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It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series.

388 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 2012

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About the author

Paula Weston

8 books851 followers
Paula Weston is the author of the Rephaim series (Shadows, Haze, Shimmer and Burn). The Undercurrent, a stand-alone speculative thriller set in near-future Australia, is now available in Australia and New Zealand.

Paula worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming a government media and communication specialist. Today she also co-owns a two-woman communication and design agency.

She grew up in regional South Australia and now lives in Brisbane, Queensland, with her husband.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 882 reviews
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,955 followers
June 12, 2013
"He was blond, not dark."
"I wasn't talking about his hair."

4.5 stars! November 14, 2012 - My happy day for hot, kick-ass angel goodness! First, I found out that Angelfall is on track to become a movie, then I finished reading Shadows a few hours later and found it to be amazing. My head is this close to exploding from the excitement.

So I picked this book up because I'd heard that it was almost as good as Angelfall. The comparison alone made me want to give it a shot, but I didn't think that Shadows could come close. Surprise, surprise, it actually kind of did...for me at least! The main difference between the two books is that Shadows leans more toward pnr, while Angelfall leans more toward sci-fi, so you're going to get more of the "in your face" romance with this book than we saw in Angelfall (although Raffe from Angelfall still owned the place with hotness by default), but that doesn't mean this book is any less ass-kicking or adventurous.

I think it's kind of funny that the two rival angels are Rafa (close to Raffe) and Daniel (from a popular, yet kind of bleh angel book). As of right now, the book is pushing us toward liking Rafa, but I have to say that I like Daniel too for reasons unknown. It must be that mystery thing and those little brief glimpses of facial expressions changing when it comes to Gabe/Gaby being in the middle of situations. I want to know Gaby and Daniel's history together, even though I like her chemistry with Rafa.
"Doesn't sound like me." His mouth is close to my ear. "I prefer my women awake when I harass them."

There's no insta love in this book. Nope, this is rivals turned into some sort of unexplained attraction. Me likey.

Yes, I'm a such a girl, but my favorite books are the ones which tend to check off a few of my pleasure boxes : creative/original story, great action, and at least some hint of romance or hotness. This story definitely checked off all of my pleasure boxes.
With his hand still in my hair, he brings his lips down to my ear. "You're not going to hit me?"
"Not yet."
"What about if I do this?" He kisses my neck, just under my ear, his warm tongue against my skin.

So yeah. Read this. Then come back and let me know what you thought because I want to know what your theories are about this cast of characters and who you think is on the up-and-up.

Plus, let me just mention again that there is ass kicking.
The guys with him are armed. Three are carrying shiny katanas, but the fourth is spinning a poleaxe.
A freaking poleaxe.

Thanks Joan for buddy reading this with me, and Ash, Khanh and Amanda on my second re-read!
Profile Image for Nomes.
384 reviews376 followers
May 12, 2015
Oh, so did I mention my favourite read in June was a paranormal YA book?

For this contemporary girl, I am surprised by how much I fell in love with this book. (Although it shouldn't have surprised me, as author Paula Weston has the loveliest online presence. That, coupled with the publisher being Text Publishing*, had me diving into this book the day it turned up in my mailbox).

[*Note: Text Publishing are an Australian publisher which consistently publish brilliant and unique YA books, such as Leanne Hall's This is Shyness, Vicki Wakefield's All I Ever Wanted and Tim Pegler's Five Parts Dead (to name a few)]

Things I loved about this book:

1. The New Adult vibe. Gaby is out of school. Flatting, working. Her mates and other characters are older too, in their twenties. I truly love this vibe: it's is not teenagery, but more fresh and mature. It has broad appeal to teenagers, young adult and adults alike.

2. Best. Meet-cute. Scene. Ever.
You guys, I am a fan of the meet-cute and this one involved some sexy, steamy ZING right off the bat. Me = glued to the pages. Just thinking about the meet-cute scene now has me grinning. See point 10 for more on Rafa (absolute hotness that he is)

3. For a contemp loving girl, I need character connection, and this book delivered. Gaby's voice captured me in the first chapter. She's startlingly real. Her personality is shadowed by her grief, but in perfect balance - the grief does not overwhelm her, or make her woefully grief-y as a narrator (you know what I mean). Also, she is a librarian, nicely done. <3

4. Grief-type YA novels can seem overbearing sometimes, not so here. I think because the setting was so fresh (Australian! Beach-y! Sleepy coastal town!) and Gaby was too genuine in her ache, she was not wallowing, lamenting or draining to read about. She has a freshness and vibrancy about her in spite of her circumstances.

5. The paranormal aspect. Oh, this is SO not the average YA paranormal scene. It's set older and while the summary may have common elements, the story is not common at all. I love how the story unlayered with little mysteries, shrouded in memories and dreams, making it less about a paranormal being and more about what on earth is going on. Definitely intriguing.

6. Foo Fighters. It will make you crave them.

7. Cool elements that I cannot say for spoilers. One thing that a paranormal novel has going for it above contemporary reads, is the way authors can get creative with world-building. In particular, I loved one element that spiced things up. There are some fantastic action scenes, kick-arse mixed up with flailing and defeat. There's action and gore, genuine danger and real fear. As for the actual paranormal world, it has enough depth for you to see the research (intricate and layered world-building) but does not swamp the reader. Thanks for that :)

8. Intriguing characters. I LOVED THIS. No one is straight up, face value or playing a part. There are shades of grey all over the place and I think this is what made the characters seem real.

9. The novel was fun (always important ;)). Addictive and intelligent. Not dumbed down for readers. It's paced beautifully. It masterfully walked a fine line of mixing up internal conflict with external, past and present, while always moving the story forward.

10. Rafa. Mid-twenties. My gosh, he is complex, sexy, dangerous, genuine and non-clichéd. He is hard to read, enigmatic, gorgeous, and I cannot wait to get to know him more in the sequels. He's antagonistic and gruff and the dynamic between him and Gaby is brilliantly done - more understated than overbearing, which makes for a more suspenseful and genuine read.

11. The plot. I won't say much. It's not like I expected and it won't be what you are expecting, no matter what that expectation is. I think a lot of elements gave Shadows a unique vibe: the setting (Australian), the characters (older), the amnesia and mystery elements, all the shades of grey, the angel lore feels ancient and fresh.

12. So, Shadows does not fall into the genre of funny LOL's. But there were some one-liners and dashes of humour that will break out the grin, perfect tension relief.

13. It's a series, but in a non-cliffhanger-y way. It wraps up its own story, leaving readers satisfied, but ready for more of the world. Bring on Book Two!

I don't know why I am chatting about this book in a list, it just came out that way.

Most of all, I hope you can see I loved this book. I read it in one day, sneaking back to my bedroom any chance I could. Gaby's voice hooked me from the first chapter and stayed with me after the last page. I so endorse Claudia Gray's blurb: Scary, sexy and suspenseful.
Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,304 followers
August 15, 2020
I'm telling you, I've been breathing this book, not just reading it.

You might know that I love to read in one sitting, so when I like a book I take it in my hands and don’t let it go until I reach the very last page. I finished this one in the morning, and you can bet that I had a very enjoyable night.

When I started reading it I had no idea what this story was truly about because I stayed away from spoilers and anything that could have ruined my experience. All I knew was that it’s been highly recommended to me by some very trusted book friends and so I wanted to read it really, really badly. There’s no need for me to say that it has exceeded my expectation, even though I knew it was supposed to be great, after all not many Aussie books get on my indifferent side.

“Love. Nightmares. Angels. War”
I am not the religious type, so why am I so attracted to angel-books is still a mystery to me. Maybe because this is a subject I haven't been too interested to research, so I take it all as a fantasy and I enjoy it without thinking too much about the details behind? That might be the reason, even though I am still able to realize when an author takes some liberties with some subjects and I truly enjoy when I find a book that tackles a different side of what I've seen/read before.

