The Rephaim #1
Publisher: Orion's Children
Publication date: 3rd January 2013
A lot goes on in Shadows by Paula Weston but I have the feeling that this is a series which will be well worth following.
Gaby survived the car accident that her twin brother Jude died in and a year later she is still grieving and her memories of both the accident and their lives before the accident are still pretty much a blank.
After posting online some stories based on the strange and violent dreams she has been recently having one of the men from her dreams known as Rafa strangely arrives in Pan Beach and claims to both know her and her brother and demands to know how Jude died and why Gaby survived. With photographs on his phone to prove he was a friend of her brother Gaby can't understand why she has never even heard of Rafa and things get even stranger for Gaby when she is attacked by 2 other people who arrived out of nowhere but seem to know her and demand that she tells them why she betrayed them. Everyone seems to expect that Gaby will fight back but she doesn't know how and has to be eventually rescued by Rafa.
It becomes clear to Gaby that she's had a waaaay more interesting life than she previously thought in short, the life she thought she had in Pan Beach has all been a lie and that some unknown person has wiped her memories and created new ones for her.
See what I mean about a lot going on? It's here the world building in Shadows gets even more interesting. Basically, Semyala was the leader of the fallen angels and they broke out of hell 140 years ago and for a 48 hour period partied hard and impregnating virgin girls and then disappeared never to be found again despite a hoard of demons searching for them. The resulting offspring including Rafa, Gabe and Jude are immortal half angels who can shift from place to place in the blink of an eye and are known as the Rephaim. The Rephaim which seem to have divided into 2 factions with Gabe and her brother on opposing sides, continue to search for their fallen angels fathers willing to hand them over once found to the angelic host as way of convincing the angels that the Rephaim are not a threat to mankind unlike their fathers. I have to say once I got my head around all of this I was more than intrigued. I loved the little twist that Rafa and Jude appeared to be on one side with Gabe firmly on the other especially since Gabe now has to rely on Rafa until her memories come back their flirty frenemies relationship was particularly delicious especially with Gabe's ex-boyfriend still in the equation.
Overall, Shadows does suffer a little bit from the dreaded first in a series syndrome with quite a lot of necessary world building and character information. It took me a while to work out who was in what faction and why but in saying that, I really enjoyed the story. As I finished Shadows I had, like Gaby, a tonne of questions in my head. Who can Gaby really trust? Who wiped her memories and why? What has really happened to her brother? As a result I've already been straight off to Amazon to buy the next instalment Haze and I'm adding Shadows to my list of favourite Aussie YA books.
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