"The sum of a man isn't the things he's done, it is the world he leaves behind." Quote from Fallen Angel Bertrand to Colby.
Dreams and Shadows is one of the better books that I have had the pleasure of reading this year (2014) and I thank Harper Voyager for sharing a copy of this book with me. Dreams and Shadows is a dark story filled with with action, violence, adventure, and has interesting and dangerous beings like fairies, djinn, changelings, and fallen angels who all make their homes in Austin, Texas the setting for this story.
The main characters of Dreams and Shadows are Colby Stevens, Ewan Thatcher, Yasher, Nixie Knocks, and Coyote but this is a character and plot driven story. Dreams and Shadows mostly follows Colby and Ewan, but it would not be the same without the interaction of Yasher, Knocks, and Coyote who obviously have their own agendas and paths they must follow.
You could say Dreams and Shadows mostly focuses on Colby's journey, and you wouldn't be wrong but you would be remiss in ignoring the background stories of Yashar and especially Knocks. It is Colby that ends up making some unusual choices that make him as powerful as any being in existence that leads to some consequences that he can't escape from. It is Colby who is given a choice at age 8 (wish) by Yasher to see all that is out there in the world without unknowing all that he learns. It is Colby who becomes so feared, and hated, that he only has one true friend he can count on, and that is Ewan who he rescues and watches over from the first time they ever meet.
For Ewan, he's taken away from his loving parents while still a baby, and replaced by a changeling. He then grows up among the fairy and slowly becomes one even finding love with Mallaidh. He becomes known as the "Tithe Child" but I won't spoil what that truly means to you, and later ends up being saved by Colby who leads him back into the human world where not everything is perfect or idealistic. Ewan's journey is a painful one to read about. He doesn't know who he really is, he's had the unfortunate destiny to be picked by the fairy, and he is truly hated by more than a few fairy including Knocks.
I made a comment while reading this book that I found the interaction between Ewan and Colby to be wonderful. It was about friendship, shared experiences, and not about mutual attraction or the need to jump into bed the first time they meet. It is about Colby's determination to keep Ewan safe from harm and understanding that they have forged a nearly unbreakable bond with their experiences. This story is proof that boys can be friends and bros, and writer's DON'T need to wade their way into situations where there is a need for same sex romances or insta-romances.
I think that readers will find Yashar and Coyote to be equally as entertaining, if not as dangerous as Colby. I think that readers will also enjoy the fact that these fairies are not your normal run of the mill Fae who are lovable and happy. Nope. They are dangerous. They kill humans and feed on emotions, and you don't really want to find yourself out in the middle of a forest when they are around.
I can only hope that Queen of the Dark Things, which releases May 13th 2014 by Harper Voyager, is just as awesome as Dreams and Shadows was. I can't wait to dive back into this world that just blows my mind and leaves me anxious to see what happens next.
Author - C. Robert Cargill
Title - Dreams & Shadows (Dreams & Shadows # 1)
Published by Harper Voyager
Released: February 26, 2013
Genre - Urban Fantasy