Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No Way Back - A Review of Shadows by Paula Weston

Shadows by Paula Weston

Goodreads Blurb
Love. Nightmares. Angels. War. A fast-paced, compelling debut novel from a fresh new voice in YA.

It’s been 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?
First thoughts - Nonstop action.  

Almost a year after the car accident that scarred her neck and legs and killed her twin brother, Gaby is fighting demons of all kinds.  Every night in her dreams, the hellions show up along with a beautiful boy who fights by her side.  During the day, she fights being over-powered with an aching grief that never leaves.  

One night, while out with her friends, Gaby's dream boy comes to life.  She knows him as "Matt" from her dreams, but he introduces himself as Rafa, a close friend of her brother, Jude.  Rafa tells Gaby that he  He happened upon a story that she had submitted to an online contest.  Rafa recognizes the story that Gaby tells, it's of an actual battle that Rafa and Jude had fought in.  Shortly after meeting Rafa, Gaby discovers that her memories have been tampered with and that the life she remembers, even the car accident is all a lie.

It's through Rafa that Gaby, or Gabe as Rafa calls her, learns that she and Jude are descendants of Fallen angels.  Gaby and Jude had spent many years separated until just before the "accident".  Jude and Rafa and a group of "outcasts" left the Rephaim after disagreeing with Nathaniel, leader of the Rephaim.  Gaby stayed with the Rephaim until just over a year ago when she and Jude reconciled and ran off together without telling anyone where they were going of what they were doing.

The Rephaim are the offspring of The Fallen.  They are working together with Nathaniel to find The Fallen and turn them over to the angelic hosts.  The "outcasts" don't trust Nathaniel and his intentions.

Meanwhile, there are demons and Hellions looking for The Fallen also. The demons and Rephaim find Gaby through her online story as well and the fight is on.  Who are the "good guys"?  Where should Gaby's loyalties lie?  Is it Gaby or Gabe that Rafa really wants?  and why does she even care?

The chemistry between Rafa and Gaby is an amazing thing.  Even though Gaby tries to deny it and there is little time to explore anything in between kidnappings, fighting demons, and the Rephaim locking Gaby in a cage with a Hellion who tries to drink her blood.

I feel a bit like I'm rambling, but I'm just so excited after reading this story.  I loved it and want to tell everyone so that you can love it too.

Gaby keeps to herself, but she's managed to make a few good friends.  Maggie and Simon, even though they are only human, step up more than once to put their lives on the line to protect Gaby.

I loved the mystery surrounding Jude and the possibilities that abound there.  Also, the reactions of everyone around Gaby.  Even though Gaby has forgotten who she was as Gabe, you get a feel for who she was from the was that the Rephaim respond to her.

This was a solidly fantastic story and I can't wait to jump into the next one in the series.  I'm crossing my fingers that we get to see more sparks fly between Rafa and Gaby.  Maybe even a small blaze or two.

4+ stars out of 5

This song is one that Paula Weston suggested for the story and it really fits (plus I Love Dave) so I had to use it.