I won’t spoil this for you, I really won’t, but I am gonna tease you by answering the questions from the synopsis, because that’s only the beginning of the story…

“Morning after morning, I wake up with him lingering in my thoughts and I feel guilty without having any idea why.”

You might wonder too who is the dark boy with green eyes that haunts her dreams, those dreams that leave her breathless, those vivid dreams that she can’t understand, those vivid dreams that are the key to why her memory is so deceiving.
You might wonder who’s that guy who keeps telling her that he knows her and her brother and what history they have. You might also wonder what’s behind all that teasing and fighting and what hides behind his beautiful smile..
So I am not lying to you – Rafa is my newest book-crush… he is charming, smart, strong and too hot for his own good. He knows all this so I’m not trying to flatter him, I’m just stating the obvious, and don’t worry – he’s been stealing hearts all around the world, don’t feel bad if he’s gonna get to your heart too.

We all know who are the angels that walk on earth, right? In every story they are quite the same. Not this time. I still want to know more about this world settling, but as different as it is, I loved it. It was refreshing and it keeps open many doors, so I can’t wait to see which way this story will lead us next.

“I know exactly who I am. It’s everyone else who seems to be having a problem.”

Gaby is a very strong heroine. She’s been through a lot and there’s still a lot ahead of her. She has many questions and many others will be raised. She’s funny, and witty and all the sarcastic games she plays will Rafa will leave you laughing and more than once breathless.

There are a few things that define her:
- The grief. From the beginning we find out how close she’s been to her brother and how much it hurts to live without him. Her bleeding heart cries after the brother she remembers, but her bleeding mind cries after the (same)one that she doesn’t.
- The nightmares. This is another thing that is different. I though I knew where this was leading us, so I was quite surprised to see how things turned out to be.
- Friendship. As alone as Gaby feels at times, there are a few friends that she can count on. I never knew if I could trust them or not, but that’s the beauty of the story.

I fell in love with this story for the very first page.
Now, if you want to know more about this story I recommend you to read it. It's packed with action, it is full of humour, it's written by an Australian author (do I need to say more?) and it's simply great. You have my word!

Happy midnight reading!

* This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com
**Book source: Advanced copy received from the publisher. Thank you!


Blog (EN) | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Bloglovin' | Blog (RO)

Just before reading:
Am I happy or .. am I happy?
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
October 5, 2013
Shadows is the kind of thing that’s just up my alley. A kick ass protagonist, nephilim, enough sexual tension to cut the cheese. Wait, I think I’m getting my sayings mixed up…

At one point I shook my iPad and was all, “Do you or do you not have memory issues?!” then I yelled, “You’re not my supervisor!” over and over again because it just felt right.

You're not my supervisor!

I know amnesia is complicated and how much memory is lost works on a case by case basis and all that jazz, but Rafa was dropping tantalizing hints and making vague statements all over the place. Yet Gaby is so frustratingly incurious. I mean, his hints were pretty obvious, but most of the time she brushed them off as if every guy tries to pick up girls by implying things about the girl’s life and personality that clearly aren’t remembered. Last guy trying to pick me up was totally like, “Hey, when are you going to do that thing you do with the tiger and the mayonnaise?” and I was all like, “I have no idea what this means, but he’s hot so… splooge.”

Here is one of many examples I could have picked from:

“You’re really going to keep this up?” he asks when I sit back down.

I have no idea what he’s getting at, and when I don’t answer, he leans in closer.

“What about if I do this?” He runs his fingers thought my hair, not quite far enough to discover the scar at the nape of my neck. It feels good. So good, I sigh.

Look, if a stranger is making vague insinuations that he knows something about you that you don’t know, due to the amnesia you are suffering from, then don’t get distracted by your goddamn flaming ugly bumpers! Who does that?!

I'm mad because I love

This is one of my only gripes about the novel. If this frustrating exposition had been shorter and less annoying, then this novel would have gotten more stars for sure. I’d probably be running around giving all the stars! Especially since there’s all that intense sexual tension. Everyone, you all know how much I love good sexual tension, right? Of course you do.

In addition, this book had lots of violence and monsters. Y’all also know how much I love violence and monsters, right? Of course you do. Well, this book is basically one big barrage of violence, monsters and sexual tension. Giving it out like satanic commune. Actually, they’ll give regular communion out to just anyone too. I checked once. It burned as it went down. Add in the mystery and the world building, and you have a novel worth at least checking out.

It’s not the best Young Adult PNR I’ve ever read, but it’s still pretty good. So there you have it, three begrudgingly given stars. What more could you ask for?

This review and more can be found on my blog, Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

This ARC was given to me by the publisher for the purposes of reviewing. That was their first mistake. Their second mistake was that you don't talk about Fight Club. All this means that I didn't get paid or favors. Which, if you ask me, is a horrible system.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
851 reviews446 followers
September 11, 2016
3.5 stars

This was an unexpectedly fast and action packed book! I was surprised that I absolutely loved the main character, Gabe/Gaby, and it was an amazing thing to learn about this cool angel history right alongside her. Maggie is a great character as well, I loved that she never gave up on Gabe, their friendship is truly beautiful and I’m looking forward to these ladies probably kicking asses in the sequels. When it comes to boys… Oh, my, I have no idea who to really trust. However, I do hope that Jason and Rafa will stay on Gabe’s side throughout this series, I like these guys a lot. The writing style was very interesting and it was impossible not to finish this book in one day. Paula Weston made this very unique plot and mature characters that you just can’t stop reading about. I can’t wait to start the sequel and see what’s Gabe’s crew up to next.


*E-copy provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

You can read this review on BookishFever.
June 16, 2013
Actual rating: 3.5/5

For being the offspring of angels, the Rephaim sure are a bunch of asshats. This is one of the rare books for me where the writing is great, the plot is free of holes and the mythology well-explained, yet I still ended up despising almost every single character. Essentially, I have no complaints about this book except for the fact that I started up disliking and ended up absolutely hating and distrusting almost every single male in this book.

I am by no means a prude, but I avoid reading New Adult books because I know what pisses me off, and I will intentionally avoid that which will likely give me a headache. More often than not in New Adult, there's too much emotionless sex, there's too much gratuitous swearing, there's a lot of physical or emotional abuse, and there's a lot of alpha males who are complete assholes; luckily for me, only the latter applied to this book. I ended up enjoying Shadows a lot more than I expected, despite the presence of the omnipresent and aforementioned asshats.

After having lived so long on this earth, one would think that these children of fallen angels would have developed some iotas of common sense. Nope, not here. They're dangerously precarious, notoriously short-tempered, and lacking in wisdom and maturity. They've got some serious power, and no sense of restraint. It's like giving a bunch of little kids playing cops and robber some real AK-47s. Out of all the male Rephaites I met in this book, two of whom are the main character's love interest/former love interest, I can only say one positive thing about Rafa versus Daniel: he's less abusive. Still immature, but less abusive. "He's nearly a hundred and forty but not too old to sulk." A glowing recommendation, for sure.

Haven't these Rephaims ever heard of the idiom "You catch more flies with honey?" Apparently not. Surely beating the living crap out of a poor Rephaite who's completely lost her memory, trying to drown her, and siccing a demon-hellion on her must be more helpful than just being nice to her and earning her trust. Stockholm syndrome works, but I'm not sure if this is the way to go about doing it. And the gangleader of all this? The gentleman who's siccing his little army of sycophants on poor Gaby? None other than her former lover, who might still love her but is showing it in a really strange way. And by strange, I mean drugging.

I really liked Gaby's character. She's obviously mourning for her brother, but while her grief is a crippling pain, she doesn't let her life get ruled by it. She makes an active effort to move on after Jude's death, and throughout the book, she shows a similar sense of strength and fortitude of will, despite all the overwhelming things that have descended upon her and despite the fact that her entire life or what she knows and remembers of it might have been a well-crafted lie.

Gaby has a healthy sense of skepticism but she is openminded. She is receptive towards accepting things that have no explanation, and is not so stubborn that she is completely in denial of what's going on, even if what's happening is far beyond the stretch of the ordinary imagination. Still, Gaby doesn't hesitate to call out Rafa or Daniel on their bullshit when she sees it.

