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A Life of Shadows

(The Redemption Saga #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  3,885 ratings  ·  331 reviews
Sawyer Matthews knows how to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving while the nightmares haunt her, and her own failures taunt her. She's become a master at doing awful things with good intentions, terrible things for the sake of those who need her. She's long given up on being the hero, trying to find peace in no longer being the villain.
When her past comes b
Kindle Edition, 382 pages
Published February 15th 2018
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Birdie O Saying RH is not polyamory is like saying a square is not a rectangle. RH is, by definition polyamory. Poly- = Many, Amory = loves. RH is merely a sub…moreSaying RH is not polyamory is like saying a square is not a rectangle. RH is, by definition polyamory. Poly- = Many, Amory = loves. RH is merely a subset of the larger grouping of polyamory. Some people believe that the main relationship being between the guys and girl is enough to be reverse harem, while the polyamory aspect of reverse harem would allow them to have other relationships. As long as all relationships are open and consensual, it does not negate the main relationship. While your definition is fairly restrictive, that does not make it the only definition. I'm not understanding what the question is, here. It seems you merely wanted a forum to point out your rather narrow point of view and take people to task for not adhering to it, as most people would see the content warning and move along. (less)

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Helen 2.0
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A Life of Shadows is entertaining. But to me, it didn't really stand out from the huge pile of fantasy RH released so far this year, and that means it failed to engage. The book has quite a few of the most common RH tropes: we're talking Mary Sue heroine, Terribly Tragic Past, MC training with the heroes, and an especially Evil Ex.

However, it does contain some less common elements, like M/M action, which served to make the read more fun and raised my expectations for more original cont
Marguerite (M)
Rating : 5 stars

I loved it. A Life of Shadows had everything on its side to make it absolutely fantastic.

1. Sawyer was an amazing character, very complex, strong, neither good nor bad. She was the soul of the book and while not always likeable, she was incredible.
2. It's dark. But even darker would have been perfect.
3. It has action and Sawyer is really strong. Meaning she's not weaker than the guys so they can play Knights in shining armor. She is the strongest, period.
4. Wolves pet. That has t
Jesus in a handbasket this was awesome. Dark and hard and lovely and sweet and heartbreaking. A Life of Shadows was one of the best books I’ve read in a WHILE (it even squeezed a few tears from my cold rock of a heart). All of the characters were 3 dimensional, reactions were believable, the MC knew what was going on the the boys had to play catch up (and the more they knew, the less they wanted to figure it all out for real. They wanted the answers, but were a little worried to know). They figu ...more
A Life Of Shadows was an entertaining and interesting kind of read. However, Sawyer was complicated. Sawyer was hilarious yet overly complicated. She was a complete bad ass who took shit from no one. I absolutely loved her. I loved her relationships with each guy but I was expecting a hell of a lot more when it comes to reverse harem.

This must've been the kiddie version because there was zero smut! NOTHING. NADA! ZILCH PEOPLE. I was highly disappointed. I would'v accepted like 5% smut.. yet kiss
Al *the semi serial series skipper*
2.5 Stars

I didn't like this book, it was very cliche. Sawyer could do about everything, all the guys feel a connection to her, they all got on with each other. It was just there.

I did enjoy that we had a black heroine and that earns it two stars alone.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rh
Spoilers ahead, 2. 75* NOT quite 3

Continuing my RH streak but I'm really struggling with this 😭 one

I really shouldn't have continued, I will say there's nothing WONG with this book but it just didn't work for me
Book 1 was the word building and back story etc- I was bored a lot. No real romance
Book 2 was actually all about a case the team got and it's resolution. Some romantic development, I THINK she's slept with 2 of the guys
Book 3- I quit this maybe about half way through? By then she's still
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
What I expected

Kick ass characters

Kick ass action

Magic and well, a lot of ass kicking.

This was not delivered. Instead, it was a book about a whole lot of feelings and thoughts [yawn].

