Author: Amanda Bonilla
Series: Sheade Assassin, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Group
“In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. 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.
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's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…”
Shaedes of Gray is the first book in the Shaede Assassin series by Amanda Bonilla.
This is one of those reviews in which I just want to tell (scream at) you “this book was great, one of the best of the year, go and get your copy now”. But I know you greedy people won’t have enough with that, so let me try to convince you better.
Darian is a super natural being that can morph into a shadow and slip into darkness, her kind are known as Shaedes.
After suffering years of physical and emotional abuse by her husband an acquaintance of them rescued her after a very serious beating that almost ended her life and made her Shaede. This happened over hundred years ago. She lived with her Maker Azriel for twenty five years or so, he taught her little about their kind and their abilities. Azriel told her they were the last of their kind and for that reason they needed to be very careful and don’t allow people to discover them. Azriel promised her daily to be always with her, but one day he left to do something and never came back. The only explanation in Darian’s mind was that he got somehow killed, he would have never left her otherwise.
Years have passed, Darian has become a well-known assassin, but one with a code of honor; she just accepts jobs in which the victim is somebody with a shady past, an abuser or simply a bad person. Darian has been working with the same handler for five years. Tyler has become a friend and somebody she trusts. Since day one there has been an attraction between them but Darian doesn’t want to fall for a human who would age and die while she will continue with her immortal life. For that reason everyday is a struggle for her not to act upon their attraction.
Darian life changes the moment she accepts the job to kill Alexander (Xander) Peck. After failing to kill him, a first for her, she discovers that Xander was not just her mark, he was also the King of the Shaedes who has hired her as a test. She’s not alone, there are not only many Shaedes like her, but many other supernatural beings. She has live in the dark for over a hundred years and now her beliefs and world are crashing down. She is feeling used, lied to and stupid, not a nice combination for somebody with a temper like hers. And to add to her situation Xander, the King of her kind has requested her services and she can’t say no.
I really felt for Darian. When she was human she was abused for years by her husband, then she becomes Shaede, now after many years she discovered her Maker used her and lied to her. Everything she has believed for hundred of years was a lie. I can’t imagine what would be my reaction if I was in her shoes, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be very close to her reaction. It was not only that she was not alone, but all the other things she discovered as well. What else? You have to get your own book and read it to know, I won’t give that much away.
This book is told from Darian's point of view, I loved how Mrs. Bonilla gives us the information we require at a good pace; we are discovering and learning at the same time as Darian is doing it. In my opinion this made it easier to connect and identify with Darian.
I really liked Darian, she is the epitome of a kick ass heroine. I loved how she thought herself the super fighter and soon realizes her skills were completely lacked, another thing to add to her “deal with” pile. But this didn’t stop her, she got the training she needed it and gave her best everyday even though she got her ass kicked more than once.
I also loved how she didn't think much of herself and didn’t understand why she was getting attention from certain persons.
Tyler oh sweet, sweet Tyler! What else can I say. He is not just hot as hell, he is also caring, dedicated and always there when you need it, he is just perfect.
The attraction between Darian and Tyler is of the charts. I’m not exaggerating but my eReader was steaming every time they were together in the same page.
Xander is one of those characters with which you have a love/not like relationship. As he is King he expects everybody to do his bidding, he is used to that, but here comes Darian and her attitude and he can’t get enough of her. Their attraction has a level of creepiness, but at the same time I understand they are a different kind and can’t be judge by human standards, what for us maybe a no-no, in their culture is ok. So this is something I had to look at with an open mind. What am I talking about? You have to get your copy and discover it by yourself.
Another character I loved was Raif, I loved how honest he was with Darian and how in a short time he became a good friend and somebody she could trust to tell her the truth when nobody else was doing it. In a sense he is almost a male version of Darian. I hope to see and learn more about him in books to come. Another character I would love to know more about is Anya, I’m sure there is a lot more of her than what Mrs. Bonilla gave us in Shaedes of Gray.
The world Mrs. Bonilla has created is new and different, the characters are well developed and the plot is not only nicely paced but with many surprises along the way. If I would have to say what I thought of Sheades of Gray in just one word I would say Refreshing.
I love Urban Fantasy, it’s one of my favorite genres, but lately it has been difficult to find a book with a new feeling and this new feeling is what I found in Sheades of Gray. If you love this genre you NEED to read Sheades of Gray, I’m also sure this book would be appealing to paranormal romance lovers. The only “problem” I found with this book was that I couldn’t put it down, since the moment I started it I read it non-stop from page one to the end. My recommendation to you is to get the chinese or pizza menu ready because you will be trapped in Darian’s world and won’t be able to leave until you get to that end-point.
I have to thank Pamela (@SpazP) and Julie from Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks for recommending me this book. Now it’s your turn to read it, you don’t have to thank me but I’m pretty sure you will.
Saying I’m looking forward to the next installment Blood Before Sunrise is an understatement, July 3rd of next year can’t come soon enough.
My Verdict: 5 Paws
Other books in the series
Sheades of Gray
Blood Before Sunrise (July 3, 2012)
Other reviews Goodreads