Finished Date: January 21st, 2012
Publisher: Signet Eclipse/NAL
Series: Shaede Assassin #1
My Rating: 4/5
Darian is a Shaede made by another - a past lover, in fact, one that abandoned her almost a century ago. She's the last of her kind, or so she was led to believe, and with only stealth in her arsenal, she trains herself to be one of the best assassins in the field. She can become incorporeal after twilight, and move in the shadows as nothing more than a ghost.
Tyler has been a long-standing friend (a friend who makes her body feel all warm and flushed) and agent who informs her of her new targets/marks. And this time, her mark happens to be a man named Xander Peck. Nothing special, just a name that isn't commonly heard of. Just another man that has pissed off someone with the goods to hire her services. But when she was about to deliver the killing stroke, Xander slips into the shadows. That's when her world tilts around and she finds out she's no longer the last of her kind.
Xander turns out to be the King of the Shaedes, and her assignment was actually a test. Now, Xander - or should I say, High King Alexander - is training her up for his real task, for her next target may just be one of the most powerful Shaedes alive. That, and someone whom she may have known quite intimately in the past...
I have to say that SOG is really a "my" type of book - witty, kickass heroine who has awesome powers, a friend that has always looked out for her, another more powerful, high-ranking love interest comes along, and amidst the love triangle troubles, nothing's better than a big and complex plot to up the thrill and suspense. Typical for a PNR novel, but the idea of the Shaede, well that is very unique, and very cool. The only regrettable thing was Darian didn't pick the guy that I was rooting for! But that is for a later paragraph to elaborate.
Darian was witty, snarky, and a girl who sticks up for herself. She is the master of her own decisions, and she will allow no one to be her king, or to make her a pawn of some twisted game for power. I think that's what attracted the attention of the King of the Shaedes himself. Haha, she sure is one special and beautiful woman.
As far as the love interests goes..I'm a fan of love triangles. Not all of them though, cause some of them are just insufferably immature, and in a lot of cases the protagonists are highly self-centered as they get all frustrated with life when they have more than one person vying for their attention, and they go all, "Life is tough." Yeah, ok, have you seen what other people in Third World countries have to go through? That's tough, so suck it up. But as for Tyler, Xander, and Darian, they're all awesome. Tyler's sweet and fiercely-protective in his own silent way, but he is also funny and easygoing; Xander is intense, highhanded, powerful, but very romantic and male; Darian is scared to surrender to the fragile thing that is love, is unsure of what love truly is, or if the thing that she's feeling is actually love at all after what happened in the past. The confusion on Darian's part was very well-written. I used to think 'How can you be unsure if what you're feeling is love or not?', but after seeing what happened to her, it became believable.
The plot was good, not a "WOW!" kind of impressive, but not bad. There was quite some overlaying storylines, and the main point to the storyline only surfaced towards the middle of the book, but I had fun getting to know the characters. After knowing who's the read baddy in here, there was constant action, deceptions - and betrayals and lies..lots and lots of 'em - and the likes! And all that excitement escalated till the end where I just couldn't tear my attention away from the book; I HAD to know where the story went, and how it concluded. And now that the conclusion is read, damn if I don't want to get my hands on the sequel.
However, there were a few questions that I had when I was reading:
1) When Darian just met Xander and they were still strangers to each other, Darian divulged all her personal information to Xander when he asked for it without question. Maybe not all, but she did spill quite a lot. Which is weird, even more so since she's a skilled assassin who has lived in solitude for the past century.
2) It was mentioned that Lyhtans - the counterpart of a Shaede, which means they can slip into the light and be invisible as long as the sun shines, and also the enemies of the Shaede - are easily controlled. Well, if they were so easily manipulated, why aren't they under the control of the good people? Why are they, so coincidentally, under the influence of the bad Shaede?
3) Midway through the book, Darian was attacked by a Lyhtan and was lying in bed unconscious. But when she started to wake, she heard Tyler and Xander quarrelling and she referred to the two voices as "two of my favourite voices". Thing is, she keeps mentioning how much she dislikes Xander for lying to her, for treating her like one of his subjects, and now you're telling me his is one of your favourite voices? Really?
Actually, other than those, the book was very enjoyable. I loved Bonilla's humor and her writing style. She is consistent and I often find myself laughing along with the characters. There was only one sex scene in SOG, but let me assure all Romance-junkies out there - have no fear, the sexual tension in here is as good as any panties-combusting scene.
Overall, SHAEDES OF GREY is an amazing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance novel packed full of fast-paced action, suspense, witty humor, sarcastic and kickass heroine, love triangle that'll leave you feeling so conflicted as to who to side with, a complex plot with curveballs at every turn, and betrayals and deceptions that will leave you reeling hours after you've put down the book. Even though the plot was a little typical, it was still fun, intense and never dull; A real page-turner, indeed.
Don't you find it freaking cool that the word "Shaedes" in the title Shaedes of Gray is so unique that you don't even have to type the full title of the book in search engines or book stores or Goodreads to search for the book? It's the one and only one that shows up in the results.
Ms Bonilla and NAL are so generously giving away a PRINT copy of Shaedes of Gray to an INTERNATIONAL winner. No strings attached, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below and you're good to go!
*Just a reminder: All ABS giveaway winners will be announced on ABS's Facebook page. So be sure to check back!
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