Needless to say I was disappointed in this book. The author could “write” but she didn’t have a story to tell. Here, you had a heroine that was supposedly a tough, bad ass chick with a bad temper. The only thing she was bad ass at was training. The only action you got from her was the first chapter (of

Mada Linx
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Good read, enjoyed it, but felt like something was missing.

I’ll continue with the series.
Sakina Carter
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book. First being a black woman who reads so much, I find it refreshing to read a paranormal book where the main h is not your typical pale female because the world is made up of many beautiful people.

Now I absolutely loved Sawyer. I think what I loved the most about this book is that it dealt with the gritty real world. It didn't shy away from the harsh realities of the dark world because unfortunately there are many dark things going on in this world.

Looking forward
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. And I adored Sawyer, she is the kind of heroine we should see more often.
Just as good the second time around. Off to read A Heart of Shame and can't wait!

See Edit below.

Wow. Best damn thing I have read in ages. Compelling world-building and a complex, kick-ass heroine to boot. Plenty of tension and an engrossing backstory.

I enjoyed the Wild Pride series, though it had its issues, but Kristen Banet has clearly grown by leaps and bounds as an author. This was beautifully done. Well, except that it needs a good line edit to fix all the prepositions, determiners and othe
Dr. Shaz
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rh, urban-fantasy
4.5 Stars... I would have probably given it 5, but there were a lot of editing errors that started to annoy me.

Sawyer is a totally kick ass heroine with a skewed moral compass. She has had a horrid past that as it starts to unfold, you can't help but feel for her. However, she is definitely not a victim or a damsel, she is a survivor who embraces her darkness, and has worked hard to ensure that she is strong enough to face her demons if/when the time comes. She is a richly written character and
Princess J. Antoinette
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The beginning was kinda slow but hey what do you expect when your building your characters and their relationships. So I give it a pass.

I like this book "SO FAR" because the heroine is a BADASS and doesn't take sh*t from anyone!!! And yes she's a freaking HERO to many. But as much as she's a badass she can also be and show vulnerability when applicable. And don't even get me started on the heroes... oh boy do they ever step back and let her shine!

Overall rating:
Jessica Robbins
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-kindle

Wow just wow. Sawyer is one amazing lead character. She kicks butt without anyone's help and has a huge secret that could destroy her life. As Axel hints her down she taken by a group of men that could end up being her salvation. There are so many twists and turns in this story that I don't even know where to start except to say that it will totally blow your mind. I am completely invested in the story now and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one to see what happens next. I loved e
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This book started off rocky. I almost stopped reading it. But I am glad I got through it! This is definitely a series i want to follow!
Matilde Damkier
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very surprisingly good read. I wished it'd had a little more romance, but I guess that comes with the sequel. Can't wait! ...more
I tore through this book, loved it.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reverse-harem
I actually really liked this book.

It was soo... raw in emotion.
Something I heavily love in my reading material.

I can’t really say much, there’s not much to say. Usually when I love a series I either have many words or I have none.

Today, I have-


Sawyer: I actually don’t like her name. For some reason the names really have to connect with the character for me... for it to fully encompass in my mind. Now, Shadow, I can get behind. She’s so much more of a
Kel Carpenter
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I rarely geek out about a book but this one was sooooo good. Seriously. It earned every damn star. There's very little "sexy times" involved with this one but the story itself is just so damned good. We get a great introduction to the heroine and her dark past. Her abilities are unique and refreshing. She is a good person that does bad things, and you know what? I can get behind it all. The only part I had a little grievance with was when she just started to go along with what the guys wanted. I ...more
Danielle (Danniegurl)
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A decent start to a new series.

It was slow going but I’m excited to see how this plays out.

I kinda get Sawyer, but sometimes I don’t.

This one is interesting because the author glosses over a lot, but in a way I don’t completely mind. However I think I’ll have more issues if it becomes more common.

