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...
About the Author
Amanda Bonilla is the author of the Shaede Assassin novels. She lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler and a full-time sun worshipper, and she only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.
Read an Excerpt
I live in the gray. It’s a wonderful place, free of accountability, bereft of conscience. I’ve lived in the black and white, but that was before, and I don’t worry about how I used to be.
I hate the cold, and yet there I was, standing on the roof of the Cobb Building, looking out across the Metropolitan Tract while the dark, cloudy sky spit snow on my face. I wouldn’t have been there at all if I hadn’t needed the money. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I didn’t need the money. I wanted the money. I also wanted the action. That, I needed.
“Could you have picked a weirder place to meet?” a man’s voice spoke from behind me.
“Where’s Tyler?” I demanded, a little on edge that Ty had sent an errand boy instead of meeting me himself.
“Had an appointment that ran late.” His thin lips turned up in a twitchy smile, and I palmed the dagger at my thigh, feeling a bit twitchy myself. “He said to tell you he’s sorry and he’ll call you later.”
Great. It was bad enough I had to wait out in the cold. Now I had to do business with this clueless idiot. Not many of Tyler’s contractors enjoyed the privilege of an in-person visit from him, but since day one, I’d been the exception. I looked Marcus over, from his dirty black hair to his soft middle and right down to his worn, secondhand army boots. Where did Tyler find these guys?
“Let’s get this over with,” I said. “I’m freezing my ass off out here.”
“Seventy-five percent,” the lackey said. My eyes narrowed and I felt again for the dagger at my side. As if it made everything okay, Marcus quickly added, “Tyler promises he’ll get the rest to you after the job’s done.”
I jerked the envelope out of his hand. I didn’t stand out in the cold for seventy-five percent. I didn’t have to. “Ty knows I won’t do shit until I get the rest.” I tucked the money into my coat and waited.
Marcus stared at me, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He looked like he was trying to keep from pissing his pants. I can come across scary when I want.
“Look, Darian. I’m just the messenger.” I quirked a brow and he faltered. “Y-you have a problem with what’s in that envelope, you take it up with the boss man. I’m out.”
He turned his back on me, and I fought the urge to laugh at his carelessness. The tip of my blade pressed into his back before he could face me again. “You know what they do to the messenger—right, Marcus?” He swallowed, and the sound was like a stone dropping into a fifty-foot cavern. “I want the rest of my money,” I whispered close to his ear, and he shuddered. “Tell Ty to call me when he gets it.”
I disappeared before he could open his mouth again.
A gust of wind hit me full in the face as I walked, blowing back my hood and causing my hair to billow out in soft strawberry waves. I locked eyes with a man who brushed my shoulder as I passed him on the street. He studied me for a fleeting moment before averting his gaze. Perhaps he’d picked up on the faint glow of my green eyes that betrayed my lack of humanity, or maybe it was simply the solemn black clothes and deadly expression that seemed out of place on an otherwise innocent-looking girl.
Most nights I felt comfortable roaming the streets of Seattle alone, but tonight something didn’t feel right. I suppose it could’ve been the cold or the wind that stole my breath. Or maybe the fact that Tyler sent Marcus to meet me instead of coming in person. We’d been avoiding each other lately, and not because of our business relationship. It didn’t matter that Ty had shorted me money for the first time in a long time. The only reason I’d threatened Marcus at all was because I knew he’d tell Tyler about it and he’d be forced to call me up. I didn’t like distance between us, despite the fact that I needed it.
I walked, my face protected by the high collar of my duster, deeper downtown and skirted two guys and a girl hailing a cab. “Dude, you’re four-oh-four if you think you’ve got a chance with her,” one guy said to the other before climbing in after the girl.
“Four-oh-four,” I whispered under my breath, committing the phrase to memory. I wanted to find out what it meant, add it to my mental dictionary. I was always careful to use the vernacular of the times.
As the cab pulled away, I thought of the many instances I’d watched from beneath lowered lashes, listening in on conversations. I have perfected the art of imitation. Mannerisms, slang, modes of dress change every day, let alone every year. I don’t miss a single trend. My looks are enough to make me stand out; I don’t need another excuse to draw unwanted attention.
The sleet began to accumulate, and I shuffled my boots through the muck, making narrow paths behind me. I tucked my fists into my pockets and picked up my pace, no longer patient with the weather. Hustling along, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I was alone in this world. I hadn’t encountered another of my kind in nearly a century, and when I had known one, I’d been too green to ask the right questions.
