(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick's Reviews > A Sliver of Shadow

A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang
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Originally posted at http://www.smexybooks.com/2012/03/rev...

Favorite Quote: “Do you think the powers that be would mind if I asked them to make sure the next apocalypse takes place later in the day? Maybe around teatime?.“

A brief recap of book one. May spoil if you haven’t read.

Brush Of Darkness, the first book in the Abby Sinclair series, completely captivated me with its mad cap Alice In Wonderland storyline and indelible characters. Deliciously dark and wickedly funny, we are introduced to Abby Sinclair, a mortal bound into service of the fae. Known as a Touchstone, her gift allows her to keep the fae she is contracted with in the mortal realm. When her employer goes missing, Abby risks her life to save her boss and friends and meets the delectable Brystion. Circumstances force Abby to make some difficult choices and results in a unbridgeable rift between her and Bryston.

A Sliver of Shadow picks up a few weeks after Brush Of Darkness ended. Abby’s employer, Moira, is at the Faery Court to give testimony against a fellow fae’s acts of treason. This leaves Abby in charge of the shop and Benjamin. Oh, how I love Benjamin. A woman arrives at the shop, claiming she is Abby’s new boss, and tries to be spell her with disastrous consequences. The Queen of the Fae, spiraling deeper into her insanity, feels the spell attempted against Abby, takes it as an act of war, and closes the door between the Fae and mortal realm. And refuses to reopen it. With the Fae, trapped in the mortal realm, and beginning to fade, Abby appeals to Brystion to help.

“So what do I do?”
“I don’t know, but I owe nothing to the Faery Court regardless of their assumptions. And this mess is of their own making.”
“Then it’s become my mess too.” I straightened up. “And if your not willing to help us, I have to go. I’ve got things to do. A world to save. You know-the usual.”
“I am sorry Abby, but regardless of the situation, I will not get involved this time.”
“You do what you think best Ion. So will I.”

Abby, Talivar, Melinda, and Phin travel to the crossroads to try and reverse the spell. This path eventually leads them to the Faery Court. As Abby fights her way towards the answers she needs to re open the door; she learns more about her family, her friends, the dreaming, and the destiny fate has in store for her. A fate that will demand the ultimate sacrifice from her.

Oh Abby, Abby, Abby. I have honestly never met a character who deserves so much and gets so little in return. If there was a character that I would totally kick arse for, it would be her. A strong, intelligent, independent woman who uses her impressive powers of snark for good and loves bacon and Tom Jones. I mean, how could you NOT love her? She invokes a protective feeling in me. Her loyalty and honor are above reproach. She lives, loves, and fights from the heart and when dealing with the Fae, that’s just asking for trouble. We are given a deeper understanding to her emotional state; from her hurt at Brystion’s leaving to the fears that inhabit her dreaming heart.

The world Ms. Pang has created is an intricate blending of reality and dreams that is built completely on deception, betrayal, and jealousy. Convoluted and ever expanding, Ms Pang continues to divulge deeper into Abby’s past, future and and present. A strong character driven fantasy, every action is suspect, each word a double edge sword, and everyone a study in Machiavellian practices. Witty and snarky dialogue will keep you in stitches though it is more serious this time around.

On sudden impulse, I reached out to stroke the perfect point of his ear.
“You do realize that’s the elvish equivalent of cupping my balls, right?”
I jerked my hand away. I hadn’t meant to be that forward. “Apparently my knowledge of basic elven anatomy is lacking. Sorry.”
“Something we will have to remedy, no doubt.”

Ms. Pang’s wonderful voice resonates through here, breathing life into the story. She elevates a common theme of a human, with no super normal powers, fighting for a supernatural world. A brilliant mixture of unpredictability that keeps you riding the edge with each new development. The story reads fast and easy even as you fall head first down the rabbit hole. The plot and multiple sub plots build slowly through out, each adding intrigue and suspense as the tension spirals tighter and tighter only to explode in a climatic ending that leaves you speechless with shock.

To me, sacrifice is the underlying theme of this storyline. Friendship, love, honor, life. It asks the question over and over in many different ways; what would you do for the ones you love? We are gifted with an intimate view of what true sacrifice is in here and it leaves you both elated and saddened as one by one, each character answers that question.

The secondary characters are explosive with their richly developed personalities. New and old are here; from bodyguard angels, to WoW playing demons; each one plays an important part in the overall development of the story. Closely guarded secrets and agendas are beginning to unravel, leaving Abby to wonder who she can really trust. The smexy, brooding Brystion continues to tempt and taunt Abby while Talivar shows Abby a completely different side of himself and she begins to see a kindred soul in him. The sexual tension that runs between Abby, Talivar, and Brystion is delicious as the love triangle begins to make itself known.

Brystion snorted. “He’s only using you. The Fae are good at that, I’ve noticed.”
“I was there the morning you let her go, “ Taliver retorted. “Why shouldn’t I retrieve what you so casually threw away?”

Phin delights us as he struts, flounces, and generally annoys everyone with his running commentary of his sexual exploits. We see a more serious side to him though when a few secrets he’s been keeping are revealed. Melanie has to be my favorite character as she is a true friend to Abby and tries to so hard to protect and help her navigate this dangerous world.

The Wild Music had been released. The daemons eyed her warily. Nobu grasped her arm, silencing the music. “You cannot break this Contract.”
“You have no idea what I can do.”

The ending had me laughing, crying, and shaking my fist at Ms. Pang. She tosses us off into the abyss, leaving us to free fall until the release of book three. I will admit that the ending confused me. I re read it three times, discussed it with another blogger, then broke down and contacted Allison. It’s not I didn’t understand what happened but more that I didn’t understand why. Also, I’m having a little trouble with the love triangle aspect even with its wonderful sexual tension. I’m not a fan of love triangles in Urban Fantasy; especially when they look strong enough to become a long standing part of the arc. I am hoping I’m wrong because I would like the arc to continue to focus on Abby and her journeys in the OtherWorld and not fight against a continuing love triangle.

Regardless though, I cannot recommend this series enough to readers who are looking for an imaginative urban fantasy series that hits all the high notes and then some. Ms. Pang has delivered a worthy sequel to Brush Of Darkness and I for one cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in book three, a tentative release date is October 2012 with title to be announced. I don not recommend starting the series here. The arc is evolving and continues on with no re caps from the previous installment.

Overall Rating: B+
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by QueenB (new)

QueenB LOL, you had me at beating people down for it :P

Jamie Was it THAT good? Oh, I hope so!

(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick Jamie wrote: "Was it THAT good? Oh, I hope so!"

Better then the first for me. And I LOVED the first one

Jamie I didn't love the first one, but I liked it very much. Please say Brystion at least makes an appearance in this one! I already have it pre-ordered and will be waiting patiently :)

(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick Jamie wrote: "I didn't love the first one, but I liked it very much. Please say Brystion at least makes an appearance in this one! I already have it pre-ordered and will be waiting patiently :)"


Jamie Hey - all that waiting for Brystion when now I'm rooting for Talivar ;-)

(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick Jamie wrote: "Hey - all that waiting for Brystion when now I'm rooting for Talivar ;-)"

*snicker* I don't know who I'm rooting for anymore.

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