Saturday, February 18, 2012

Amanda Bonilla: Shaedes Of Gray

In her debut novel Amanda Bonilla introduces the reader to a new world where the light and dark may not be what you expect.

Darian was made, loved and then left by her creator Azriel. Darian needed to learn how to survive on her own and with her unique skills of a shaede becoming an assassin was the perfect fit. As far as Darian has known she is the last of her kind or of any paranormal creature as she has never met another. But then a hit goes wrong, Darian is plunged into a world she knows nothing about. All of a sudden there are other individuals on the same playing field as her and her next target may be her final job. Darian is never one to turn down a job or leave one unfinished but this next one could end up being her last as there are others who would like to see Darian disappear permanently.

When I read the first few pages of this book, I thought that I had accidentally picked up a paranormal romance by mistake. The book starts off with some sexual tension and past romantic encounters that I was not expecting occur at the very beginning and I thought about putting the book down. However, I did not and I am glad that I continued to read as I did enjoyed the book in the end. The novel does have some dark and gritty edge to it, but not enough for me to forget the romance aspect that was throughout the book.

 I loved the world and new paranormal "creatures"  that Bonilla created. I really really liked that she introduced something new into the paranormal genre. I have never read about Shaedes or Lyhtan before and it is just refreshing to read something new. Shaedes have the ability to slip into darkness of night or the shadows of the day making them invisible, basically going from solid into a shadow. Very interesting talent and the Lyhtan who are the enemies of the Shaedes have the opposite ability. They are able to disappear in the light of day, which is good because they are not beautiful like the Shaedes, Lyhtans are ugly beast-insect type creates. Shaedes also have other talents but they were not a elaborated on as the slipping into/becoming a shadow and I am interested to learn more about what Shaedes can do.

I liked Darian as an interesting character, but within her character is what I disliked most about this book. I found that Darian was too Man-Crazy for me. I do not know how many times one has to read about how good Tyler looks or how Xaniers' voice was very seductive. In my opinion I think that the story and plot would have been better without the constant man neediness but yet having Darian state that she did not want a man in her life. It is this constant battle that Darian has which distracts from the dangers that are occurring around her and makes her more vulnerable to her enemies. Other than her constant thoughts about some men, I  liked the rest of Darian's character. She is strong, adaptive and not as annoying as I have found other female characters within the paranormal genre. Bonilla did enough in giving Darian the ability to speak her mind and protect those around her but not in a bitchy or  know-it-all way. I also enjoyed that Darian makes fun of herself and her winning personality, made me laugh a few times.

This is a good debut novel. I think those who like a paranormal novel that has a mixture of romance and action will really enjoy this book and find it as a great debut. Although Bonilla brings something new and different to the paranormal genre, I think readers who do not like romance in their paranormal books, may want to skip this one as the romance is present in almost every scene and plot line within the book. I will read the next book in the series because I am interested in knowing more about the Shaede world as I found this the most interesting aspect within the novel and just hope the romance aspect is not as overpowering in the next book.


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