Reviews: Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston

January 18, 2016 Book 16 ★★★★

Reviews: Shadows and Haze by Paula WestonShadows by Paula Weston
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Rephaim #1
Published by Text Publishing on June 1st 2012
Source: Netgalley, Own
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four-stars

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.

My Review:

Shadows was a really surprising read for me. So surprising, that after I read the ebook from Netgalley, I ran on the internet to buy a physical copy because I felt compelled to own a copy for when I would inevitably re-read it.

I liked Gaby in this book so much. She was obviously very grief-stricken because of losing her twin brother, but she never let that hinder her. Gaby was always very strong and bright. She never blindly accepted everything; she had questions, and she wanted answers. That never made her annoying to me; in fact, it actually made learning about the angel lore in the book better because we know as much as Gaby did: nothing.

I found the pace to be very strong. From the beginning it captures you, and it gets gradually faster as the story goes on. I couldn’t help but keep reading to know what was going on. I actually left everything on hold so I could finish this story. I was THAT enthralled.

I actually really enjoyed the romance in this book, but I know that most people wouldn’t like it because it seemed like insta-love. But to me it wasn’t insta-love at all. Rafa and Gaby sparked a connection, because they have a past (even if Gaby can’t remember it), but their romance is not overpowering the plot. Plus… they have incredible chemistry. I wanted to lock them in a room together so they can work out their differences.

“I hear you’ve been with every Rephaite in a skirt.’
Crap. Where did that come from?
‘Who told you that?’ HIs smile shifts into something less amused. ‘Daniel. Who else? The prick.’
‘Is he a liar?’
Rafa leans against the pale wall. ‘I haven’t been with everyone.’
‘What about Taya?’
‘Hell, no. I’m no monk, but I have standards.’
I wonder what else Daniel was wrong about. ‘What about me?’
Rafa’s teasing smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes. ‘You had standards too.”

The angel lore in this book is great! It’s not much different than other angel books, like… Angelfall, but I found it was much more intense in this book! The relationship between the fallen angels and the demons is all very life and death, and there’s a very powerful civil war between the angels themselves. I ate it all up and wanted to know more.

The only thing that bugged me about the book is the fact that everyone from Gaby’s past got mad at her because she didn’t know things she was supposed to. Hello…. SHE HAS AMNESIA! They would get mad at her and put her on some ridiculous standards even though she COULDN’T REMEMBER ANYTHING! This was the most annoying part of the book, honestly.

“I know exactly who I am. It’s everyone else who seems to be having a problem.”

This book is a perfect combination of angel lore, humor, strong characters, and action. The ending was action packed, but managed to have some closure. I’m glad that there wasn’t a cliffhanger, even though there’s obviously some opening for the next book. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for another angel-themed book after finishing the Penryn and the End of Days series (Angelfall) by Susan Ee.

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
four-half-stars
Romance
three-half-stars
Overall: 4.2

If you think my review was helpful, would you consider voting for on Goodreads and Amazon? 🙂

 

Reviews: Shadows and Haze by Paula WestonHaze by Paula Weston
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Rephaim #2
Published by Text Publishing, Tundra Books on May 22nd, 2013
Source: Provided by Publisher, Library Thing
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four-half-stars

Gaby Winters' life used to be pretty normal. She lived with her best friend. She worked in a library. She was slowly getting over the death of her twin brother, Jude. And then Rafa came looking for her.

With him, her blood-soaked nightmares stopped. But now they are reality. She is one of the Rephaim - a wingless half angel, descended from the Fallen. Demons exist and they are hunting her.

She knows she's alive when she's meant to be dead. And that means maybe Jude is too. So why isn't she out there looking for him?

My Review:

Wow wow wow!

If you thought Shadows was intense, you have another thing coming with Haze. This book is much more emotional and raw that the previous one. With Gaby’s amnesia, it’s been really hard for her to figure out who to trust and who to team up with. However in this book we get to see more closely her relationship with all the other Rephaim, and who exactly she was before everything.

There’s a ton of character development here, which I was crazy happy about. I thought in the previous book that I wanted to know more about the other Rephaim and their relationship to Gaby, so I was glad when in this book we get to see a little bit of all of them.

