiltonThe Boy Who Played With Dark Matter by Holy Ghost WriterHallowed by Cynthia HandCity of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Published in 2012
112th out of 351 books — 419 voters
Cold Days by Jim ButcherThe Blinding Knife by Brent WeeksThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussTricked by Kevin HearneThe Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Adult Fantasy & Sci-Fi 2012
162nd out of 432 books — 864 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
After her partner, Hank, is taken into The Siren City of Fiallan to receive punishment for being a traitor, Charlie is determined to go there and save him, with the help of Sandra, the Oracle. No matter the cost. But Hank is not just being held, he is being tortured by the three Circes (Arethusa, Calliadne, and Ephyra) under the spell of NecroNaMoria -- which tethers a soul to a body that has died and forces Hank's soul from going to the Afterlife and returns for sessions of torture. On top of t ...more
Oct 23, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: para-other
The Good: This book was simply amazing. I felt wonderful things, horrible things, painful things and joyous things. A complete roller coaster of emotions. While the focus was on saving Hank, these really was so much more to it. Hank's situation fueled the progression, but things soon surpassed his survival and resolved plot issues that has existed since the very beginning. Another book is forthcoming, someday, but I would have been fully satisfied had this been the last. That's not to say I don' ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Bastard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When you go to Hell and back, the very least you want as a reward is a piece of Heaven. Charlie just got her wish, and she's quickly finding out it's not all it's cracked up to be. Shadows Before the Sun is the fourth novel in the Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay, which has been one of my favorite urban fantasy series in the past few years. Previously we joined Charlie in the world of Charybdon, this time we're taking a trip to Elysia whether she's
Book four continues to cement my enjoyment of this series. I had a concern in the first book that Charlie maybe came into too much power too soon and I think that has largely played out BUT it doesn't really bother me here whereas in another series it might. The main reason is because of Charlie herself. She doesn't take her powers for granted and she never just assumes that she's going to win or, hell, even survive.

Book three took us to the world of Charbydon and in this installment we head to
Alexia Chantel
Oct 14, 2013 Alexia Chantel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Gay has done it, with Shadows Before the Sun she manages to surpass the the action and emotional connection the previous books had. Who would have thought it was possible!

The end of book three leaves you hanging just a little. Death is stalking Charlie, her sister is safe but still addicted to ash, and Hank has been taken back to his home to face the wrath of three powerful beings. You can breathe a sigh of relief, well not once you start since there are plenty of bombs dropped on Charlie right
All Things Urban Fantasy
Jul 26, 2012 All Things Urban Fantasy rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

Who would have thought heaven would be scarier than hell? After venturing to Charbydon in the last book, Charlie is visiting the glorious Elysia in SHADOWS BEFORE THE SUN. While it is beautiful to behold, Elysia is where Hank is being held and tortured beyond human comprehension. Never one to shy away from heavy emotions, Kelly Gay forces her readers to the brink with Charlie and Hank, and then begins to piece them back together in a way that will have

The worst book in a series is always the travel one. The reason I love a series is the characters and the way they interact. But for some reason so many authors decide to take their characters on road trips where they're totally isolated from the other characters, as though exploring cool settings can make up for the characters that we love. I do understand in this series that the other two worlds are part of the premise that the author wanted to explore from the beginning. But at least i
Christen *Goldilox And The Three Weres*

Hank deserves more than you falling down now, Charlie. Stand and fight.

The Charlie Madigan series continues to impress and entertain me with this fourth installment, Shadows Before the Sun.

First of all, let me tell you that the above synopsis really does nothing to tell you what this book is about. In fact, the part of Tennin and Akneri isn't even exactly correct. But have no fear, I will help you out. At the end of the previous book Hank was carted off, back to his home of Elysia. This book s
Although there is a minor sub-mystery -- the case Charlie passes off to a co-worker before heading off to Elysia -- the main mystery thrust of the story is saving Hank from being punished by the Circe.

Like most series that continue to follow the same characters, books like this -- where one of the main characters is so intimately involved in the mystery -- are my favorite. All the characters and all of the events are part of the core story. There is no "filler", no excess.

The story starts on a s
Oct 03, 2012 Karissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Charlie Madigan series and it was one of the best books in the series yet. We learn a ton about Hank and his history and Charlie takes a trip to Elysia.

When Charlie hears of Hank’s supposed death she immediately makes plans to set out to Elysia to try and track him down. To her surprise she is accompanied by the Oracle. In addition to this she is being hunted by Ahkneri (Death itself) whenever she tries to use her powers. Added to this is a mysterious attack in the
Aug 22, 2012 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when you read a really great book and you just know that other people will like it too and you want to shout as loud as you can READ THIS SERIES....well this is one of those books. If you like Urban Fantasy please take the time to check out the first book in this series The Better Part Of Darkness you won't regret it I promise.

