I stopped reading at page 40. This book is dnf for me. I can't finish it. At this point, it isn't a won't or a will, it's an actual can't. My heart is...moreI stopped reading at page 40. This book is dnf for me. I can't finish it. At this point, it isn't a won't or a will, it's an actual can't. My heart is broken. I loved Karin Tabke (and I'll even continue to read her as Karin Harlow), but I. Just. Can't finish this book or this trilogy.
As the first in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, we are drawn in to the life of Darian, a Shaede assassin who resembles a demeanor not that mu...moreAs the first in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, we are drawn in to the life of Darian, a Shaede assassin who resembles a demeanor not that much unlike the first scene we meet her in. As she’s standing on top of building in the middle of Seattle’s freezing winds, the metaphors are not lost on the reader. In fact, Darian can be so cold and unfeeling at times that it’s hard to relate to what she’s going through. However, as we progress, parts of Darian surface – to Darian and the reader – far beyond what anyone thought she may be capable of.
At least a century has passed for Darian by the time we meet her in Shaedes of Gray and I enjoyed the flash backs we saw every so often as she tells how her life came to be the way it is now. For virtually her entire Shaede existence, she was led to believe by her maker, Azriel, that they were the last of their kind. Azriel comes off as the knight-in-shining armor for not only Darian at first, but to us as well, and it isn’t until years later – and his sudden departure from her life – that Darian finds herself surviving the best she knows how, doing the only thing that Azriel was forthcoming in teaching her – how to slip into shadow to be as silent as the night.
A paid assassin by trade and skills, Darian works secretly with Tyler to rid the worlds populous of the foul and vile scum polluting Seattle’s streets. It’s on one of these missions that Darian runs into Xander, King of the Shaedes. This is no chance meeting, but only a ruse to test Darian’s skills. From this point on we’re thrust with Darian into the secret underbelly of Seattle’s paranormal scene and how Ms. Bonilla stays mostly clear of the more mainstream beasties that we would normally come across in an urban fantasy is one of my most favorite things about Shaedes of Gray. Instead, she fills her pages with Shaedes (creatures of shadows), Lyhtans (creatures of light) Djinns and Oracles. Though, don’t fret, there are some old favorites there too.
Some of the things I didn’t like about Shaedes of Gray were that the beginning isn’t very smooth with Darian’s standoffishness and absence of feeling mixed with some first novel choppiness causing the reader to feel a little detached to what’s going on. Though, it does seem to all, but disappear by the middle leaving us to revel in victories and even some heartache right alongside Darian. Another thing was that the ending was perilously close to being a cliff-hanger. I must admit I was more than a little worried when I got to the last few pages and still so many things were happening that it seemed a little hard pressed that all would be concluded in time, but I should have never feared. Ms. Bonilla raps up Shaedes of Gray very nicely, leaving us with the thrilling prospect of multiple story arc possibilities that I personally am chopping at the bit to find out more about!
With Shaedes of Gray, Amanda Bonilla pounces onto the urban fantasy scene with fantastically fresh and exciting new ideas in her darkly seductive debut novel. Like a roller-coaster ride, strap yourself in for the slow and easy start to the heart-racing, pulse-pounding finish. I absolutely loved Shaedes of Gray and I’m excited to say that it will now be one of my go to recommendations and top 5 favorites for 2011. Now only if Blood Before Sunrise would get here sooner than July of next year!