Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*'s Reviews > Smoke and Shadows

Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
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I never cared much for Tony in the previous series (Blood Series). I didn't dislike him, but just didn't pay much mind to the minor character. I was curious how it would be pulled off making him the primary protagonist, and as a character it turns out I enjoy him more now. His older street jargon has been replaced with more proper speech - we're informed this has been encouraged by Henry "offstage." My favorite parts really involved Henry, as I always loved the character. Tony isn't as exciting as the previous Vicky (who got on my nerves much of the time for her attitude) or the adorably lovable Celucci.

The Shadowlord, an intriguing and unique enough villain, is well-written. It's not every day you read a book focused on living shadows that are part of a larger being. The story itself is a good one but the pacing is too slow for some areas; as an example, when emphasis is placed on Tony's day-to-day interactions on the stage set, none of this interested me and I kept gliding through passages where he chats with co-workers. Being boring is a book or movie's greatest sin, and while Smoke and Shadows never committed this crime exactly, it was sadly close some of the time.

Henry comes back and is as great as ever, I love the whole possessive type angle, but I found the whole "hunger" and "seduction" expression vague at best and over-used. There was no tension with these scenes, it was just written, no build-up and no description. This, thankfully, is a minor thing that did not distract me from the otherwise interesting and somewhat unique story that I enjoyed reading. Not a book you would be forced to read through in one sitting, forgoing sleep and other life needs, but a book that still keeps you drawn in just enough to keep wanting to reach the end line.

The negatives (and pluses) aside, I'm wanting to read more of the series. The ending of the book let loose some intriguing ideas about Tony's character that suddenly makes him more intriguing. I would like, of course, to keep seeing more of Henry and his relationship with Tony for, like the previous series, he is much of the glue that keeps the stories together. I remember being depressed that the Blood Lines series ended, and I'm happy it's been picked up again for a few more rounds, even if it's with a new 'bloodline'.
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