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ARC Review: Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla

Submitted by on December 5, 2011 – 4:00 am15 Comments

Author: Amanda Bonilla
Book: Shaedes of Gray
Release: December 6, 2011
Series: Shaede Assassin 1
Reviewer: Kitt
Source: Author
Purchase: – Book Depository

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

As the first in Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series, we are drawn in to the life of Darian, a Shaede assassin who resembles a demeanor not that much unlike the first scene we meet her in. As she’s standing on top of building in the middle of Seattle’s freezing winds, the metaphors are not lost on the reader. In fact, Darian can be so cold and unfeeling at times that it’s hard to relate to what she’s going through. However, as we progress, parts of Darian surface – to Darian and the reader – far beyond what anyone thought she may be capable of.

At least a century has passed for Darian by the time we meet her in Shaedes of Gray and I enjoyed the flash backs we saw every so often as she tells how her life came to be the way it is now. For virtually her entire Shaede existence, she was led to believe by her maker, Azriel, that they were the last of their kind. Azriel comes off as the knight-in-shining armor for not only Darian at first, but to us as well, and it isn’t until years later – and his sudden departure from her life – that Darian finds herself surviving the best she knows how, doing the only thing that Azriel was forthcoming in teaching her – how to slip into shadow to be as silent as the night.

A paid assassin by trade and skills, Darian works secretly with Tyler to rid the worlds populous of the foul and vile scum polluting Seattle’s streets. It’s on one of these missions that Darian runs into Xander, King of the Shaedes. This is no chance meeting, but only a ruse to test Darian’s skills. From this point on we’re thrust with Darian into the secret underbelly of Seattle’s paranormal scene and how Ms. Bonilla stays mostly clear of the more mainstream beasties that we would normally come across in an urban fantasy is one of my most favorite things about Shaedes of Gray. Instead, she fills her pages with Shaedes (creatures of shadows), Lyhtans (creatures of light) Djinns and Oracles. Though, don’t fret, there are some old favorites there too.

Some of the things I didn’t like about Shaedes of Gray were that the beginning isn’t very smooth with Darian’s standoffishness and absence of feeling mixed with some first novel choppiness causing the reader to feel a little detached to what’s going on. Though, it does seem to all, but disappear by the middle leaving us to revel in victories and even some heartache right alongside Darian. Another thing was that the ending was perilously close to being a cliff-hanger. I must admit I was more than a little worried when I got to the last few pages and still so many things were happening that it seemed a little hard pressed that all would be concluded in time, but I should have never feared. Ms. Bonilla raps up Shaedes of Gray very nicely, leaving us with the thrilling prospect of multiple story arc possibilities that I personally am chopping at the bit to find out more about!

With Shaedes of Gray, Amanda Bonilla pounces onto the urban fantasy scene with fantastically fresh and exciting new ideas in her darkly seductive debut novel. Like a roller-coaster ride, strap yourself in for the slow and easy start to the heart-racing, pulse-pounding finish. I absolutely loved Shaedes of Gray and I’m excited to say that it will now be one of my go to recommendations and top 5 favorites for 2011. Now only if Blood Before Sunrise would get here sooner than July of next year!

Also Reviewed By: A Book ObsessionWicked Little Pixie

Kitt is an avid reader of Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Historical, Classics, Young Adult, and on the occasion she reads some Erotica to spice things up. Her entrance into the world of Paranormal started with Charlaine Harris's Stackhouse series. When not feeding her addiction she can be found slaving away cooking as a Sous Chef, watching movies and Anime, or out looking for trouble. She lives in Florida with her DB Deist and their two cats Salem and Dublin.
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  • [...] Amazon – Book Depository Read Kitt’s Review Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different [...]

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  • says:

    Great review! I have my eye on this one since I saw it a couple of weeks ago it sounds like my type of novel and it also seems original and fun!!


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  • [...] series, her debut release Shaedes of Gray featuring cold hearted, damaged, and lonely Darian making my top 5 favorites for 2011. Now she’s back with her second, Blood Before Sunrise, and I have to say that I absolutely love [...]

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  • [...] my preeeccciiuuuussss! However, I do absolutely love this series (you can read my reviews of Shaedes of Gray here or Blood Before Sunrise here) so I’m givingaway ONE finished copy of either Shaede Assassin [...]

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  • says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m curious to read this and see Shaedes of Gray made into your Top 5 read mean this worth reading. I want to know the POV of this book. Is it from Darian’s or told from third person?

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  • Mary Preston says:

    I’m not a big fan of flashbacks. I find they take me out of the story. The cover is stunning & this does look like a very interesting read. Thank you for your review.

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    • You’re welcomes, Mary! You know, normally, I’m not a huge fan of the flash back either, but in this, it’s done pretty well and you need them to understand Darian and Azriel’s relationship. Don’t worry, there aren’t that many, just enough to help you see why Darian see’s Azriel and her situation the way she does. :)

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  • Diane says:

    Have you already got some idea as to how many books will be in the series?

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  • Laurie says:

    Thanks for the review, I’ve been wanting to read this for a while!

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  • Barbara Elness says:

    I absolutely adored Shaedes of Gray and proceeded to recommend it to anyone who would listen after I finished it. I’m glad to see that you enjoyed it too. Yeah for July so I can find out what happens next in Blood Before Sunrise.

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  • bn100 says:

    Thanks for your honest review. Sounds like the books have to be read in order. I don’t like cliffhangers.

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