The mythology is really well-done. Gaby is a great narrator in that she lets information be given to her and questions the things told to her in such a way that it never feels like the mythology is retold staccato or that information is spoon-fed to the reader. Gaby, again, questions things. She has a healthy sense of disbelief, and this works out so well in the context of learning about the angels and their offspring, so that in a sense, our skepticism towards the plot gradually fades as she becomes grudgingly resigned to her past.

Rafa and Daniel frustrated me so much. I found Rafa to be agonizingly patronizing towards Gaby. He's possessive, he withholds information, and gets upset when she doesn't listen to his vague instructions:

"His voice flattens. '...If you’d listened to me---'
'Listened to you about what?' The anger comes easily. 'You've kept me blundering around in the dark, and don't act like you haven’t been enjoying yourself...having fun at my expense.'"

I found very little tenderness and credibility in Rafa and Gaby's relationship. It's just pure attraction (he's hot, they're all hot) coupled with the fact that she's grieving and "it was a bit easier because he’s grieving too."

Still, Rafa is a gentleman and a prize compared to our Daniel. He's an abuser and a torturer under the guise of good. Daniel's excuse for his treatment of Gaby?

"'Gabe, this is not the way I wanted to do this. But whoever did this to you left us with no choice.'
'Of course there's a choice---you could choose not to hurt me! You could accept my memories are gone. Whatever I may or may not have known about your precious Fallen no longer exists.'"

Ugh ugh ugh. And his lackeys...what a bunch of witless drones. There is a phrase used in the book to describe the mindless idiocy of the demon spawned hellions that I think actually fits really well with the majority of the Rephaim: "they’ve got the vocabulary of a warthog and the brain function of a slug."

I will be reading the next book because I am truly curious as to what will happen next, despite my dislike of the guys in this first installment.

Thanks to Stacia and Ash for the recommendation and the buddy read!

I received a copy of this book for review from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Maggie.
431 reviews430 followers
October 10, 2012
One of these days, the Rafa in a book will refer to a capri pant wearing, wedgie picking Spaniard and not an angel.
On second thought, I'm cool with the gorgeous, heavenly version.

Shadows was a solid introduction to the Rephaim series and to debut author Paula Weston. It had an engaging cast of characters, including a loyal friend named MAGGIE :), and plenty of action and mystery to keep you on your toes until the end of the book. Did I mention the angel pashing? If I didn't, it's only because I'm not sure I'm using the term correctly. To put it in inelegant American terms, there's hot and heavy tongue action! The short chapters, headed with progressively funnier titles, keep the story moving briskly.

So... why only 3 stars? Even though 3 stars means a solid GOOD, I feel like it's become the rating equivalent of kissing your cousin. Of course, some people (ANGIE!) would be alllllll about that. So here's the thing. Gaby finds out early on that angels, hellions (HELLIONS), you name it, are after her. This is when the fight-or-flight instinct usually kicks in for people. Gaby chooses Door #3: stay and do nothing. Now "stay and do nothing" wasn't just left out of fight-or-flight because it doesn't fit the rhyme scheme. It's DUMB. For me, it's so dumb that I don't feel sorry for you when the shit hits the fan and whips back all over your face. Is it any surprise they're snatching your people up??
I couldn't help but compare Shadows to another angel book, Angelfall, and Gaby to Penryn. Because What Would Penryn Do? Penryn would kick ass.

While I liked the first half of the story, I was also really ambivalent towards it because Gaby's decisions, while understandable, still annoyed me. However, and this is a testament to Paula Weston's writing, Gaby wasn't unlikable, which kept me reading. And I'm glad because the story really picks up. I couldn't put down the last 1/4 of the book and can't wait to read Book 2. Shadows has a great mix of plot and action. I think this is going to be an exciting series, and one that will definitely find its audience.

Rating: I initially planned on giving this 3 stars, which is what I gave Divergent, but I actually plan on reading the sequel to this one, so I'm bumping it up to 3.5 stars.

Noelle's fantastic review of Shadows is on Young Adult Anonymous.
Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews748 followers
February 15, 2017
Shadows is what I would call a top class book with its frantic pace, vibrant characters and gripping story line it’s not your typical angel book. Gaby barely remembers anything before the accident with her twin brother Jude. After months of trying to make a new life for herself without her brother, she’s thrown another bombshell, the life she thought she believed she led is not true either, her supposed memories of her life and relationship with Jude couldn’t be more wrong. But the dreams she’s been having of scary monsters and a gorgeous guy are very true. What the hell is going on?

With Gabe’s memories being messed around with, Shadows was like a mystery novel as you didn’t know who to believe. Slowly as bits of Gabe’s life began to unravel, we find ourselves falling into this unbelieving world of hellions, demons and angels. Of worlds clashing over what’s right and how things should go down, and then there’s Rafa, the mystery guy who’s quick to want to help Gabe, he says he knows her from before but they didn’t along, so why all of a sudden does he want to help her now? Because she’s defenceless? Useless? Who can Gabe really trust?

Weston managed to create charming characters shrouded in enigma. Poor Gabe had no clue and then was dropped everything on her in one go, but she was one heck of a mc as she took everything in her stride, if I was in the same shoes I surely would have freaked out with all the random people turning up all the time. Rafa, where do I even begin with this cheeky chappy? He had my heart pumping at a crazy speed with his charm and roguish comments. His cheeky demeanour and comments always brought a smile to my face. He was everything I like in a male character and so much more. I’m happy with how we only barely scratched the surface with his character as I’m certainly looking forward to tons more of Rafa in the next book and also delving into his history with Gabe.

Shadows doesn’t give you a clear cut path, there’s so many different answers that are uncovered, bombshells which blow the story even more wide open. I like how with this book there isn’t a straight and narrow path this book follows, anything can happen! And this makes me so excited. There is so much going on in Shadows that I didn’t want this book to come to an end. The world building and the little shocks which led me off the path had me completely captivated. I remember at one point sitting with a frown on my face, realising that I would be coming to an end of this book pretty soon.

Paula Weston is another example of a brilliant Aussie author. Her writing flair is clearly evident throughout Shadows; she’s an author who can keep you on the edge of your seat and always wanting more. She really created the perfect combination in Shadows with angels and memory loss. Where both aspects have been concerned in the past, I’ve been burned with disappointment, but Shadows is so different, it's fresh and just a delightful read, honestly I can't recommend this book enough. I have high hopes for all of Weston’s future work; I can’t wait to see what she throws at us in the next book Haze.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,922 reviews69.3k followers
October 23, 2015
4.5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book.

I loved it! I opened it up expecting it to be a vanilla romance about angels falling in love with humans, and what I got was a really cool story. And yes, it all started because a few angels were getting some sweetsweet lovin' from human women, but that's where the similarities to my original expectations ended.

Gaby is 19 and living a small beach town in Australia that she has no real ties to. She just wandered into it after waking up in a hospital, and sort of decided to stay for a while. She only vaguely remembers the car accident that took her twin brother's life, and she tries not to examine the rest of her past too closely. Her parents were distant, which was the main reason she and her brother took off to see the world on their own, so there's no real home she feels she can go back to and lick her wounds. However, she has found a good friend in her roommate, Maggie, and she's been slowly coming to terms with her new life.

Everything changes one night when she meets a stranger (a HOT stranger) at the local bar. He insists that they know each other, and that he was her brother's best friend. It isn't until he shows her the pictures he has on his cell phone of Jude (her brother) and himself, that she starts to believe him. Except the timeline is off. She and Jude had been traveling together since they were 16...so when did he have the time to hang out with this guy? There are other things that don't add up, like why does this guy act like she's going to take his head off. Literally.

I usually try not to give any spoilers, but the blurb hints at it anyway. And besides, this is the part that sucked me in and made me pay attention.
It turns out that almost every memory she has is a false memory, implanted by...? Yeah, who knows?! Not only that, but her entire personality is totally different from what it used to be. Somewhere inside Gaby is her alter-ego, Gabe, an ass-kicker that makes grown men wet their pants!

