Review of Shadows by Paula Weston

ShadowsShadows (The Rephaim #1)
By: Paula Weston
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: Tundra Books
Barnes and Noble

This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

Summary (via Goodreads):
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?

The Story:
Unlike many readers I actually get excited when I see a book is about angels, the Fall or Fallen. I love the topic of the Nephalim and am so interested in learning different people’s take on the subject. Sadly, I’m often disappointed by the majority of young adult novels featuring one of my favorite topics. Thankfully, Shadows was very well done, the characters intriguing and the subject matter well researched (you can read about Paula Weston’s research in my interview with her).

Shadows focused less on the Fall and more on what affect it would have on the children of the Fallen and what it would look like in present day. This is a wonderful backdrop for the story Weston has created. Her main character has been deprived of some of her memories and is thrown into a world that seems out of her imagination. Memory loss stories can go wrong fast but Weston is selective with what Gaby doesn’t remember and how she uncovers these memories.

The story is well paced with just enough action interspersed to keep you engaged as you uncover the mystery of what happened to Gaby and why. Really, the beginning is all building up for a really wonderful ending that left me desperate to get my hands on the second book, Haze.

The Characters:
Weston excelled with her dialog and interactions between the characters. Rafa and Gaby had a wonderful chemistry. Their relationship is made even more interesting because of Gaby’s memory loss. Since her relationship with him was lost with her memories she is having to relearn who he is and how she feels and many of her emotions are in stark contrast what she’s been told she felt. It’s an interesting concept to consider- how would you feel about the people in your life if you couldn’t remember them?

For me, the characters in Shadows were the strongest aspect of the book. Even Weston’s secondary characters are well crafted and each have detailed histories that I can’t wait to learn more about.

Final Thoughts:
Shadows by Paula Weston has set up a wonderful beginning to her four part series. I can’t wait to see where she’ll take her story and characters.

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I was part of the Shadows Blog Tour last week. Check out the tour here.


  1. says

    I know you and Sam recommended this book and I do plan to get to it as soon as possible! I’m a bit wearing of the fallen angels books in YA cause the backstory and the lore included in most is barely annecdotal and used as an excuse to have a romance between one of those arseholes-but-swoony guys and a rather not-so-strong female character…

  2. says

    The awesome reviews for this one just keep rolling in! As if the awesome cover wasn’t enough to suck me in by itself. So happy to hear that this one worked so well for you, I know I need to get my hands on it ASAP!

  3. says

    I’m so glad she pulled off the memory loss in this series…because it’s so fun to watch Gaby struggle with it. (I know, I’m terrible.) Also, the verbal sparring between Gaby and Rafa is top notch. I seriously need to know what went down with them!!! Grrr.

  4. says

    This is definitely going on my wishlist. Like you say there are very few good YA Angel novels.
    I am glad there is another three books in the series if this one is so good! 🙂 xx

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