Publisher: Indigo/Orion Books
Publication date: 3rd January 2013
My rating: 5 stars
Love. Nightmares. Angels. War. A fast-paced, compelling debut novel from a fresh new voice in YA.
It's been 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?
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.