There's definitely more to it than even that, but I think it would be much better for you to find that out on your own. This is one of those books that I want to tell you more about, but I'm afraid I'll ruin the reading experience. Even if angels aren't your thing (they aren't mine), definitely don't miss out on this one!

This review can also be seen at
Profile Image for Paula Weston.
Author 8 books851 followers
April 13, 2017
Well, I have to give it five stars, don't I?? :)

Plus, I couldn't stand looking at the blank stars for four more months before reviews (hopefully) start coming in...
Profile Image for SHOMPA.
342 reviews129 followers
March 8, 2023
I started it with no prior expectations. Surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed its slow pace, a lot of action and mysterious plotline. It seemed very, very promising. 

***There were, of course, some weaknesses in the story, but they did not diminish my curiosity yet. :)
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,126 reviews2,164 followers
July 27, 2015
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.
Profile Image for summer.
248 reviews299 followers
September 19, 2013
Check out my interview with Paula Weston on my blog, http://missfictional.blogspot.com

*Recieved from Netgalley*

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

My faith in the PNR genre, namely angels, has been restored. First Angelfall, and now this beauty?

There are two things I learned by reading Shadows:

1) Never, ever, doubt Aussie authors. Man, I’m so close to moving to Australia, just so some of those magical writing abilities these authors seem to have can somehow rub off on me.

2) Don’t judge a book by its cover—or rather, its blurb. I’m serious; did you read that? I’ll admit, it almost scared me off. It gives the impression that this would be a heavily cliched book. But thanks to the glowing reviews, I decided to give this one a shot.

Shadows begins with the beautiful setting of Pan Beach pulling the reader in. Gaby, the main character of the novel, has lost her twin brother a year prior in a car accident, one she survived. She is trying to live an at least partially normal life with her friend Maggie, but then Rafa arrives. This is where the story takes off, and we are sucked into the world of the Rephaim.

You’d think I’d hate a book if, in the first few chapters, a major make-out session takes place between two people who (seemingly) have barely met. But, as you can tell from my rating, that is not the case. Read the book, and you’ll see what I mean.

Now, let’s start with the characters. In short: I loved all of them. Every. Single. One. Know why? Because they were each deeply fleshed out and the character development was perfect. When pretty much all the characters are loveable, I know that it will be a good book.

While the actual plot didn't scream uniqueness, it hints at more subplots to arise in coming books, which has me waiting in anticipation to get my hands on Haze. I was quite surprised to find that there were quite a few fighting scenes, which were much unexpected.

The dialogue was hilarious. Here’s a taste:
“We're quiet for a moment. And then: 'Why did you call me Matt?'
'It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now that I know you, I realize I should have called that character Dick.'
He laughs, and the couch shakes. 'Honestly, Gabe, I forgot you could be this much fun.”

Their banter was a non-stop thing- they never seemed to agree on anything, and I found this strangely endearing. Undoubtedly one of my favorite and most entertaining part of the novel.The brewing romance between them is evident, even though they deny it. There were probably about two kissing scenes in this book—which the author wrote very well—and I like how the plot wasn't heavily dependent on the romance, it was just kind of on the side, as a subplot.

I’m fairly sure I drooled whenever Rafa spoke. His lines are totally quote-worthy from the hilarity of them. I never thought I’d fall for this seemingly arrogant but hilarious character. He is such a complex character, and for once, his insistence on being mysterious doesn't annoy me. He has a soft side, and while very few and far between, I never thought of him as a jerk.

Something about Daniel makes me instantly intrigued by his character; I really want to know the backstory of him and Gaby, which will hopefully come in the next novel.
”He sighs and wets his lower lip with his tongue. If he didn’t have such a huge stick up his arse it might be sexy."

Although, there is one thing that made me drop half a star from my rating. Shadows left way too many questions unanswered, and virtually nothing was resolved. In my opinion, I don’t think that all the mysteries of Gaby's past should have been kept from us; after all, us readers don’t like to be completely left in the dark. The ending was a bit abrupt and not something I appreciated.

Shadows is a book that redeems the almost-hopeless angel genre, and manages to put a smile on my face and keep it there for a majority of my reading experience. I recommend this to people who enjoy angel books, but were hopelessly disappointed with most books of the genre.

Like I said, the books Australia publishes never seem to disappoint, and this is a book that should not be overlooked.
Profile Image for Crystal.
449 reviews91 followers
August 9, 2012
Okay listen up, forget everything you think you know about Angels and Demons. That's right, pack it all up in that box you have in your brain and tape it shut. Now throw it out. I can assure you that after reading this book you won't need any of that information because this book, Shadows, is by far THE book to read if you are an Angel and Demon lover like myself. Shadows is beyond explosive with a kick ass heroine, an amazing storyline with incredible mythology, and a romance sure to heat up even the coldest of hearts.

Gabby has been living on her own ever since her brother Jude died. She moved in with her only friend and works days at an art gallery. She spends her time trying to get over her brother's death and just living each day as it is. The only problem is that she has very vivid dreams, dreams that consist of dark hellturds (or creatures if you rather lol), a sexy sword wielding guy, and herself only this girl is swinging her sword better than the hot guy and can definitely hold her own against any dark hellturd that runs into her path. Having had these dreams for awhile Gabby decides to enter a creative writing contest and uses her dreams as her story. By doing this she unknowingly brings the past that she has been made to forget knocking on her door. She finds that not only is the hottie starring in her dreams real but the girl that looks like her in her dreams is actually her. Now Gabby has to find out the truth about her life before the accident and comes to terms with the fact that things she thought she once knew may not be real.

I LOVED this book!! I cannot say that enough! This book right here takes my top spot for favorite of the year! Gabby was such a great character. She stood up to people and gave as good as she got every time. I for one can't wait to see her be the big badass that I know is sure to come. Rafa was a great sparring partner for Gabby. Their first encounter left me with goosebumps and I have to say I am Team Rafa ALL THE WAY! He is hot, self assured, and his witty comebacks are just too awesome so really what's not to love? Oh and he can swing a sword with ease, yeah he captured my heart. The rest of the cast of characters rounded out this story nicely. Everyone of them had a part to play and they did effortlessly. I really enjoyed them all. I will say I still think there is more than was revealed with one in particular but I won't name any names since that big reveal is well HUGE!

So yes if you are looking for the next BIG series you will not be disappointed with this book. Right now you can only purchase it from Fishpond World, but like Paula said in her interview on our blog these books have been picked up to be published in the US and Canada in 2013! I am so excited for her because she really does deserve to have them published all over and I am excited because more of my friends will be able to read them!! Again, I can't say it enough - this is by far my favorite book of 2012 and I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel Haze!!

This review and more can be found here:
winter haven books
Profile Image for Noelle.
373 reviews246 followers
September 13, 2012
3.5 stars You might not know this about me since I don't review them but I'm a huge Urban Fantasy fan--check that, a huge adult Urban Fantasy fan. I've never found a YA Urban Fantasy that came close to what I considered belonging in the genre (or particularly enjoyed any of the ones that kind of sort of came close.) Let's just say that before today, my Venn diagram of my love of Urban Fantasy and YA had no overlap.

Not anymore! Shadows is the most successful Urban Fantasy** YA I've ever read and it might be because it's can barely be considered a YA novel. It's like when you're watching True Blood and the viewer warnings come on the screen--the more extensive the warnings, the better the episode and Shadows has it all: graphic violence, language, steamy situations. AND FUN. Did I mention fun?

Gaby is just a normal 18 year old trying to live her life. Sure she's grieving and recovering from the car accident that killed her beloved brother a year earlier but she has her friends, her job and her writing to get her through. What else but an active imagination could explain the vivid nightmares she has every night beheading hell beasts and battling demons? If she were honest with herself, there would be one aspect of her nightmares Gaby wouldn't mind being real--the intriguing (and hot) guy who fights by her side every night. However, when mystery guy walks out of her dreams and into her bar speaking of a past history with her brother that Gaby can't remember, her whole world gets turned upside down.

