Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Review: Shadows (The Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston

Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)Shadows

Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim
Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Pages: 388
Publisher: Text Publishing
Amazon: Shadows
TBD: Shadows

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare.

Reviews: 4 ½ out 5 Stars

I absolutely love finding out about new series so when Text Publishing bought The Rephaim to my attention, I was more than eager to dive into this Angel and Demon world, once I started this book real life was put on hold I was so engrossed in Paula Weston’s amazing storytelling.

Eighteen year-old Gaby Winters has moved to Pandanus Beach to deal with the grief and pain of losing her twin brother Jude in a horrific car crash, as the passenger she was left scarred and has since been plagued with terrible nightmares. After writing about her dreams which include demons, hellspawn and fighting alongside a gorgeous boy she submits it to an online website.

The events which followed are worse than she could possibly have imagined – her dreams are in fact her reality, the beasts are very much real and the gorgeous boy she dreams about isn’t in her imagination, but alive and well in the form of an arrogant, reckless but attractive guy named Rafa who seems to know a lot more about Gaby than what she ever thought and her memories and past as she knows it is an implant and not her own, she is also a Rephaite – the offspring  of a fallen angel.

Gaby was instantly likeable to me, she was believable, smart, snarky and took everything in her stride; she asked questions rather than accepted everything easily and was an easy character to connect with.

Rafa was perfectly imperfect; I loved him as a character! He was evasive, overconfident, smexy and also shared a history with Gaby or Gabriella/Gabe as she was once known, he was also Jude’s best friend so Gaby’s loss was very much Rafa’s as well. I was so intrigued about the fallout he had with Gaby, I didn’t know whether he could be trusted to protect and help her but over the course of the book he showed where his loyalties lay.

The chemistry between Gaby and Rafe was smexy and intense! I am so eager to learn more about their pasts and the argument that made her break his nose. He wasn’t forthcoming about what happened between them which made me all the more keen to uncover the secrets.

The plot was fast-paced and really gripping, the Rephaim have been tasked with delivering the fallen fathers to the Angelic Garrison to bring them to justice but prior to the supposed accident, Jude and Gaby had obviously found out something they weren’t meant to know.  I was guessing along the way what was going to happen, I had hopes that Gaby would retain her memories and fears that it wouldn’t work in her favour but I loved the mystery of it all but in saying that we are also left with many more questions. I loved watching the events unfold and seeing Gaby slowly unravel the pieces of her past.

Angel books are usually a hit or miss with me but I loved Ms. Weston’s world-building and her very unique take on this paranormal being which I found refreshing. The Australian setting held me captivated; I really appreciated the vivid imagery not only of Pan Beach but also the Sanctuary and Patmos.

I adored the secondary characters, each play a pivotal part to the overall story – roommate and Gaby’s closest friend Maggie was the sort of friend everyone needs to have – sweet, kind and understanding, Jason was mysterious but also a sweetheart, Daniel irked me but I’m also keen to learn more about him as well as the other Rephaim. Each were intriguing and written well.

Ms Weston’s writing is superb! Shadows was entertaining and flowed beautifully and I really liked her original twist on Angels and Demons. I am just thankful I have book two, Haze sitting here waiting to be read – I can’t wait to dive back into this captivating story.

Overall, Shadows is a book that sucks you in, leaves you frantically flipping through the pages needing more; it has some great action sequences, amazing characters and an enjoyable, unique plot, it is a fantastic debut novel for author Paula Weston.

Fave quotes:

“We're quiet for a moment. And then: 'Why did you call me Matt?'
'It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now that I know you, I realise I should have called that character Dick.'
He laughs, and then the couch shakes. 'Honestly, Gabe, I forgot you could be this much fun.” 

Ï've been beaten up, lied to, and heard a couple of different versions of who I am and what I've supposedly done"

Paula WestonAbout the author: 

Paula Weston lives in Brisbane with her husband, a retired greyhound and a moody cockatiel. She reads widely, and is addicted to paranormal stories. Shadows, book one of the Rephaim series, is her first novel.


  1. This sounds really good, and I want to meet Rafe and Gaby, wonderful review. Isn't it fun finding new series!

    1. Thanks Kimba! I'm sure you'd love Gaby & Rafa - smexy!! I'm glad I read this, the sequel was even better :-)

  2. Yes, yes! So glad you loved this. I really like Gaby, and she and Rafa - hot hot hot!

    1. Too true Mandee! ;-) more so in Haze! Have you started it as yet?

  3. This sounds awesome! I really want to read it now and aaargh, it's not available in the US! I suppose that's karma for us, since so many of our titles take a while to get to you? Great review Sharon, I love the way this one sounds and am going to have to keep an eye out for it.

    1. Thanks Barbara, it's so rare we get a book here 1st ;) Have you read Angelfall? this one I think is just as good & the sequel was even better.


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