Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Some books have a tone and writing voice that just speaks to you. Shaedes of Gray did that. I completely related and understood the heroine. The world drew me in. And, well, any book that can throw a devastating curveball in a way that leaves me wanting to hug the author for the emotional journey? Done and done. Shaedes of Gray is a winner.
Darian believes she’s the only Shaede left. Shaedes have the ability to turn incorporeal during the hours the sun has set. Her maker told them they were alone, and when he left her, she stayed hidden. She took on jobs assassinating the dregs of human society. Only, it turns out all of that was a lie. She’s lived nearly a century not knowing of all the other supernatural creatures in her world, much less the whole community of Shaedes, complete with a king who requires her assistance.
The mission forces her to learn about herself, her kind, accept the idea of not being alone and confront some serious abandonment issues. Not to mention deal with some lethal types out to use her and those she’s promised to protect.
In addition to the assassin gig and unraveling the mystery in Shaedes of Gray, there’s a heavy dose of romance. Darian’s handler Tyler keeps making a play for her, but she keeps him at a distance. He’ll protect her and is happy to be the one there helping her. Then there’s Xander. Who isn’t really a love interest, but I just found him arrogant and delicious. Unlike Tyler, Xander adds a heavy element of Other to the book. Darian may be in between — her voice and emotions very human, but Xander sees things the way someone living for centuries would, much more detached from humanity in a way. (He’s also used to getting his way.)
A twisty plot made it hard to set Shaedes of Gray down and a kickass, stubborn heroine made it easy to pick back up. Amanda Bonilla has the start of something great here. I can’t wait to see where she takes Darian in future books.
Sexual content: Sex scene, references to sex