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble making sure Gaby doesn't remember her true identity (or sword-wielding skills) and now Gaby is scrambling to catch up, unsure who her true allies are amidst all the hidden agendas and competing factions. Who is the real Gaby? And what really happened that tragic night?

Despite being put in the weak position of knowing nothing about what is going on, Gaby still manages to be awesome. It was fun discovering everything with her and ooh boy, is there a ton to discover. No one is quite what they seem and there are no easy answers. The ever unraveling mystery and action keeps you wanting more. The pace was so excellent that I stayed up until 3am to finish which my love of sleep rarely allows to happen. I can't wait to see what happens next.

If you like an action-packed book that keeps things moving (and swooning), Shadows is the book for you.

** Despite the Goodreads blurb name-dropping that book, I would not call Shadows a paranormal romance. I agree with Jeannie Holmes definition of urban fantasy vs. paranormal romance and Shadows definitely falls under the former.

This review originally appeared on Young Adult Anonymous.
Profile Image for mich.
650 reviews233 followers
May 19, 2015
4.5 stars So, um, yeah, I totally read this book in one sitting today. Lunch? Dinner? oh yeah, totally forgot to have those. I seriously did absolutely nothing today except read this book.

I wanted to post reading updates a couple times, and I told myself I’d do it as soon as I hit a lull in the book. Um, yeah -- that never happened.

The amnesia angle in this story was gold, man. I mean, yeah, it was frustrating as hell sometimes (especially when you know that several of the mysteries could’ve been easily solved if only certain people would’ve just given some STRAIGHT ANSWERS to some friggin questions right when they’re asked), but damn if it didn’t keep me turning the pages like crazy all the way till the end.

There were so many questions in my head as I read this book, and I had so much fun coming up with theories about what was going on (which were mostly shot down towards the end of the book, lol, oh well).

This would have been 5 stars easy if only Gaby hadn’t been so fucking stupid in so many instances. I liked her for the most part, really I did, but geez, she would do the most bone-headed things sometimes that made absolutely NO SENSE. Gaby was in some awesome, tension filled situations throughout a lot of this book, but I wish that the author could’ve come up with more creative ways of putting her in those situations other than just having her make dumbass decisions.

Some of my favorite things about this book:

I really want to read the next book, but I also kind of want to wait and just bask in the many unanswered questions a bit longer and think up of all the interesting places the author could take things. Fun!
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews604 followers
November 14, 2017
Buddy read with Kate my November TBR twin.

Wow, this book turned out way better than I expected, The beginning was cheesy and cliche filled but it got better, The plot is amazing, I basically went in blind because the synopsis didn't say much. Its got suspense, actions, friendship,angels,demons etc. The book is well written and fast paced, I really enjoyed reading it, the characters have admirable personalities and most are badass, that can fight well with swords and other stabby weapons. I love that Gaby the MC didn't spend too much time in her head, even though the book is written in first person POV, the book has lots of dialogue that is not cringy.


Gaby is a fun character for most of the book, I couldn't stand her whining and know it all attitude at first but she dropped it an became a cooler and better person. She lives a pretty normal life, she writes and post stories online based on her dreams where she fights demons with Jude, her twin brother who is dead and some guy she doesn't know,her life changed when the guy from her dreams showed up and told her its not a dream, but that was her life before she lost her memory.

Rafa the guy from her dreams who turned out to be real, he is also her twin brother's bestfriend, He and everyone thought she and her brother died before he found her story online, but the bad news is that he's not the only one that found her. Rafa is really cocky and can be an asshole sometimes but he is also dedicated and loyal and wants to find out what happened to Jude.

Other characters that I like are Maggie Gaby's roommate, Jason her boyfriend who has mindblowing secrets. I still like Daniel even though he's uptight, I really want to know Daisy's story and uncover Nathaniel's endgame.

Minor spoilers
This pretty sums up the book.

All right, so what do I know? I make a mental list.
I’m the bastard child of a fallen angel.
I used to live here.(a place called a sanctuary where Nephilims live and train to fight demons from hell)
Jude left a decade ago and I stayed; we stopped talking as a result.
Something happened a year ago and we made up.(they went looking for their father and other fallen angels who escaped from hell a 139 years ago, alone. Not only them wants to find the fallen angels but other nephilims,demons and Angels too)
We didn’t tell anyone what it was that ended our rift.
We went missing together, presumed dead.
I survived and someone wiped my memory.

So now she is trying to figure out what actually happened and who wiped her memory, But lots of people are also looking for her and wants to know what happened, not all believes she actually lost her memory, and they are really desperate to know what happened.
589 reviews1,031 followers
June 2, 2013
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you Text Publishing for sending me this copy.

'And I'm so cold, I can't draw breath. My body feels like it's being stretched and compressed at once, and my head swims. At last, I pass out.'

For a long stretch of time, I was commencing my belief that I'd never read another clichéd angel book again. And I'm believing it as this was no trite paranormal book. With the lightening reviews I've seen from my fellow bloggy friends, I headed into this book with high expectations, and they were mostly fulfilled. Shadows explores all aspects that most angel books fail to impress with, and extending on by adding some gruesome violence, unique premise and a very sexy love interest.

Gaby's twin brother, Jude died a year ago. And when she decided to make a new life away from the dark past, Gaby is no closer to healing this wound. And that's when Rafa appears, explaining everything she never quite understood- especially about the vivid nightmares she used to get every night before Rafa's appearance.

Characterisation in Shadows is nothing short of flawless. Our main character commences on a good note, and holds it throughout, making me, a very happy reader. Not only was Gaby strong and rather kick-ass, but she was also independent and decisive. I loved how she wasn't swayed by the slightest remarks and was clear minded in the most intense situations. She can only be defined as genuine. The only issue I had with her and the supporting characters was that they all (most) swore excessively and pointlessly. Sometimes, it was fine but at others, I felt like they were some young wanna-be-thirteen-year-old-junkies.

'Rafa grunts. "If he points that rifle at me, it's going up his arse."'

Rafa is our sexylicious dark angel with attitude. However, I didn't find his as cliché like the other paranormal books. Paula Weston, outlined the perfect male character without making me roll my eyes and groan simultaneously. Apart from him being very hot, Rafa was jocular and had a likeable touch of ignorance and satirical-ness. Weird but I did really love that about him, it made him seem more reckless and more like what I used to imagine fallen angels to be like before I was introduced to sappy, mysteriously hot guys that made me gag.

The romance in Shadows is one of the most difficult ones to pin point and describe. Imagine these three definitions of romance; angsty, instant and cute. Now throw them into a pot and give a good stir. Now, proceed to illusion this between Rafa and Gaby. The result, angsty-instant-cute-ish-love-that-was-real-good. I only say instant love because they kissed made out in the first few pages. Other than that, I was fully entertained by this chemistry that dragged along and DIDN'T overpower the intense story line.

Shadows is a compact combination of heart racingly gruesome action, blunt senses of humour, intriguing premise and a very original romance. I never thought I'd have room in my heart for angel books due to or history but looks like there are still some excellent ones lurking about! (Especially Aussie ones!) This was a faced paced ride that contained plenty of socking twists. Recommended to lovers of paranormal and people who want an angel surprise.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,943 reviews1,555 followers
January 12, 2015
While the world was okay (neither terribly original nor terribly derivative), I found I just couldn't bring myself to care much about Gaby (correct me if I'm wrong, but I read that with the hard "a" of Gabe-y, which I find to be the least attractive shortening of Gabriella I've ever heard). And while I thought the pace was unbearably slow, with info-drips like Chinese water torture, my real problem is that Gaby couldn't be arsed to care about a) the danger she's in, b) the danger her presence puts her "friends" in, c) the history she knows she's missing, d) any details of what's going on, e) any details about the people who keep popping up, etc, etc, etc. She's the least curious amnesiac I've ever heard of, but what really chafes is that after finding out a bit about what's going on, she has the stupidity to put herself back where people who have attacked her know where she is. That just seems supremely stupid to me. I'm with Rafa (even if he does pick the dumbest ever shortening of Raphael possible) when he asks, incredulously, if she really thinks her stupid gig at the library is important enough to endanger her freaking life over? I'm to take this girl seriously, now? I'm sorry, but I find that I just can't.