There was also a lot of development in the Gaby/Rafa relationship, although they’re a long way from being okay.  There’s a bit of conflict because Gaby doesn’t remember her past with him, and Rafa remembers too much of it, so there’s always a push and pull between them. However, they’re slowly learning to trust each other more, and I loved how Rafa always let Gaby be herself. Of course, the tension between them hasn’t eased; in fact, it has become more intense, which was absolutely wonderful to read.


I like that in this book, Gaby is trying to establish who she is right now. She’s letting everyone know that she’s not the old Gabriella, and that she probably never will be. She’s saying she can still be extremely badass even if she doesn’t remember her old life.

I loved her relationship with Maggie, because even though Maggie doesn’t understand any of this (she’s human after all), she doesn’t shy away from Gaby. She still gives Gaby unconditional support and love which is wonderful to see in a book.

There’s a lot of deception and misdirection in this book because Gaby is a bit of an unreliable narrator. She doesn’t know much of anything, but would get glimpses here and there of her past life, which would make us all kinds of suspicious. I loved tying to decipher which parts were real, or if we were misinterpreting something that Gaby had seen.

The pacing was absolutely amazing as there was never a dull moment in this book. It starts off full of action, and keeps the pace consistent as we navigate through the book. When Gaby wasn’t kicking ass and trying to re-discover her past, we would get thrown plot twist after plot twist. I loved how the author’s writing was easy to follow. She made us want to keep reading because she wrote the book in such a captivating way. The dialogue between the characters is natural, there are never any info dumps, and Gaby’s voice is really easy to read.

THERE WAS A CLIFFHANGER GUYS. I can’t believe I got blindsided by it but I did. There was a lot going on in the ending, and I was passing the pages like crazy trying to find out what was going to happen. I got to the last part of the book, and when I passed the page I was in the Acknowledgments section.


This book does not disappoint. It has heart-stoping action, steamy romance, amazing character development, and captivating writing. This series is so addicting! I cannot wait to read Burn!

Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Romance
four-stars
Overall: 4.6

If you think my review was helpful, would you consider voting for on Goodreads and Amazon? 🙂
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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome. I also blog over at The Book Belles!
  • I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far! I have the remaining books to the series, but I’m a little hesitant to read the rest of them. Eeeep! I’m so scared to see what’s in books 3 and 4. :/

  • I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far! I have the remaining books to the series, but I’m a little hesitant to read the rest of them. Eeeep! I’m so scared to see what’s in books 3 and 4. :/

  • Ah, I’m so glad you’re liking this series, Marianne! It’s so awesome 😀 I was just wondering if it’s still set in Australia in the US editions? That’s one of the parts I loved the most. ^.^

    I don’t think that the romance between Rafa and Gaby moved too fast. I loved it, really. I shipped them so hard! And their chemistry was on point.

    I really cannot wait for you to read the next two books because SO MUCH STUFF HAPPENS!

  • I just can’t wait to pick up this series and it makes me SO happy that you enjoyed it Marianne! I love how Gaby is a unreliable narrator and how she has amnesia which would add an interesting dynamic to the story. I loved Angelfall too, so it’s great to hear that it’s along the lines of the darker angel lore! Lovely review!

    • Yes. It’s not post apocalyptic but there’s a sense of urgency throughout the story. I loved it. Thanks lovely. 🙂

  • Yay, so glad to see that you enjoyed this! I personally haven’t read it because I’m not a fan of angel books, but I’ve seen so many people praise this series. And double yay because it’s set in Australia! 😀

  • Yay, so glad to see that you enjoyed this! I personally haven’t read it because I’m not a fan of angel books, but I’ve seen so many people praise this series. And double yay because it’s set in Australia! 😀

  • I only read your review for Shadows because I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS BOOK. XD I have it on my kindle actually, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet?!? I’m extra excited now though. afjdasklfdj I love angel lore and I haven’t really read that much of it?!? Although Rafa is reminding me of Rafe from Angelfall right now. XD

    • Rafe from Angelfall is so broody though! XD Rafa is like a Jace Wayland sort of character in this book lol. I hope you get to read it!

  • Bec

    I’ve heard so many good things about this series! Especially for an angel book (there aren’t too many AMAZIng ones of those around). I’ll definitely have to check these out sometime soon

    • Ohh yes! I agree. There are not many angel books that are mindblowingly awesome. Plus it’s a bonus that they’re set in Australia. <3

  • I have heard so many amazing things about this series! Glad to see you enjoyed them thus far!