Keertana's Reviews > Shadows

Shadows by Paula Weston
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: aussie, swoooon
Read from July 26 to 29, 2012

When it comes to Australian Literature, no one ever has to tell me twice to pick up a novel. I truly believe that there is something down in Australia or some magical trick professors are teaching their writing students because no Australian novel, to date, has ever failed to keep me thoroughly entertained, captivated, and in awe. I am happy to report that Shadows by Paula Weston is no different. While its cover is not one of my favorites, its characters, dialogue, and rather unique plot definitely is.

Ever since Gaby’s twin brother, Jude, died in a car crash, she’s been having strange nightmares of battling demons with a beautiful boy. When Rafa, the gorgeous guy of her dreams, hunts her down from the short story website where she submitted the imaginary tale she believed her nightmares were, her world is turned upside down. Not only does Gaby learn that she was supposed to be dead along with her brother, she is told that she is a half-angel. Yet, most shocking of all, is that her past memories, which have evidently been replaced by a normal human childhood memories, are all false and in reality, she is stuck between two sides of a dangerous conflict between the Rephaim, the new name the half-angels, or Nephilim, have taken for themselves. When Gaby’s best friend is kidnapped, Gaby has no choice but to embrace her fate and come to terms with who she is, who she can trust, and just what lies in the world beyond her.

I apologize for the rather long-winded and confusing synopsis, but this novel has a lot going on. Yet, it is all explained in an extremely well-paced manner and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of paragraphs of information-dumping. Instead, the details and world-building are evenly spaced out and have a very smooth and flowing transition. Furthermore, while the plot of this novel isn’t entirely original, I enjoyed Weston’s spin on it and her take on angel lore was easy to understand, made a tremendous amount of sense, and wasn’t filled with superfluous facts. Yet, what truly made Shadows stand-out from other angel fiction was its characters.

I suppose we should start with Gaby – I loved her. Her narration was sarcastic, witty, intelligent, and simply refreshing. Unlike most protagonists, I thought she handled the new information dumped upon her in a very mature manner and while she has her flaws, she remained a strong and courageous character throughout. Perhaps what I loved best about her was her friendship with Maggie, her best friend who later gets kidnapped. I’m a huge fan of strong friendships and their relationship left me wanting my own best friend by my side as it was truly heart-touching. Plus, Gaby’s love and grief for her twin brother was sharp and easy to understand and I loved the manner in which it shaped her character.

In addition to Gaby, secondary characters such as the members of the Rephaim and Jason, Maggie’s latest boyfriend, were all very interesting and brought forth a lot of humor and bad-assery to the novel. Yet, Rafa by far stole the show. Not only is Rafa hot, he knows he’s immensely good-looking, which often makes him cocky. However, beneath all that, Rafa is trustworthy and as Jude’s best friend, he truly cares about Gaby. While I’m still a little confused and curious about the mysterious (and rocky) past that Rafa and Gaby shared, I ate up the sexual tension between them and am very curious to see where their relationship leads them. It was definitely rather unique and their character personalities themselves are quite original too, which brought in a nice change to their love story.

I think my only qualm with this novel was that I was left rather bereft and lost by the end of it. Shadows does very little to answer the swirling questions in the readers – and Gaby’s – mind and I felt as if there was just too much we didn’t know yet. While I do find this to be realistic and am glad that Gaby doesn’t simply hit her head on the wall and regain all her kick-ass Kate Daniels skills that she lost, I do wish the ending had a tad bit more closure and wasn’t nearly as abrupt as it was. Nevertheless, Shadows was still a remarkable story. While it isn’t on par with novels such as Angelfall or even Daughter of Smoke and Bone in my opinion, it was an enjoyable read with plenty of action, interesting characters, and unique plot twists. In all honesty, could you ask for anything more? Plus, it’s written by an Australian and Rafa takes swoon-worthy to a whole new level, so I think that should be motivation enough to pick up this fantastic tale! ;)

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
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Reading Progress

03/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Janina (new)

Janina Oh dear, I am really jealous. May I ask where you got this?

Keertana One of my friends put an order for it at the bookstore since none of the bookstores here sell Australian books, but she's out of town so I went to pick it up for her. I'm hoping to read it before she gets back or at least borrow it when she's finished since I've read such phenomenal reviews of it! ;)

Keertana Thanks Sam! I just started it, but I'm really liking it so far. It seems interesting, so I'm hoping I enjoy it! :D

jesse it started out promising, but went downhill. looking forward to your thoughts!

Nafiza One of my friends has this on her shelves! Should I give it a try?

Keertana Nafiza, I haven't gotten a chance to read any more than a few chapters of this one, so I'm hoping to get some reading done tonight and get back to you soon! I like it so far, but I don't want to jump to conclusions since Joe said it goes downhill, so I'll let you know!(:

message 7: by jesse (last edited Jul 27, 2012 12:47AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

jesse i should have pinpointed what i meant:
shadows has lovely descriptions because it's set in australia near a beach. i liked the writing and descriptions more than i ever cared for any of the characters and the romance angles (there are some funny lines in shadows, though)

Keertana I'm about 1/3 through it and I'm really liking it so far, but it has yet to be determined how I feel about the characters and romance, so we'll see! :)

message 9: by Shelley (new) - added it

Shelley As a HUGE fan of Angelfall, I am very interested in this book. Thanks for the helpful review. I think I'll do Daughter of Smoke and Bone before this one then. :)

Amirah omg 100% agree about australian authors...they are complete magic

message 11: by Elle (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elle I'm certain I got this as a free ebook on Amazon. You should check it out to see if it is still available that way. I loved this more than I thought I would and can't wait to read the next in the series. There's just something about this book...

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