Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review + Giveaway: Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla

Published Date: December 6th, 2011
Finished Date: January 21st, 2012
Publisher: Signet Eclipse/NAL
Format: Paperback
Pages: 317
Series: Shaede Assassin #1
My Rating: 4/5

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

My Review

My Summary

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...

My Thoughts

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.

Random Musings:

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.

My Rating

Giveaway Time!

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. It's nice to see you still find some time amidst the busy celebration of CNY to review this book! Haha:D As always, great review Yet Peng! It's nice to know other people's thoughts on the book that I read.:) I think in some ways or another, Darian is attracted to Xander. If she doesn't have feeling for Tyler in the first place, maybe she will give in to Xander's seduction however taboo or sick that may be.
    Anyway Happy Chinese New Year Yet Peng! :D

    1. Hahaha, thanks, Ayana! I've actually put off writing this review for quite a few days already actually, that's why I was afraid that my initial feelings for the book will fade, so I quickly typed it up.

      Yes, Darian's definitely attracted to Xander. (She'd better be!! Hehe) I don't know why that taboo didn't affect me at all. I just don't care about it, and I want her to pick him even though I know Ty's better for her.:(

      Haha, anyway, Happy Chinese New Year to you too, Ayana! Hope you're having a good time and fully utilizing this two public holidays! :P

    2. I vote for Tyler!! haha:D But knowing Xander he will not easily give up isn't he? :p hehehe I got the feeling that there will be a lot of things are gonna happen to three of them and Xander still has lots of chances with Darian! And I admit it, I kinda like Xander too. They both are equally HOT! ;D Man, that's a tough choice! HAHAHA

    3. Xander'd better not! Or I will personally kill him myself. Muahahaha. They ARE hot! Haha. Man, steaming! Oh, y'know what, y'know what? I was emailing Ms Bonilla just now, she told me that she's writing book 3 now and when I told her that I miss Xander, she said there will be A LOT OF HIM IN BOOK 3!!!! YESS! I totally just spazzed in my sit when I saw that. Haha.

  2. Great review! I have this book on my wishlist and your review makes me want to read it even more:)

    1. Hey, thanks, Maria! It IS great, haha, hope you'll enjoy it when you do get to reading it! (And good luck in the giveaway!:))

  3. The cover for this book and the sequel are so nicely detailed. Thank you for hosting this giveaway Cyp :)

    1. Hey, thanks, Na! The best compliments to a reviewer are always when their reviews ger praised. Hehehe:X And you're welcome!

  4. This book sounds great! thanks for the great review and giveaway!

  5. I have this book on my wish list because first the cover caught my eye and then the storyline. I appreciated your thoughts on the book.

    Thanks for sharing your review!

    1. Yeah! I absolutely love the cover! Darian's so badass on it! It' what attracted me first.:D

  6. Fab review!
    Cheers for the opportunity :-)
    TToria @ ttoria.blogspot.com

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. thanks so mcuh for making this international!
    great review! and i love the cover its like a scene from a movie!
    gfc follower

    1. Yes! It's so totally awesome, and Darian's in the midst of pulling her katana out...SLUNG ON HER BACK! Hehehe. I've always liked the sliding-sword-from-back move. :P Thanks and welcome, Oriana!:)

  9. I am so pleased to have found your blog and thank you for such an amazing book giveaway. I am in concequence very upset that i am not a member of 'facebook' or other similar sites, but i would still be very apreciative if i could be entered for this book giveaway.

    Many Thanks

    From: Miss. Lucinda Fountain x

    1. No no, it's ok. Following Amanda isn't compulsory, it's just a way to thank her for giving away the book.:) You can still enter the competition by the "Initial Entry" option where you just have to leave your snail mail addy. I hope that clears up some of your doubts! Thank you for following and participating, Lucinda!:)

  10. Excellent blog post. Thanks for the review. Looking forward to read it.

  11. This sounds like a good start to a series. I will have to try it when I feel the mood for an urban fantasy. Great detailed review.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews

    1. Hahaha. I am very much the mood reader too! Thanks for the compliments, and looking forward to your review when you do read it!:)

  12. Thanks for the giveaway! sounds awesome

  13. Hey! I was just wondering, how do you fill out the form? I can't seem to find it sorry...

    1. Are you using Internet Explorer? IE's giving me some trouble lately.. You can try viewing this page in Mozilla Fox or Google Chrome. If you don't want to download those, then try refreshing the page and the form should load up properly. Hope this helps!

  14. Thanks you so much for this interesting giveaway ^^

    all the best

  15. Thank you for this amazing giveaway :)

    Best regards, Diana :)

  16. sounds a good read, magickmarz@aol.com

  17. I can't put my entire address... so I wrote my email =)

    1. Ohh.. and of course thank you so much for this... great review!

    2. Haha, address too long? And thanks for the compliment!:)


A Bookalicious Story is now an award-free zone! Thank you for thinking about me tho, really!

I love comments. :) I may not be able to reply every single comment, but know that I read and appreciate every one of them. Thank you!

Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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