A disclaimer first, that I haven’t managed to keep up with the whole series, so although I read the first one or two books in Fallen I’ve definitely missed one, maybe two before jumping ahead to the grand finale.
Let me start by warning you that I’m a little jaded when it comes to paranormal romance. I feel like I’ve read it to death, and when it comes to reviews, well, I’m finding it hard to say anything new, and often even harder to say anything nice.
So when I received the press release for Shadows telling me that I would 100% absolutely love this book and all the characters in it I was sceptical to say the least. A Queensland author making her first foray into the world of YA fiction in a genre that had been so long in the oven that the broccoli had gone from limp to charcoal? I had my doubts.
But page by page Paula Weston drew me into this well written, captivating, and Very Well Researched novel. At first I didn’t even realise it was happening. And then halfway through the book I realised the despite my best intentions she had done what I thought was absolutely not going to happen, to make me heartily enjoy this latest offering to the world of paranormal romance. What I loved about the story of Gaby Winters was that
1. it was so well researched that it was blindingly clear from the get go that Weston’s passions lie at least as much in the myth as the romance, no shoddy plot holes here!
2. Gaby Winters is a strong independent female character who makes her own decisions throughout the book rather than falling vapidly into someone’s arms the minute trouble shows up.
and 3. The local setting. Set along the Queensland coast (initially at least) there’s something refreshing about reading a book set amongst jacaranda trees rather than tall, lonesome pines.
So with a hopeful heart and a taste for angels I set about reading the second book on my pile – Rapture, the series final by Lauren Kate. I’d been slightly taken with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel when I read the first book in this series, but unfortunately, for the grand epic conclusion, four books later, I really didn’t feel that the story had moved that far from where I’d left it. There are similarities between Luce and Gabe – memory loss, the weight of all of the world on their shoulders and two smouldering angels battling for their affections but that’s where it ends. I love a good romance as much as the next girl, but what I find really compelling about a great paranormal romance is the attention to detail, the exploration of the myth, and that real sense of deep historical magic that comes from writing stories based in something so old.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have read Rapture immediately after finishing Shadows, but if I had to recommend one, there’s no doubt which one it would be.