I like all the potential H’s and I have no idea if she’s supposed to end up with them all but I can’t wait to see what happens this is the set up book, the one to get us started.
I’m intrigued. I want to read more.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sawyer is complicated. She's a thief with impressive magi powers. Thievery is just to pay the bills and save up enough money to one day retire far away, oh and fund the youth outreach program that she heads up in NYC, where she teaches young people self-defense to avoid abusive relationships. She has a tendency to beat the crap out of the abusers while the kids are learning to protect themselves. Sawyer enjoys helping others, but you get the impression it is to atone for something in her past.
Teneille Pryce
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Banet really kept me on the edge. When the truth came out I was like, "knew it, but now confirmed,"
I got to say it, I really like Sawyer. Her skills, her personality, her MENTALITY. Girl is a 10/10. The guys were cool and I had a good time. I'm definitely looking forward to book 2. Finding out why NY was a kind of neutral zone and seeing more about the world. Also, getting to know the guys better. Despite being book 1 I got a firm grip on the characters. I always mix up the guys in rh. Especiall
Michelle Connor
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really grabbed a hold of my heart strings. I loved the way the author cast her characters as flawed and not 100 percent good, but made you care. This book hit on a lot of topics from violence and abuse in a beautiful twisted way. I'm really looking forward to following the story and getting to know more about the characters ...more
Birdie O
I liked it.  A lot.  This series may just fill a hole that I've dug in my devouring of urban fantasy books.  I've pretty much given up on the genre after a multitude of "badass" characters, women (or girls) that turned out to be annoying, sometimes bitchy, and ultimately pridefully stupid damsels in distress, but The Redemption Saga may actually redeem the genre.

To start with, Kristen Banet's book, A Life of Shadows, is the start of a new, grittier urban fantasy/supernatural thriller series.  Al
Viki /LostForReal/
I wasn't sure cause her other book was kind of nice just not that great but then I saw it's RH with m/m elements and I was all...

False alarm. The series is actually even... let's just say it didn't caught my attention quite like it should have or could have.

Though I can also tell you it managed to do what few romance books - and ever fewer RH books do - wait. As in, you have to wait to see them do... anything, actually. Which is like major points with a healthy dose of confusion.
Sawyer has a pretty rocky past, and she's done some very horrible things, but when she does her best to go into hiding and help out kids that need it things start looking up. Until, her past comes back to haunt her. Now, she needs to stop the evil before it spreads, and she has a team of people to help her do it, but they don't know the truth or what she really is, and it will be a disaster if they find out, or will it?

This book was really really good. I was totally surprised, and I adored it. T
Feb 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (2/2/2019)! 🎁

Sawyer Matthews knows how to put one foot in front of the other, to keep moving while the nightmares haunt her, and her own failures taunt her. She's become a master at doing awful things with good intentions, terrible things for the sake of those who need her. She's long given up on being the hero, trying to find peace in no longer being the villain.
When her past comes back and she finds herself caught by the International Magi Police Organization, she
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Depending how they written RH books are either a hit or miss depending on your choice of reading material and since mine coincided with every word that I read,I became addicted early.If you like a darker more tortured heroine than you are going to love this one.As with RH books the male characters are the candy.There is no cheating.The heroine was familiar with two of the male characters but they were separated when they were all about 15 years old when she was adopted and eventually disappeared ...more
Heather Gilbert
I first read this book back in 2018.... and somehow didn't write a review for it? SHAME! I just finished a reread and my thoughts back then are the same now.... this series is amazing! Sawyer is a strong character with a broken soul just trying to survive. The guys she fins herself with (quite unwillingly, btw) all have their own issues and pasts... and they all somehow meld together to make a cohesive picture that is far more bloody than anyone could like.

Great book, great series, highly recom
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Kristen Banet has a Diet Coke problem and smokes too much. She curses like a sailor (though, she used to be one, so she uses that as an excuse) and finds that many people don’t know how to handle that. She loves to read, and before finally sitting to try her hand at writing, she had your normal kind of work history. From tattoo parlors, to the U.S. Navy, and freelance illustration, she’s stumbled ...more

Other books in the series

The Redemption Saga (5 books)
  • A Heart of Shame (The Redemption Saga, #2)
  • A Nature of Conflict (The Redemption Saga, #3)
  • An Echo of Darkness (The Redemption Saga, #4)
  • A Night of Redemption (The Redemption Saga, #5)

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