Shadows by Paula Weston

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Title: Shadows (The Rephaim #1)
Author: Paula Weston
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Tundra Books
Pages: 400
Source: Copy received from publisher

Overall: 4 Stars

Summary:
It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares. 

My Thoughts: 
When I began Paula Weston's Shadows, I was worried the book would become a victim of a reading slump I was having. I had been searching for a new book to read but nothing was really grabbing my attention until my sister recommended Shadows to me. I'm so glad I listened to her because Paula Weston's debut novel is an addictive paranormal read with a fresh take on angels, demons, and their descendants! And, okay, Shadows totally also gets bonus points for being Australian!

It's been almost a year since the night a car accident suddenly killed Gaby's twin brother Jude and left her hospitalized with serious injuries. On her own and now eighteen-years-old, Gaby has since then moved into the small tourist town of Pan Beach where she works at the local library and quietly grieves the loss of her brother. At night, she is plagued by terrifying nightmares featuring hell-beasts she must fight and kill with a sword. And when she wakes up, a vividly green-eyed young man who helps her fight these monsters always lingers in her mind.

When Gaby meets Rafael, her world is shattered all over again. She instantly recognizes Rafa as the handsome man from her dreams, but what is even more shocking is that he claims Jude was his best friend, even though Gaby cannot remember him. Gaby's life before the car accident is still a haze, and when Rafa asks her specific questions about her past, the details always seem to slip away before she can grasp them. Something happened to Gaby to make her forget her own life, and now that others are aware she is alive, they will be coming for her... 

What I really liked about Shadows is that Paula Weston has found a way to perfectly balance developing Gaby's character growth and exploring the world of the Rephaim. Despite Rafa's insistence that Gaby's memories have been twisted and tampered, it doesn't negate the fact that the trauma of the car accident still feels all too real to her and cannot be easily brushed aside. Gaby may now find herself being drawn into the dangerous life of the Rephaim as she searches for answers with Rafa's help, but we never forget that she also still mourns and misses her brother everyday.

Seriously, how did I miss reading Shadows sooner? I'm kind of annoyed that my sister didn't recommend the book to me right away! There is still so much mystery surrounding Gaby's past and how she lost her true memories. I need more of Rafa, too! He and Gaby had such amazing chemistry together. And while I think Paula Weston's Shadows is considered a YA novel, I loved the New Adult feel it had to it! There are definitely not enough NA paranormal books yet, but the Rephaim series is an encouraging glimpse of what the genre could be like. I'm definitely eager to read what happens next to Gaby and Rafa in Haze!

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy!

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