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Shadows (Rephaim)

Shadows - Paula Weston This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.

How does an author write a story about angels while maintaining a sense of originality? Give the main character a major case of memory loss. Gaby, the narrator, is still mourning the loss of her brother, Jude, in a car accident. She doesn't remember much, but she has bizarre nightmares of fighting demons. A guy named Rafa shows up and claims to have information about Gaby's and Jude's pasts, but it seems too far-fetched for Gaby to believe. Readers unfamiliar with angel lore will get a good crash course in Shadows. It's explained in a way that's detailed and informative, and it doesn't interfere with the story-telling.

There's great chemistry between Gaby and Rafa, in particular, and there are numerous well-fleshed-out secondary characters who seem likely to feature more prominently in the sequel. Several of these characters have motivations that don't seem entirely on the side of good, but that only makes them more interesting.

I considered abandoning this story at numerous times, but I'm glad I stuck with it, because the last 25% of the book provided a very nice payoff. For the first 75%, however, the story dragged, and it felt like it was taking Gaby too long to piece her past together. When the action finally began, it did so with a bang, and the battle scene between angels on opposing sides and demons was exciting and suspenseful. We finally got some more information about Jude, and I'm intrigued enough to want to know what became of him in the sequel.

Note - I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.