Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston

Posted On 24 October 2013

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Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston

That’s right.  A double whammy!

Shadows was one of my holiday reads and it did feel like a guilty pleasure.  I don’t read a lot of YA these days because if I’m going to be honest a lot of it has become just too familiar and I confess that I thought Shadows would be of a similar vein.  After all, it’s a book based on the concept of angels and it’s not like there aren’t any other books of that nature knocking around.  That being said I really enjoyed this book.  It’s fast paced and there’s plenty going on but what made this refreshingly different was the age of the main protagonists which is more 19/20, thereby giving it less of a YA feel and also the whole backstory that the author has come up with.

At the start of Shadows we meet Gaby.  Living in Pandanus Beach with her friend Maggie, Gaby is still struggling to come to terms with the death of her brother in a car accident that left her In a serious condition herself for a good few months.  Gaby seems to have a relatively normal life, friends, potential wannabe boyfriends, a job, but there’s something that isn’t quite right and she suffers from terrible nightmares.  In an attempt to exorcise her own demons she writes a short, gory, story about demon slayers which is published on the internet and it’s around about that time that the unmentionable starts to hit the fan.  First a rather hot guy seems to appear on her radar – and he blows hot and cold.  Then she’s confronted by two strangers.  Two strangers who seem puzzled that she doesn’t know them and who seem to expect her to break out into some serious kick ass ninja moves.  It turns out that Gaby used to be Gabe but her car accident, apart from being fatal to her brother Jude, seems to have left her with a serious case of amnesia.

Basically the concept is based on fallen angels.  Who, having fallen to earth proceed to seduce the local women before leaving (hah, just imagine that happening!)  Nine month’s later a number of little babies put in an appearance – of course these aren’t angels, nor are they humans, they’re something completely unique.  The Rephaim.  Okay, this is the other part that I liked about these stories.  The Rephaim have certain abilities, not to mention are much quicker than humans and are apparently immortal.  But, they don’t sprout wings, they’re not so jaw droppingly gorgeous that people are dumbstruck upon sight of them (although they do seem to be quite attractive) and they’re not perfect.  They have emotions which seems to be something lacking in the usual angel books in fact their emotions run quite high at times and cause them a good deal of problems.

I’m not going to go too much into the plots of either book.  Basically Gaby isn’t who she thought she was and the memories she’s been mulling over seem to have been planted by somebody or something.  Gaby is Rephaim.

We have two different sides to the Rephaim, the ones who want to find their long lost daddies in an attempt to gain redemption and the ones that have rebelled and have split from the group and now spend time searching for demons and their hellions.  Yes, I forgot to mention that there are also Demons and their sidekicks.  So we have all these different factions – all of whom thought Gaby, as well as Jude, was dead until recently and they’re now all in some sort of race to get to Gaby and find out what she knows and what she and Jude were up to when they disappeared from the angel vs demon scene.

The second book of course moves this concept on with a few extra additions (that you might not want to know about so stop reading here).  We find that there are a group of people who know about the Rephaim, and could hold a secret that could be very dangerous to them if it falls into the wrong hands.  We also uncover a much larger surprise, which I’m not going to elaborate on and we’re left with the knowledge that somebody is definitely betraying the Rephaim somewhere along the line.

I don’t want to give too much away really.  There’s plenty going on here not to mention an element of romance although this doesn’t take over the plot and is really quite subtly done – although don’t be fooled – there a few steamy moments.

Characters.  Gabe is an interesting character although sometimes infuriating.  She has that thing that a lot of women in stories have where they walk out into the middle of nowhere by themselves, usually in a hissy fit, even though they’re being hunted by deadly creatures and the like.  Then guess what happens?  Yes, the baddies usually catch up right around that point.  Then we have Rafa who is very mmm, what’s that word – oh yes, hot! And, another HUGE bonus that I just figured out – no love triangle although between Gaby having no memory and Rafa refusing to clue her in there’s no easy going hook up taking place just yet.

The setting is easy to imagine.  It’s up to date so no need for sweeping descriptions of the landscape and the like and the whole background story is delivered easily without info dumps or brain numbing lectures.

All in all, two very enjoyable books – unfortunately I have a year to wait to find out exactly what is going on because I certainly don’t seem to have guessed correctly so far.  And, about that ending.  Taps foot, folds arms and purses lips.  I’m just saying!!!!

4 Responses to “Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston”

  1. jdbookworm

    Yay, very glad you liked them 😀

    • lynnsbooks

      Such a long wait… (well I suppose I have plenty of other books to be catching up with) 😀

  2. Tanya

    I’ve been crying with frustration over that ending ever since I finished reading it. And I try, I TRY not to swoon at the thought of Rafa, but then I fail spectacularly.

    I thought this would be like all the others, too, but it was surprisingly refreshing. 🙂 Why, I can’t quite put my finger on. But it was quick fun, and made me incredibly happy!

    • lynnsbooks

      I just found this good fun to be honest, with a few hot bodies about! Plus some fairly original concepts. Can’t believe the ending though!!!
      Lynn 😀

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