I've been a huge fan of the Shadows since they were first introduced into the BDB canon. Mysterious, sexy, and intriguing, Trez and iAm have been gaining a presence over the past few books, so I was very excited when I found out the next book was going to focus on them. And, having finished it, I have to say I did enjoy it immensely and I do feel as though I got to know the brothers well. For that reason, I would've given the book 5 stars.
I'm not going to waste words on recounting the plot, because chances are, if you are this far into the series, you know in general what happens in this book. Instead, I feel a list of pros and cons is more suitable for this review. Spoilers ahead, so consider yourself warned.
Pro: The love story between Selena and Trez. Making the most of the time you've got, no matter how small, is something we should all strive to live by. I loved their connection and I loved how Trez called her "my queen." We should all be so lucky.
Pro: iAm's devotion to his brother. This relationship was almost as good as that between Selena and Trez.
Pro: The appearance of several of the characters we've grown to know and love. It was nice to and hear from V, Rhage, Tohr, and the rest, even in small doses.
Pro: Good set up for the spin-off series debuting this fall. I *like* Paradise.
Pro: Layla is coming into her own, but she's gonna have to "man up" for the situation she's created.
Pro: Any and every sighting of Lassiter is wonderful, and his helping iAm was spectacular.
And now for the BIG problems, which really should knock two stars off but I'm feeling generous:
Con: Ward dropped the ball BIG TIME by leaving Xhex out of the equation when both Trez and iAm were having personal crises. They've always been there for her in the past and it would have been natural for her to be involved. I'm bitterly disappointed in this aspect.
Con: Ward needs to follow her own rules. If Selena indicated she was ready to go (through Morse code eye blinking--when did she and Trez come up with that if he refused to talk about her condition?), is that suicide? Even if administered by another, it's a bit on the questionable side. That would mean she couldn't go into the Fade.
Con: So Trez is just lost for the next hundred years or so? She's brought everyone else back...why not Selena?
Con: iAm's relationship with maichen was very quick and very fortuitous. I love iAm but I don't feel the connection.
Con: Don't think we didn't notice how Ward evaded the issue of the color of Selena's skin. It went from white in one book to cafe au lait in the next, and in this book, it's just "lighter than Trez's." Ward should be aware that her fans notice these things. We make mistakes, but please own them.
Con: The Rhage story. It doesn't feel right to me. Panic attacks? Okay, well, I get the reason. I just don't feel it.
Con: What the heck is the deal with the question marks? Within the same paragraph, Ward uses them for some questions but not for others. It pulled me out of the story every. single. time. Where is the editor?
I'm still a fan of the series, and overall, I enjoyed this entry. The story between Trez an Selena was well done, if a bit tedious at times. I did finish it feeling the loss, and I suppose not everyone gets a HEA. Realistically, I'd give this one a 3.5 but my enjoyment overrides my issues and I will go with four stars.