Review: Broken Shadows by A.J. Larrieu (Shadowminds #3)


Broken Shadows by AJ Larrieu // VBC ReviewBroken Shadows (Shadowminds #3)
A.J. Larrieu
Published: Jan. 19, 2015 (Carina Press)
Purchase: Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review is spoiler free, it does reference events from the previous two books. If you haven’t started this series yet check out VBC’s review of book 1, Twisted Miracles.

It’s been a year since Mina Tanner left New Orleans and the shadowmind community for a new start in San Francisco. For a while, life was okay. She had a job, an apartment, a few friends. But she loses her job and her apartment in the same blow when a real estate developer decides to knock down the building housing both her living space and employer, forcing her back into the guest room of the one place she’d rather avoid: Jackson Herring’s condo.

Still adapting to life without her converter powers, Mina struggles to deal with her feelings for Jackson, including keeping the thoughts out of her mind so he can’t read them. A run in with a mugger ends with her losing her purse and burning her attacker’s hands, and suddenly losing her powers isn’t the only thing Mina’s got to worry about. Somehow she’s managed to acquire a whole new set of skills, and if word gets out in the San Francisco shadowmind community, her mostly calm and quiet life will become a whole lot more dangerous.

I liked this new side to the powers of a shadowmind. After having her telepathic and telekinesis powers stripped from her, Cass tried to restore Mina’s powers and failed. It means Mina has had to adapt to having a ‘normal’ life, and she’s made the choice to stay away from her family and the shadowmind community she grew up in. Who’d want a daily reminder of what you couldn’t do anymore?

Once it becomes clear that the mugging wasn’t some random attack, though, Mina isn’t about to let her lack of power keep her on the sidelines. There’s still plenty she can do to take care of herself, even without using her new power, and watching her figure out how self-sufficient she still was made me cheer.

It’s that new power that makes her avoid pursuing an actual relationship with Jackson, too. The pair has known each other for a while now (she stayed with him when she first arrived in the city). Jackson’s not having any of that, and his refusal to give up and let Mina go, despite the danger to them both, made my heart squish a little.

The squishing didn’t come until about halfway through the book, though, because their chemistry isn’t readily apparent. I found I had to remind myself a couple of times they had known each other for a year, because their interactions in the first chapters didn’t exactly show the depth of their friendship. And they are friends—Jackson’s seen her when she was at her most broken, and he’s always had her back.

I also managed to figure out who the bad guy was pretty quickly–but the twist A.J. Larrieu throws in makes up for it. There’s more here than Jackson and Mina trying to find a way to deal with her new-found abilities. The mugging was the tip of a much larger problem, one that affected the whole community, and each major part got its necessary page time.

Broken Shadows is a fun, solid entry into the series, and I had a great time getting to know the new characters and running around one of my favorite cities. It makes me wonder where we’re going next—and do we get to see Ian again? Please?

Sexual content: Sex

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