About the book
Shadows is the first book in the Rephaim series by Paula Weston. It was published by Indigo on 3rd January and the book is 400 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy.
Synopsis (Taken from Goodreads.com)
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?
What I thought
I have been so into reading contemporary young adult or new adult novels recently that I haven't read much else. When I finally needed a bit of a break, I picked up Shadows by Paula Weston. I love a good book about angels and had heard so many good things about this one. Once I started reading this one, I couldn't stop.
Shadows follows Gaby, a girl recovering after being in a terrible car accident that killed her brother. Due to what happened in the crash, although the sun and living in Pandanus Beach has healed her body, she is still quite broken. Gaby can barely remember anything but she has strange dreams filled with a seriously hot guy and fighting demons. Even though it is clear from the beginning of this book that Gaby had a whole load of problems, I loved her. She is witty and quick with the one liners and is one hell of a fiery character. Her narrative voice is a strong one and along with Paula Weston's beautiful writing, this girl had me hooked.
Once Rafa appeared, things got a whole lot more exciting. Immediately, I was drawn to him, much like Gaby. He has the whole bad boy thing going on and an attitude to go with it. Rafa is such a complicated character due to many different things. The plot of this book is quite complicated but once things are explained, it becomes clear why Rafa acts the way he does. I really liked getting to know Rafa and to be able to decide for myself what kind of guy I thought he was... apart from being smoking hot of course.
There were a few things which really made this book stand out for me. One: it is set in Australia. I think there are only maybe 2 or 3 other books that I have read that are set here and Shadows was a most welcome change in scenery. I get a bit bored of reading books set in America all of the time, and even those set in the UK too. Two: Paula Weston's mythology is outstanding. There is a hell of a lot of background information weaved into this book but Weston does it in such a way that it is not daunting or intimidating at any point. The mythology was so intricate and detailed that I just wanted to know more all of the time.
Not only does Shadows have a great basic plot, but there is a lot of action involved too. Seriously, this book is so fast paced at times and I didn't know if I was coming or going... in the best possible way. There is a lot going on and Shadows is paced extremely well. While there is time given to explanations, there is time given to the super exciting parts too, which I couldn't get enough of. I think that this is one of the most well paced books I have read in quite some time. I was never bored, even for a second but I was also glad to be able to catch my breath at times.
Shadows is possibly the best book I have ever read about angels. I am dying to get my hands on the sequel, Haze, which is out this summer. There are so many answers I want and I cannot wait to see what happens next.