The Charlie Madigan series is Urban Fantasy but it doesn't contain vampires, were's or Fae. It is unique in that there are two different worlds Elysia and Charby
Sep 20, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars, uf, z-2015
Review originally posted at

Shadows Before the Sun starts off where The Hour of Dust and Ashes ends. Hank has been taken by his people. He was wanted for treason. Everyone keeps telling Charlie that he is already dead and that she should mourn him and move on. In this world that Ms. Gay has built, there are three worlds. Earth, and the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. In the previous book, Charlie, Hank and Rex visited Charbydon. In this one, Cha
Sep 08, 2015 Kira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy, magic
4 1/2 stars. The setting for part of the story was in another world, so the book didn’t focus on all of the usual characters as much as normal. It all worked out very well though. This was my favorite installment in the series. Another reason this one felt a little different was that Charlie had accepted her situation and her feelings for Hank. It was great to see her determined to get what she wanted instead of torn apart with indecision.

One character who played a much smaller role in the othe
Dec 07, 2014 Melliane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mon avis en Français

My English review

I waited impatiently for this volume since the end of last one. I must say that we had a terrible cliffhanger and I couldn’t wait to hear the rest of the story. Indeed, with the departure of Hank, I wondered what Charlie was going to do to save him. Well who wouldn’t be curious to know more about the sirens city? Yes, I know, I’m too curious!

This volume follows perfectly the third one. Charlie is determined to get Hank back from Fiallan whatever it may cost,
Blodeuedd Finland
Aug 19, 2012 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I have waited and waited for this book. For those who read the previous book you know what I mean. The way it ended broke me and made me crave this one badly, and madly.

I finished the book in a day because I could not put it down. Charlie was going to Elysia to find Hank and those evil bitches who put him back in a hellish jail. Elysia is what heaven is supposed to be but in the Siren city heaven is not what I think of. But Charlie will get an ally, I can't say who, but someone comes.

Through out
Aug 10, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Leaving this world after The Hour of Dust and Ashes I was totally bereft. I needed to know what happened right after. I needed this book!

OMG. Can I say it again? OMG! This book was everything I waited for and more. Yes, my favorite UF mother is back (I mean that literally... her daughter is so adorable and smart). My fave characters were back as well. Oh and the conclusion to what happened at the end of The Hour of Dust and Ashes totally fulfilled me (don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anythin
Sep 08, 2012 Mihir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: For a while I was thinking that Shadows Before The Sun would be the last Charlie Madigan book and after the events of the last book, anticipation was high in regards to how it would all end. The author has been kind enough to point out the egregious nature of our assumptions and this helped a bit.

The premise of this book needs a brief recap of the events of The Hour Of Dust and Ashes, wherein Charlie, Rex and Hank had to go to Charybdon an
Kathy Davie
Apr 16, 2013 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Fourth in the Charlie Madigan urban fantasy series revolving around a detective who is no longer human. Most of the action takes place in Fiallan, the city of the sirens.

My Take
Oh, wow. This was so intense with some incredibly, godawful torture. Oh. I just can't… How people can be that power-hungry, I'll never know. So awful that I almost got too caught up in these events, but then towards the end, all the new possibilities popped into view. There's Leander with the "promise" of what he fears. W
Melissa Hayden
We start with a Prologue where Hank is being whipped with a special barbed whip for escaping the Circe witches years ago, and learns he is the last of his family line.

Rex and Charlie are on their way to look at a dead body in the Nymph territory. Rex, being of a special decent, will help identify if a jinn was present at the scene as the Druid King says he saw. The First One, Ahkneri, may not be as safe as Charlie had thought. This case that could cause a deadly war between two enemies, all the
Sep 14, 2012 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best One Yet!

I strongly suggest you read the previous books in the series (The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn and The Hour of Dust & Ashes) prior to reading this installment.

This is one of the best dark urban fantasy series I've ever read! This series is on my top five favorite series of all time.

This was by far the best installment to date and I love the direction the series is taking. You gotta love a woman who can rescue her man, kick some major ass and still care for h
Joshua Burns
Jun 13, 2013 Joshua Burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As seen on

Shadows before the Sun quickly passes the “Likable Fantasy Names” test with flying colors. Our protagonist, Charlie Madigan, adores her daughter, Emma. Hank, an astral plane-hopping siren, Alessandra, an oracle, Charybdon, one of the two alternate planes of existence, and Elysia, the other alternate plane of existence flaunt their Greco-Roman heritage. Sure, the uses can be somewhat loose, such as calling the head siren-witches, Circes, but I give props (the Greeks in
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Shadows before the Sun is the fourth installment in the Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay. The book starts out with a murder in the Druid King’s territory, one of his enforcer was apparently murdered by a Jinn, or so he thinks. Charlie combs the crime scene but eventually passes it over to another detective, as she prepares to leave to Elysia to retrieve her partner Hank. Hank was taken back to Elysia as a traitor to the government for escaping (the grid) when he was younger. The day before Ch ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadows Before the Sun is the fourth book in the Charlie Madigan series and I must say it's the best one yet. Charlie has been through some tough times in this series, but she keeps going because of her daughter, and the other people she loves. In the first three books she's fought her feelings for her partner Hank for many reasons. We were left hanging at the end of the third book due to his arrest by officials from his home world. Will they act on their feelings? Will Charlie be able to bring ...more
A great addition to an awesome series!

