Shadows [The Rephaim #1] by Paula Weston

Publication Date: July 2nd, 2012
Text Publishing
Format: Paperback, 388 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
It’s 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?

Here’s what you need to know:

Gaby lost her brother in an accident. Ever since then, she’s been plagued with visions that involved a bar fight where she had to fight monsters instead of the drunken disorderlies. Along side her is a charismatic man with green eyes but even that couldn’t turn her nightmare into a dream. Turns out, the man in her visions is as real as it gets. At first, Rafa gave her hope of remembering everything she’d lost – he claims to know her brother, Jude. She was already drawn to him for inexplicable reasons but to give her a chance to get to know the side of Jude that she didn’t know was reliving a life they used to have and didn’t know existed. A day or two after that, Rafa’s attitude changed: he insisted that Gaby was just playing up her amnesia. But she didn’t have an amnesia. What she remembered about her brother was far from the actual events that Rafa knew happened. One revelation after another and Gaby was sure she was losing her mind. With the help of Rafa, she would have to overcome her denials and own up to the side of her that Rafa knew if there was any hope of finding out what really happened to her brother.

Here’s what I think:

This solidified my love for the Aussies, yo. And not only that, I’ve just shortlisted Shadows along side Angelfall and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That’s how much I loved this book! The story of The Fallen was just as addicting as the frustrating, budding romance between Rafa and Gaby. The best and the worst of these two is yet to come and I’m chomping at the bits to read about Gabe’s life before the “accident”. Though she hasn’t regain her memories and therefore her prowess to kick some ass hasn’t fully come back, Gaby showed that she could fight with the rest of the them.

Raphael (Rafa) reminds me of a sword-wielding Jace Wayland: sarcastic, funny and oh! HOT. Their interactions oozes with sexual tensions and yet you can tell that he’s holding himself back. There’s an apparent secret (of course!) that he’s keeping and I think it’s about the only thing that drove me bonkers while I was reading this book. I’m really interested to know what they were like before this book happened.

This is the second consecutive angel book that I’ve read in a week. The name Semyaza seemed like a popular character since he appeared in both books and played the same role. Rest assured, however, that the difference between Stained by Ella James and Shadows by Paula Weston ended there.

Weston gave this angel book more substance by taking the Book of Epoch’s version of The Fallen and let her imagination do the writing. The product is a well-evolved, tightly woven plot that will not leave you with questions other than what she intended. It didn’t end in a cliff hanger, which is just the way I like serial books to end. I love that she left me the kind of closure that paves the way for the installment.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of Australian authors but I haven’t found a PNR read that I liked. This Aussie gem, however, just proved me wrong. Whether or not they can hold up their own in that particular sub genre remains to be seen. I can’t just judge by reading one book but Shadows is certainly making a good case.

Paula Weston’s version of the angels and demons lore is not something that I’ve read before. The combination of suspense, mystery, and a side order of romance will have you entranced if not addicted. I’ve mentioned this on Twitter before and I’ll say it again: this book is the cream of the crop amongst the millions of angels book that’s out there. Don’t miss out on this one, folks!

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