Also, I apologize if my aesthetics of name shortening are off base. Maybe this is an Aussie thing where those shortenings aren't awkward or abnormal? To me, they're both extremely odd, but I bet I wouldn't be so down on them if I found I could like the characters. And I just couldn't...
Profile Image for Ash Wednesday.
441 reviews524 followers
July 6, 2013
7/5/13: Galley available for request at Netgalley: here. Gooooo!

6/11/13: Buddy re-read with Ace, Amanda and Khanh.

Still as yummy as I remember and definitely a much needed refresher for Haze. I didn't really notice the steam in this one from the last time I read it but holy hell there was some sexy.

First read: 1/30/13
4 snark-tastic stars.

I like stalking my friends' favorite shelves for my next read when my feed goes a bit meh. This one I plucked from Joan's and after reading the Angelfall comparisons. Plus, I SERIOUSLY needed a break from all the warm and fluffies of contemporary romance.

Apart from the title (which, knowing the plot, I totally don't get) and the convenience of having the 'human' characters be so easily accepting of the paranormal reveals going off everywhere, this was a fun and compelling read. It didn't necessarily fill out the Angelfall-shaped hole in my heart (for lack of ANY update on the next book from that series) but the time I spent in Paula Weston's creation was filled with LOLs and smiles.

The dialogue was so sharp and witty and the main characters easily likable it's hard not to be invested. It's a bit lopsided because Rafa gets all the snarky and quotable lines (most of which will give the plot away) though Gaby dishes out some good ones as well.
"It's been a long time since you asked me for anything. I'm not going to fuck it up." (Rafa)
"Any chance you could ease up on being an arsehole for a while as well?" (Gaby)
"That I can't promise."

"You'd probably make a coin purse out of my balls."
"Nah," I say lightly, like his rejection doesn't sting. "I'd want something big enough to carry more than
five-cent pieces."

There's a LOT of angel mythology thrown in the mix that I'm almost sorry I didn't read this closer to the release of the second book. I know I'm bound to forget everyone's alliances and motives. There's a bit of Aussie speak and wallabes and lorikeets (which I had to google for) all over but they didn't really interfere with the story's flow, if not make them more interesting for me. The fight sequences weren't confusing (as these things tend to be), though I was giggling at that fight scene where . The secondary characters were likable enough. Ez was made of pure awesome and I just love how Simon Jason functions as a punching bag for Rafa's snarkiness.
His fingers linger on my skin. "You should put something on it so it doesn't get too dry. I bet Goldilocks has a nice range of moisturisers in a man bag somewhere."

It's actually bordering on homoerotic tension, now that I think about it.

It sucks that very little got resolved by the end of this one and, if anything, more questions just piled up. But come May 22, I'll be coming back for seconds for the answers but staying for the dialogue.
Profile Image for Rabbit Queen.
218 reviews40 followers
August 7, 2015
Typical YA romance. I don't have anything to say about this.

A short summary of ch 1-5:


Not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Vivi.
187 reviews28 followers
September 22, 2022
Zaczęłam czytać tę książkę w ciemno, wiedziałam tylko, że jest o Nefilim. Na początku wydawało mi się, że to będzie typowe ya fantasy, gdzie główna bohaterka nagle spotyka nieziemsko przystojnego faceta, który nie jest człowiekiem, ale potem TEN plot twist. Naprawdę super to wyszło. Tak dużo zaczęło się dziać, tyle pytań, po prostu połknęłam tę książkę i chcę dorwać jak najszybciej następne części, bo ja muszę wiedzieć, o co w tym wszystkim chodzi. No i ta chemia między Rafą a Gaby.
Profile Image for Kelly (Diva Booknerd).
1,106 reviews299 followers
August 10, 2015
Wow. Just wow.

Shadows was nothing short of incredible. Mixing the age old angels verses demon mythology, strong and sassy characters and an intense, slow burning romance. Deliciously so. It follows the story of Gaby, mourning the loss of her brother almost a year prior and attempting to find normalcy in the coastal Australian town. Gaby is a brilliant character, relatable, likable and adds sass to the storyline. She and best friend Maggie are a formidable pair and have a wonderful friendship of strength and solidarity. And then Rafa arrives.

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I was officially swooning.

Rafa is everything you want in a love interest. The slow burn, the intensity. He smoulders, he'll seduce you and you'll love every moment. Rafa is the reason why we need flame retardant paperbacks. But beyond the intense love slash hate relationship he and Gaby share, they also share a history. One that Gaby can't remember. Not only are her fellow Rephaim accusing her of a crime she can't recall, but a past love in Daniel is leading the charge. Daniel isn't a villain, but a pretentious follower of Nathanial, a fallen angel who is using the Rephaim to cleanse his own sins. He claims to adhere to a higher power that no one has seen, but all follow blindly. It's no wonder Jude had escaped the The Sanctuary ten years prior, scoffing at their beliefs and going rogue along with a small group of Rephaim. Including Rafa.

I loved the inclusion of Angel lore, the Fallen and the angelic hierarchy that Paula Weston infused so beautifully. The history of the Rephaim was scattered throughout, often allowing the reader to learn the story behind the mythology as Gaby herself is taught. My only wish was that Gaby stop describing everything she smelt. Boys rarely smell nice, even angels I suspect. It would have been more convincing has she described Rafa as smelling like feet and farts. Stop sniffing people Gaby, it's creepy and the quickest path to becoming a social pariah.

I loved it and considering that paranormal romance isn't my genre of choice, I was thrown into a world that excited, engaged and enthralled me. From page one. Now with all four titles in the series out now, it's the perfect time to binge read. I've flown through the series, having already read the first three in only four days. And for a reader who tends not to finish many series', that's a testament to how incredible Paula Weston's vision is. READ. IT.
Profile Image for Gökçe.
166 reviews49 followers
July 1, 2015
Başlarda kitabın diline alışmakta sıkıntı çektim ama ilerledikçe onu düşünemeyecek kadar kendimi kitaba kaptırmıştım. Eğlenceli, temposu yüksek bir kitaptı, Gölgeler. Özellikle Rafa'ya bayıldım ! Adam çok komik ya.
Sis'i büyük bir heyecanla bekliyorum !
Profile Image for ALPHAreader.
1,118 reviews
July 2, 2012
Gaby Winters is hiding; hiding from her grief and anger, her parents, her life and from missing her dead brother, Jude. And as far as hideouts go, Pan Beach is a pretty nice one. Even better is that within a few days of arriving at this seaside town, Gaby met and befriended Maggie, a local beauty still reeling from her own loss and looking for a roomie. And working at the local library isn’t such a bad way to keep productive and avoid constantly thinking on the car crash that killed Jude, and left her with permanent scars.

But Gaby’s grief is constant, and even after months in Pan Beach, Jude’s absence still keeps dragging her under. So Gaby starts writing about her dreams, and posting stories of them on a fiction-sharing website. Dreams about a beautiful sword-wielding, green-eyed boy and slobbering, hellish creatures that need beheading. Fantastical dark dreams, a literary glimpse into Gaby’s aching heart.

And then Gaby meets Rafa.

One night at the local bar Gaby spots him looking at her – and she can hardly believe it. He’s the boy, the beautiful sword-wielding, green-eyed boy from her dreams. He’s real, and within a few minutes of talking to him it becomes clear that he has been appearing in Gaby’s subconscious because she and Jude have met him before . . . except Gaby has no memory of him.