Charlie continues to be pretty kick-ass and fiercely loyal and in this part of her story she is on a mission to save her partner. She gets to see Elysia, the opposite of Charbydon and the equivalent of paradise, but her determination to find and rescue Hank makes it less enjoyable for Charlie than it would be otherwise.

A lot of things get resolved, (view spoiler)
Angela Verdenius
Excellent addition! I love how it ends, though the journey there was painful (in more ways than one - you'll see what I mean if you read this book). A look at another dimension of the series, another race, their ideas and customs and how they get along/clash with 'humans'. And Charlie in the middle of it all! I really hope book 5 gets published sometime, I'm dying to read it as well!
This review was first published on my blog Lecture toute une Aventure

My opinion:
Very good! I has been ages since i’ve read the precedent book but i was only confused for a few pages before getting completely immersed again in the universe. But i do recommend you to read this in order as it’s not a stand alone.
In this story we visit places of Elysia and i really enjoyed that part iit was interesting to see and even more knowing what we knew about the dark secrets hidden there... and the elysian
Dec 17, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, read-2014
Book four in the Charlie Madigan UF series, a.k.a. "the one in which major shit goes down", is hands down the best book in the series next to its opener The Better Part of Darkness, perhaps even surpassing it in terms of action, emotional impact and unputdownableness (Yes, I know that's not a word. I'm still inexplicably fond of it and therefore using it.). After her partner Hank was kidnapped at the end of the last book, Charlie takes a trip to Elysia, to the siren city of Fiallan, to rescue hi ...more
Mary Abshire
Feb 28, 2013 Mary Abshire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this urban fantasy series. Charlie is such a strong heroine. She will do anything for those she loves, and proved it in this book and the last one. I was glad to see her and Hank finally hit it off. The story was smooth flowing and each chapter had me hooked. The action was intense. Someone was going to die. I could sense it and hoped like hell Hank was not going to betray Charlie. I couldn't stop reading, even at work. I would recommend this series with no hesitation.
So this series is one of those cases where I enjoyed it well enough, but there are also large, plotty sections that I didn't really follow.

I guess this is the last book. There are some threads left hanging, which is too bad, but I'm not sure I'd pick up another book in the series if one suddenly came out.
Aug 13, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shadows Before the Sun is the fourth book in the Charlie Madigan series by Kelly Gay and a Pocket Books Urban Fantasy.


Between life and death lies a chasm of pain beyond imagining. . . .
Elysia may be a heavenly off-world destination, but beyond it, in the siren city of Fiallan, the Circe have punished Charlie Madigan’s partner, Hank, into a torturous state between life and death. With all the proper legal channels cleared, Charlie heads to Elysia, not knowing what she’ll find, or if she’ll
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Darklands (Deadtown, #4)
  • The Ripple Effect (Rhiannon's Law, #3)
  • Shadow City (Horngate Witches, #3)
  • Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6)
  • Blood Before Sunrise (Shaede Assassin, #2)
  • Changeling (MetaWars, #2)
  • Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5)
  • Double Cross (The Disillusionists Trilogy, #2)
  • Death's Rival (Jane Yellowrock, #5)
  • Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4)
  • Black Lament (Black Wings, #4)
  • Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, #2)
  • Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell, #2)
  • A Trace of Moonlight (Abby Sinclair, #3)
  • Frost & Bothered (Discord Jones #4)
  • Graveyard Child (The Black Sun's Daughter, #5)
  • Magic for a Price (Allie Beckstrom, #9)
  • Stalking the Others (H&W Investigations, #4)
Kelly Gay writes the critically acclaimed 'Charlie Madigan' urban fantasy series. Her work has been nominated for a double RITA, an ARRA, a Goodreads Choice Award, and landed on SIBA's Long List Book Award Finalists. Kelly is also a recipient of North Carolina Arts Council's fellowship grant in Literature. She is published in Young Adult fiction as Kelly Keaton.
More about Kelly Gay...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Madigan (5 books)
  • The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, #1)
  • The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan, #2)
  • The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan, #3)
  • The Cold Light of Day (Charlie Madigan, #5)

Share This Book