Amanda Bonilla has created a series that is centered around a race called the Shaedes and a character named Darian. Darian, our protagonist, was once human before she was transformed into something else entirely different after meeting the enigmatic and charming Azriel.
Thanks to Azriel keeping her in the dark, Darian spent nearly a century alone in her thoughts and working as an assassin ridding humanity of it's worse sort of scum. She truly believed that she was the only one of her kind and that Azriel was dead.
Darian's whole life changes when she is given a job to eliminate Xander Peck. Xander just happens to be the king of the Shaedes and has known about Darian for ages yet for some reason or the other, never bothered to inform Darian that others existed.
Darian quickly learns how absolutely wrong she was in her thinking and in allowing herself to believe anything that Azriel had told her over the 25 years they spent together. Even knowing there are other Shaedes in existence, I didn't feel as though Darian made any sort of connection to anyone but Raif.
Shaedes of Gray is a pretty interesting start to a new series by an yet another I've been trying to read since this book came out. I've read dozens of reviews and up until now, have been unable to find this book within my local library. By the way, thank you Library for FINALLY paying attention to my requests!
As with other first novels in a series, the world building is necessary to the overall scheme of things. We NEED to know about the characters that are being introduced and taken up so much of the story line. We need to know the world we are being introduced to and the different kinds of supernatural beings that live in Seattle.
Yes the story was slow and hard to take at times. Yet, I wouldn't want to change a thing. We need to understand who Darian is and why she's an assassin. We need to know why Azriel left her behind to her own devices and eventually ended up with Tyler as her handler. We also need to know why Xander decided to test Darian's usefulness and turn her world around on a dime.
I liked Darian's character well enough even with her flaws and the fact that she is mostly unfeeling until the end. She is sometimes irritating in her ability to get along with those she is supposed to be working with and is in constant conflict with others of her race like Anya. However, after reading Shaedes of Gray and certain revelations about her own transformation, I can't wait to see what happens next in Blood Before Sunrise.
I actually liked Tyler better than Xander just because he actually gave himself to her as a means of showing how much he cared for her. It doesn't make him a weakling although it was rather creepy to know that he is at Darian's every beck and call and isn't exactly human.
I didn't much care for Xander or his sudden feelings he found for Darian after all was said and done. Of course, Bonilla writes him so that he comes across as the sexy as hell male character who UF and PRN readers love to fall in love with.
Another character I found appealing and interesting was Raif. Raif is another Shaede and brother to Xander who trains Dorian in order for her to be a better soldier rather than just an assassin. Raif has other secrets as well, and I'm anxious to see where Bonilla goes next with him.
Overall, even with my hesitation on liking certain characters and the slow start to the story, I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the series asap.
Author: Amanda Bonilla
Title: Shaedes of Gray
Released: December 6, 2011