Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla
This is my first Bonilla novel to read, and it will definitely not be my last! I am going to share the synopsis from the back cover of the book because I have a habit of including spoilers in my summaries. I'm working on it!
Darian has lived alone for almost a century it the shadows of the night. 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.
Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm's length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers in necessary to protect the innocent - and a welcome distraction. But 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 has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.
There is so much about the premise of this book that I enjoyed:
1. Darian, the 1st person narrator and protagonist, is not perfect. She is cranky, cynical, and skeptical of most everyone. I relate to that because I'm that way before coffee.
2. Darian has fun powers that allow her to sense the powers of others and allow her to fade into the shadows. That's cool. She is not the most powerful character, but her powers have great potential.
3. The world Darian lives in includes many other powerful creatures that I enjoyed. I would like to know more about them and how they work. For example, who are the seers? What are their full powers?
4. The novel clearly sets up the next installment in the series. I enjoy series books because I get to spend more time with the characters.
There are also a few things about the book that I didn't enjoy:
1. Darian is CRANKY. She is rude to almost everyone with or without cause. She has baggage, yes, but why is she so cranky all the time?
2. Why did Tyler feel connected to Darian? Without giving spoilers, I didn't understand his draw to her. Yes, she tells us quite often how beautiful she is. Yes, she is a powerful creature. BUT, what did Darian do to make Tyler fall for her? She's quite awful to him.
3. Why in the world is Darian attracted to Xander? I need to know more about him and their interactions to believe the attraction on either side. Does he want her only as a pawn? Does she want him only because he is powerful?
Darian is not my favorite protagonist, but she is interesting. The world that Bonilla has created is even more interesting. I have high hopes for the rest of the series and I look forward to Darian's growth and learning more about the other creatures.
Three out of Five Stars