Author: Erin Kellison
Series: Shadow #1
Publication date: June 29th, 2010
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Death... Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.
Wraiths... Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.
Segue... Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O'Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.
Twilight... This is the place between life and what comes after--a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.
I received the second book for review and in order to read that one, I needed to first dive into the first book in the series. I have not read anything Fae related in a long time so it was great to get into that world again with a new and exciting author. The world created by Erin Kellison seems to be a totally unique take on Faes and the strive for immortality in lieu of the threat of death.
Talia never knew her parents. Her mother died after giving birth and her father was never around. Talia had learned to live with it, but when the origin of her father starts to play a role in the dark and dangerous men tailing her every move, she starts to wonder who she is and why so many people want to get their hands on her. She vacates her life and goes into hiding for months only to be found by the handsome Adam Thorne when she seems to have needed him the most. Can Adam help Talia understand who she is and why her life is anything but ordinary?
Adam is tracking Talia not to protect her, but to find answers in how to destroy the monster his brother has become. Adam is desperate and Talia and her knowledge of the Shadowman seem to be the only leads he has. But once Adam meets Talia he founds he desire more than just answers from the mysterious beauty.
Talia and Adam are caught in the clutches of the battle between good and evil. It is up to Talia with her unusual powers and Adam with his unique knowledge of the supernatural to save the world and stop the Wraith war. All the while the two also must battle their growing feelings for each other.
As far as paranormal romance goes, I found this book to be middle of the road for me. I found the romance aspects of the story to be almost forced and unnatural. The rest of the book was fantasy gold. It was a different take on the supernatural and how to ties into death and immortality. If not for the so-so romance, I think this book could have been masterful. The love scenes seemed to be a bit painful to watch. There was no swooning for me. I think that if the author would have written the book as more of an urban fantasy, it would have been even better.
Talia was not a very powerful heroine. She was actually pretty foolish a lot of the time. It was hard to watch her forge her way along her destined past and even harder to watch her struggle with the romance between her and Adam. Where Talia was too weak, Adam seemed too strong. I wanted to see a softer side of Adam and I never really did. Even when Talia and he were whispering sweet nothings to each other, I still felt he was too abrasive. The two protagonists were just a little mismatched.
Despite the issues I had with the book, I will still read the sequel and continue the series, hoping that the next set of characters are a bit more believable in the romance department.