Sunday, October 6, 2013

SUNNY: BOOK REVIEW "Shadowed" by Rebecca Zanetti


Jase Kayrs was the fun brother. The warm, charming, easy-going brother of the vampire leaders. Until he was taken and tortured by demons with their evil mind tricks for nearly five years. Upon his return, he’s dark, violent, and not the man they all thought they knew. Not the man he once was. He’s haunted that the only reason the demons would have let him live was to use him as a weapon against his family—but he can’t figure out when or how he’ll explode. Plus, once again the demons are after Jase with a vengeance…or rather, a female demon he rejected is out to destroy him.

Then the king asks Jase for a favor…a big one. To mate with one of their allies in order to save her. She’s everything that’s good and light in the world…while he’s at home with darkness. Yet he agrees…knowing mating may be the only chance to save them both.

Shadowed is book 6 in Rebecca Zanetti's Dark Protector series.  I broke a cardinal rule by reading this book out of order, something I don't normally do (but occasionally, I do rebel).  However, I'm pleased to say that this story is strong enough to be a standalone.  Clearly, I missed some of the nuances of the characters; I simply didn't have the history, but the primary characters and narrative were strong enough to keep me interested.  

I don't want to call this story formulaic, but there are familiar plot lines.  Jase Kayrs, the formerly footloose and fancy-free brother is captured by the enemy and tortured for years.  He makes his escape and returns home tortured and broken. He holds himself apart from his family, worrying them deeply.  Brenna Dunn was once a formidable witch.  Now she is dying, stripped of her powers, and weakening every day.  Her only hope is to marry a vampire which will alter her immune system and hopefully cure her disease.  Of course, she has had a secret crush on Jase for years and ultimately saves him from himself and his blood lust for revenge. Despite the heretofore seen themes, I enjoyed reading about these two characters and the anxiety that surrounds them. 

All of this is happening in the context of a war going on between several species, the bonds of a growing family, and a virus that is destroying vampire mates.  Yes, there is a lot going on.  But I think that is why this book works. It is not difficult to follow the various storylines, what was missing for me was the emotional investment in the secondary characters because I had not read the previous books.  I don't hold that against this book.  In fact, I give it extra points for keeping me in the story by giving me enough bits and pieces to understand the context and excite me to read the other books.  

For a paranormal romance, this one is worth reading.  Though clearly an integral part of a series, this one has enough story to stand on its own.  

Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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