Shadows by Paula Weston

imageTitle: Shadows (The Rephaim #1)
Author: Paula Weston
Publisher: Tundra Books
Format: Electronic ARC
Source: From Publisher, For Review (via NetGalley)
Overall: 4/5

It’s 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?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare.

My Review:
Gaby Winters doesn’t remember much of her life past the last year. After losing her twin brother Jude in a car accident, her only memories of her past life include her brother’s dying body and the moment that he was taken away from her. The past year has included intense rehab and the overwhelming grief that accompanies losing the one person that truly understood her. She lives quietly in Pan Beach, where she works at the local library and has found an understanding roommate and friend in Maggie. But Gaby’s sleep is plagued with terrors she cannot have possibly made up and faces that she has never met… and when she shares one of her nightmares as a story on a website, it brings the arrival of Rafa, as well as the truth that she did not know that she had been searching for all along.Gaby’s online story brings to light not only the truth of her own past, but that of her own being as well. In his handsome looks and constant need to bicker with Gaby, Rafa introduces her to his world – that of the Fallen Angels and the Rephaim – only for her to realize that she is much more familiar to Rafa annd his people than she initially believed. When the two opposing sides of the Rephaim place their attention on Gaby, she must decide who is trustworthy… and who is using her to get what they truly want – the end of the Fallen Angels, and the rise of the Rephaim.

Having already read a number of paranormal angel books (and being sadly disappointed with said books), I picked this up on NetGalley after seeing the very positive reviews that it was getting. And I have to say, Shadows is definitely worthy of those raving reviews. Despite entering a genre that has already been written and interpreted by dozens of authors, Paula Weston finds a creative and fresh explanation of Angels and her Rephaim. The world-building is very good, the Rephaim are well developed and the events were realistic considering the situations, but were also very unpredictable. Weston’s action scenes are well-written and kept me constantly on my feet.

I fell in love with her characters and I really like how to story didn’t revolve around Gaby. I liked that each character had a bit of themselves revealed and that there is no right and wrong – there are only shades of grey in between with Weston’s characters. They have all committed wrongdoings and most of them do not try to convince Gaby otherwise. The romance was not forced, it was well thought-out by the author and very realistic considering Gaby and Rafa’s personalities.

But what I loved the most about Shadows was not the romance or the action or the mystery, but that it was the story of a girl who has lost everything, but got back up and fought back anyways. In the midst of all of the revelations and the twists, I found myself forgetting that Gaby has lost so much – her memory, her brother, her entire life. Yet she accepts the revelations in stride. She does what she can to protect those who are dear to her. She fights despite not knowing how. And I found that really great – even inspiring.

Paula Weston has created a one-of-a-kind paranormal story in Shadows, and I will surely look towards the next book in this series and any other release that the author will publish in the future. For readers of paranormal, fantasy, and angel books, I think that Shadows will definitely be an enjoyable read.

moonlight4An Enjoyable Read, Well Written!

**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.**
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