Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review : Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla

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...

Shaedes of Gray has proven to be a difficult book to create a review for. I've started numerous times only to delete, rewrite, scratch my head, delete once more and start again. 

I enjoyed the story. I really did. It had a great pace and was easily devoured in just a few days. It was just one of those situations where I could easily find the story's flaws (and there were several), but was able to be entertained with what I was reading despite them.

Darian isn't the brightest heroine I've ever encountered and her personality isn't always very likable (grown women shouldn't throw temper tantrums), but she's tough and confident with a touch of arrogance that I actually enjoyed.

In Darian's defense, she is thrown into a world that she didn't realize existed. She's lacking in knowledge and has a difficult time finding the appropriate people to give her the information she needs.

But on that same note, she's asking all the wrong questions and doesn't prove to be very perceptive or able to connect the dots with the information that she eventually acquires. 

Another aspect of the story that I found myself equally enjoying and becoming frustrated with was the love triangle that develops.

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am a huge fan of love triangles. Where some readers may find them to be overused or tiresome, I simply can't get enough of them. But the triangle that occurs within Shaedes of Gray left me feeling a little unsettled. 

Why? Well, I had a difficult time becoming invested in a relationship that was already developed before the story ever began. (Can we get a prequel, Ms. Bonilla?)

Darian and Tyler have a working relationship that became a very heated and intense attraction during a time that the reader isn't able to experience. We all know that the actions and building tension in the beginning of a blossoming romance are some of the most enjoyable parts, so it's unfortunate that it wasn't included in this story. 

Then enters Xander, King of the Shaedes, and this is where the triangle begins to form.

Xander is your typical arrogant, kingly, alpha male. The kind I adore. He's the type that sees what he wants and gets what he wants. And what he wants is Darian .... but it's not exactly easy to understand why. 

His attraction to her appears to be superficial, based solely on her beauty, and possibly because she defies him. Otherwise, Darian doesn't present herself in a way that is charming or enticing for a gorgeous supernatural king that could surely have any woman he wants.

Regardless, it was entertaining watching Xander and Darian play their own little version of cat and mouse and the apparent jealousy and animosity between Xander and Tyler was definitely fun to read about.

Aside from Darian's quest for information and the tug-of-war between two very stubborn but very handsome men, Darian is set against a target that requires her to enhance her skills as an assassin before she can put them to use. 

After the story's conclusion, I was left with several questions and certain aspects of the story remain unclear to me. I'm hoping that we receive a better understanding of Darian's world with the sequel that, despite my complaints, I will definitely be reading. 

Blood Before Sunrise (Shaede Assassin, Book 2) is scheduled for release July 2012.


Tracy said...

Have I mentioned lately how much I love your reviews? If not, I've definitely been remiss. You rock, girlie.

Addicted2Heroines said...

Thank you so much, Tracy!

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