According to Rafa, he and Jude were best friends. He has holiday photos to prove it. And, according to Rafa, he and Gaby have never gotten along – in fact, the last time they spoke she gave him a broken nose. But Gaby has absolutely no recollection of this – much to Rafa’s anger. She leaves him, unamused by his cryptic talk and insistence on calling her ‘Gabriella’. But she can’t forget about him – his green eyes, nor the fact that he stepped out of her dreams and into reality.

As Maggie finds herself falling for a tourist called Jason, Gaby is in a similar situation with Rafa. Despite his infuriating suggestions that she is faking her memory loss, not to mention his enviable past friendship with Jude, Gaby is intrigued by him, and maybe even a little bit smitten . . .

And then she is attacked. A group of teenagers, no older than her, descend on her in a park late one night. And, like Rafa, they accuse Gaby of faking her memory loss – and demand that she start acting like herself, like Gabriella. This band of beautiful thugs even expect her to fight them (as though she could?) and when she doesn’t, she is thrown bodily and beaten bloody.

Rafa is there to help her recover – in the most inexplicable, incredible way. And so the truth slowly starts leaking out . . . Gaby’s past and her memories are not her own. She and Jude were in fact Rephaim – bastard children of fallen angels, fallen angels who centuries ago broke out of hell and are still on the run. It is the Rephaim’s task to find their fathers and bring them to justice – though Jude and Gaby found themselves of differing opinions regarding what to do with their fallen fathers once they were found.

Gaby’s memories are not her own, she is not even human. But she cannot remember her past as the Rephaim ‘Gabriella’, or what happened to Jude except that he is dead. Which begs the question – who (or what?) would take Gaby’s memories, kill Jude and try to assassinate her?

‘Shadows’ is the debut book from new Australian YA author, Paula Weston and the first in a new paranormal series called ‘The Rephaim’.

Now, I have read a lot of YA-angel books lately. They are one of many supernatural species in the overcrowded YA-paranormal scene, and I have read some truly brilliant angel books over the years, and some God-awful (pun totally intended) angel books. But I've got to make a big call and say that Paula Weston’s is, in my humble opinion, the best of the angelic bunch.

Told from Gaby Winters’s perspective, the book begins innocuously enough on Pandanus Beach in Queensland, where we meet our heroine whose thoughts are clouded with her dead twin, Jude, and a feeling of unease from the surrounding trees. We learn that Gaby has been living in Pan Beach for a few months, rooming with the beautiful Maggie who recently lost her father to cancer. In a bid to rid herself of dark dreams and a constant sense of dread, Gaby has been posting some of her short stories on a fiction website, a bit of purging literary catharsis. But when the boy from her dreams (and stories) turns up in a local bar, Gaby’s entire world is turned upside-down and inside-out . . . enter, Rafa.

With the appearance of this smirking, green-eyed boy comes the revelation that Gaby has lost huge chunks of her life since the car accident that also killed Jude – as Rafa explains that he is one of Jude’s oldest friends, and an unhappy acquaintance of Gaby’s. Confused by Rafa’s protestations that Gaby is Gabriella, and somehow ‘pretending’ to forget who she is and the infamous falling out she had with Jude – the situation is further compounded when she is attacked by sword-wielding teenagers who likewise call her Gabriella and expect her to fight back. Lo and behold, it is revealed that Gaby’s memories of an innocuous childhood with Jude, raised by loving if ambitious parents are all false – so too are the memories Gaby clings to of backpacking around the world with her twin before his death. All of them are a lie, presumably planted by whatever or whoever killed Jude, and tried to kill her too. The truth is far more complex, and closer to the stories Gaby has been writing . . . she is one of the Rephaim; progeny of fallen angels, now tasked with hunting those same angels down and returning them to hell.

My head is pounding.
‘What did Jude and I argue over?’
Rafa uses his thumb and forefinger to rub his eyes. ‘Does it matter?’
I wait.
Another sigh. ‘For the moment, let’s just say you, me and Jude, we’re part of a very large and dysfunctional . . . association. Within our ranks, there’s a difference of opinion about how to tackle a particular problem, and you and Jude chose different sides.’
That makes no sense. ‘And you and me?’
‘Not on the same side. The last time you saw me, you broke my nose.’

Paula Weston beautifully sets Gaby’s story up – leaving cluey breadcrumbs from page one and effectively hooking readers from the get-go. It helps that one of the biggest, tastiest breadcrumbs is bad-boy Rafa – whose appearance is the trigger that starts Gaby off on her quest to discover who she really is.

And Gaby’s true identity is a doozy – she is a Rephaite, offspring of fallen angels. The story, mired in the Hebrew Bible, goes that God’s fallen angels were sent to hell as punishment for their lustful ways: "Destroy all the souls addicted to dalliance, and the offspring of the Watchers...” (Book of Enoch). But centuries ago they escaped from hell and went on a lustful rampage across earth – impregnating thousands of mortal women before going into hiding. The product of those pregnancies were the Rephaim – not to be confused with the Nephilim (bastard children of Fallen Angels), because the Rephaim have dedicated their lives to the ‘Angel Garrison’ and hunting down their fallen fathers, to return them to their punishment. . .

In lots of angel-YA books, I do find that God is taken out of the story; which often makes sense. If you bring religion into anything it tends to confuse everything – and I have often praised angel-themed books for avoiding those murky waters and treating the angel species as just another, malleable supernatural group with their own mythology to be played around with – the same way that not all vampire books hold to the lore’s passed down by Bram Stoker (hello, sparkly Edward!). However, I think Paula Weston tips her hat more to the Biblical underpinnings of her angels, and the book is far more interesting for it.

The big guy (God) is mentioned in passing, and in a most plausible referential way that doesn’t entirely sweep him under the rug. What I’m talking about with relation to Weston’s angels is the rather pious attitudes of the Rephaim as Gaby gets to know a few of them and their cause. Turns out that ‘Gabriella’ and Jude were on different sides of the Rephaim’s hunt for the Fallen Angels – with very different views on how to live as the product of their lustful fathers, and opposing opinions on how to deal with the fallen when (or if) they are found. It’s interesting that a band of these Rephaim have dedicated their long, immortal lives to hunting down their fathers and living ‘pure’ in the meantime. There’s definitely lots of room for future explorations into the repercussions of a life dedicated to virtue, thanks to the sins of their fathers.

Paul Weston’s angelic world is an epic one – taking us from pretty Pan Beach, to picturesque Patmos and the snowy peaks of a Cliffside Italian monastery. The history surrounding her Rephaim is utterly compelling, and filled with enough Biblical-intrigue to warrant quite a hefty series . . . but it’s Weston’s characters that ultimately carry ‘Shadows’, and have me desperate for book number two.

Rafa and Gaby steal the show – or I should say their chemistry steals the show. Their quips and sharp wit come out like claws the moment they cross paths – but their biting repertoire masks a lot of lustful curiosity and delicious possibility. Even though Gaby doesn’t remember Rafa from her past, she’s intrigued by him – and, heck, she has been dreaming about him for months now! Rafa seems equally curious as to why this amnesiac Gaby doesn’t loathe him like the Gabriella he remembers. It’s certainly an interesting romantic conundrum for these two – and Paula Weston plays it beautifully. Even more interesting than Rafa and Gaby’s present-tense flirting is the slowly revealed truth about their past. . .

As much as I loved bad-boy Rafa (LOVED him!) and Gaby together, I also have a lot of praise for Weston’s secondary characters. Ruthless Rephaim like Daniel, Mya and Malachi are a rude-awakening for Gaby concerning her past. While her human friends; Maggie, Jason and Simon are a fantastic counter-balance to the fantastical goings-on in her life. I really look forward in future books, to how Gaby’s past will keep creeping up on her and how she now relates to her old Rephaim friends (more like frenemies?).

I really can’t praise ‘Shadows’ enough. It’s a tough, smart and refreshing new Australian paranormal YA, not to mention it’s the best angel-themed book I have read. I am so excited for book two in ‘The Rephaim’ series, and desperate for more Rafa.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,166 followers
June 30, 2015
I love finding a series that is already completed to read!

The very first, and most important thing about this book is the American to Australian translations. It really needs a glossary! Luckily, for me, they have a few slang words and sayings that the English use as well, so I knew those from having a husband from England. Here are a couple I didn't know, however: singlet apparently means an undershirt, like a wife-beater(?), and bitumen means pavement because it is asphalt, then doona, which is a quilt. Okay, now you can read!

no comprende photo: Comprende Comprende.gif

So, we meet Gaby, living in Australia, on a beach, with her best friend, Maggie. Gaby moved there after her twin brother was killed in a car accident, in which she was also terribly injured. She's grieving, but trying to get her life back together. She also has weird dreams about demon-killing that she writes stories about. Right before our story starts, she decides to enter her story in an internet contest in which she can win a lot of money. Bad idea!! But, she doesn't know that.

Now that her story is online, she suddenly starts meeting a bunch of strangers. One is a hunky guy that says he was a good friend of her late brother's. Some others are trying to kill her. They all say they know her, but she has no idea who they are. Then, the bombshell hits: she is a rephaim - half angel - and actually is a demon-killer. Her dreams are memories of her real life and everything she thinks about herself is a false, planted story. Talk about a wake-up call! Not only that, but the fictional guy she wrote in to her story, Matt, is the guy who showed up and said he was her brother's best friend. Another rephaim too.

"Why did you call me Matt?"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now that I know you, I realize I should have called that character Dick."

^ And, that is why I like Gaby! lol! I would totally say something like that myself!

She doesn't always do everything perfectly, but I like Gaby's character a lot. She is dealing with her very fast changing reality pretty well and tries to make thoughtful judgments on who to trust and what step to take next. She is loyal to Maggie, and makes one rash decision because of it, but she learns her lesson.

Rafa is also a great character. Apparently, him and Gaby had a stormy past and you can tell that he is more than a little happy that she doesn't remember that and is seeing him through fresh eyes. He is smart and seems to be trying to help Gaby more than the other rephaim. When Gaby starts to trust him above the others, especially the jerkwad Daniel, Rafa is super excited. I can't wait to watch this relationship grow - although I am guessing that somewhere down the line we will be hit with a bombshell from their past. It will break them up, then they will end up together in the end... just a guess.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,468 reviews291 followers
December 15, 2012
Here's what you need to know:

Gaby lost her brother in an accident. Ever since then, she's been plagued with visions that involved a bar fight where she had to fight monsters instead of the drunken disorderlies. Along side her is a charismatic man with green eyes but even that couldn't turn her nightmare into a dream. Turns out, the man in her visions is as real as it gets. At first, Rafa gave her hope of remembering everything she'd lost - he claims to know her brother, Jude. She was already drawn to him for inexplicable reasons but to give her a chance to get to know the side of Jude that she didn't know was reliving a life they used to have and didn't know existed. A day or two after that, Rafa's attitude changed: he insisted that Gaby was just playing up her amnesia. But she didn't have an amnesia. What she remembered about her brother was far from the actual events that Rafa knew happened. One revelation after another and Gaby was sure she was losing her mind. With the help of Rafa, she would have to overcome her denials and own up to the side of her that Rafa knew if there was any hope of finding out what really happened to her brother.

Here's what I think:

This solidified my love for the Aussies, yo. And not only that, I've just shortlisted Shadows along side Angelfall and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That's how much I loved this book! The story of The Fallen was just as addicting as the frustrating, budding romance between Rafa and Gaby. The best and the worst of these two is yet to come and I'm chomping at the bits to read about Gabe's life before the "accident". Though she hasn't regain her memories and therefore her prowess to kick some ass hasn't fully come back, Gaby showed that she could fight with the rest of the them.

Raphael (Rafa) reminds me of a sword-wielding Jace Wayland: sarcastic, funny and oh! HOT. Their interactions oozes with sexual tensions and yet you can tell that he's holding himself back. There's an apparent secret (of course!) that he's keeping and I think it's about the only thing that drove me bonkers while I was reading this book. I'm really interested to know what they were like before this book happened.

This is the second consecutive angel book that I've read in a week. The name Semyaza seemed like a popular character since he appeared in both books and played the same role. Rest assured, however, that the difference between Stained by Ella James and Shadows by Paula Weston ended there.

Weston gave this angel book more substance by taking the Book of Epoch's version of The Fallen and let her imagination do the writing. The product is a well-evolved, tightly woven plot that will not leave you with questions other than what she intended. It didn't end in a cliff hanger, which is just the way I like serial books to end. I love that she left me the kind of closure that paves the way for the installment.

Now, I've always been a fan of Australian authors but I haven't found a PNR read that I liked. This Aussie gem, however, just proved me wrong. Whether or not they can hold up their own in that particular sub genre remains to be seen. I can't just judge by reading one book but Shadows is certainly making a good case.

Paula Weston's version of the angels and demons lore is not something that I've read before. The combination of suspense, mystery, and a side order of romance will have you entranced if not addicted. I've mentioned this on Twitter before and I'll say it again: this book is the cream of the crop amongst the millions of angels book that's out there. Don't miss out on this one, folks!
Profile Image for Laura.
1,375 reviews207 followers
September 9, 2014

What do you do when everything you thought you knew about yourself, your heart, and world is shattered? Everything you’ve ever felt and survived is called into question. How do you wrap your head around THAT?

Gaby Winters moved to Pan Beach to get away, to start fresh after the loss of her brother. A year after the accident and the shocks just keep on coming though. One giant jolt of emotion arrives in the form of a gorgeous, cocky, infuriating mystery named Rafa. A guy that Gaby has been dreaming about for a year. Violent dreams filled with bloodshed and battles. Beheading beasts even! Gaby assumed the dreams and mayhem were a result of her pain and loss after the car accident that killed her twin brother, Jude. Gaby’s memories of the accident and before are fuzzy, so seeing Rafa suddenly in the flesh stirs up all sorts of questions and trouble. The world as Gaby knows it tilts, shifts, and goes all topsy turvey. Angels, demons, hell spawns and more all come out to play! But who is Gaby Winters? Who should she trust or believe?

Not easy questions to answer! Hell—I just read the book and I’m not sure what’s real, who’s telling the truth, or which version of events or story to believe? Gah! Paula Weston spins together half truths, answers, rumors, memories, and pain brilliantly! Just when you think you have an answer it gets ripped away. Always remember the source of the story. I don’t know who to trust. I know I want to trust Rafa—YES, okay. I confess. I have the biggest book crush on Rafa! I fell at first sight, damn him! Haha…But he is hiding a lot. Hiding behind his jackass ways and history. I liked all of these characters though—even the dicks, creeps, and guys with sticks ups their arses. :)

Strength, conviction, humor and loyalty are all on full display here. Ms. Weston can convey grief, power, and attraction with so few words. Short sentences with sparse, gritty language brings these characters and battles to life with force. At times with silence or just a touch—a hand on a lower back or twitch of a jaw muscle said it all. But this is one of my favorite moments….

As the tension builds, bodies and swords CLASH. Sparks and smart ass comments fly. And half angels, hellturds, humans, and more jump off the pages with menacing glares, smells, and power. The tension is dazzling! I really don’t want to say too much more. Just know that this battle has just begun. There is so much more to learn. Truths to be found. Sides to be taken. Is Gaby on the “right” side? Only time will tell. Or the next book! Which I pre-ordered about 100 pages into this one. I’m so addicted! Hooked! Consumed even! I know a book has me in its grasp when I daydream about scenes or possible endings. I can’t wait for more! CAN. NOT. WAIT.

Profile Image for Serena (The Book Comedian).
124 reviews167 followers
November 27, 2013
Dropped at 56%

I kept thinking it was going to get more interesting or else I would have dropped it a lot sooner.


I would just also like to point out that this author really knows her way around a garden. She uses words like esplanade, camphor laurels, jacaranda tree, poinciana tree, blah blah blah, etc. etc.
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