Azriel. As shrewd as he’d been secretive. Answers didn’t come easy. He’d kept me right where he wanted me, under the guise of love and devotion. Even as I forced the memories down, they resurfaced.
“I don’t want your kisses.” I looked into his handsome, ageless face. A face that would never change, despite the passing of years. “I want answers.”
“As long as you’re with me, there’s nothing you need to know.”
“Why do you seem like a mirage once the sun sets, and I seem more solid?”
“I am born, and you are made.” He tried to stop the questions with another kiss.
“But you can look more solid if you choose,” I said.
“Glamour for human benefit. It’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“You don’t need glamour during the day,” I pressed, eager for information.
“Neither do you,” he said in an offhand way.
“What about the others? Are there others like us wandering the earth?”
Azriel let out an exasperated sigh. “No. We are the last. The only ones of our kind.”
“Tell me something else,” I begged. “Anything.”
“Really, Darian, you are like a whining babe.” His dark eyes turned cold, but he softened the cruel edge by taking my hand in his. “‘Why, why, why?’ It drones in my ears. Why don’t I ask you some questions?”
“Are you deadly?” he asked.
“If I want to be.”
“Are you strong and quick as the wind?”
“As strong as you and just as fast,” I replied.
“Can you pass as shadow during the night, and are you confined to corporeal form during the day?”
“I can, and I am,” I said, almost pouting.
“Then do not worry about what you do not know. We are immortal. The only weapon that can kill us is a blade forged with magic, and even I don’t know where one might be. We are alone in this world, and you have nothing to fear.” His mouth hovered close to mine. “Ask me no more.”
I broke free from the unpleasant memories and cursed myself for thinking about him. He was long gone. Though I’d never been able to prove it, I figured he’d wound up on the pointed end of a magic blade. Dead. It was the only explanation; he’d never have left me otherwise. But that part of my life was best forgotten. My focus needed to be on the money I was owed and Tyler’s absence tonight. Not a long-lost lover who’d disappeared ages ago.
Thoroughly annoyed with my nostalgic moment and chilled to the bone, I arrived at my studio apartment near the center of Belltown, the northern district of downtown Seattle. The densely populated area suited me—too many people paying too much attention to themselves to worry about me or what I might be.
I stepped from the lift that opened to the apartment and was greeted by a gust of warm air. Every muscle in my body relaxed. I kept the thermostat at a toasty seventy-five degrees, sometimes warmer.
Falling onto a chair, I drummed my hands on the armrest. I hated having my time wasted, and Marcus was a huge waste of my time. My cell phone rang, breaking the silence. Since I didn’t have any besties calling to gab about their hair appointments and desk jobs, I knew it was Tyler.
“Speak,” I said into the receiver.
“Were you expecting someone else to answer my phone?” I smiled, enjoying the way my name sounded like a soft caress when he said it. “Do you have the rest of my money?”
“Yeah. I had to guarantee it, though.” His tone sounded put out, but I knew the truth: Tyler could afford to guarantee my work. “What did you do to Marcus tonight anyway? He said he’d quit if I ever sent him on an errand that involved you again.” The laughter in his voice put me at ease. He knew I’d been messing with Marcus, and he didn’t entirely disapprove. That guy needed to grow a pair if he was going to play with the big boys.
“You should have come yourself,” I said. “I don’t like meeting with your errand boys.”
A long silence stretched between us, and I couldn’t help but wonder what Tyler was thinking. “Snow’s coming down pretty hard out there.” His words were stilted—definitely not what he’d planned on saying, as if the weather were a safer topic than what was really on his mind. “I’ll bring the rest of your money over myself. Be there in ten minutes.”
I snapped the phone shut. He knew me down to the smallest detail, and the fact that he was willing to come over so I didn’t have to go back out in the cold warmed me from the pit of my stomach outward. Avoidance wasn’t going to work. Not when we both made excuses to continue to see each other.
I twisted the ring on my left thumb—wide, worn silver with an antiquated carving. I’d never been able to identify the animal; it looked sort of like a bull or maybe a buffalo. Too much like a cave drawing for me to tell for sure. Tyler had given it to me after I’d completed my first job for him—said all of his people wore one. In the event a job went south, the ring would identify the wearer even if dental records couldn’t. And if anyone happened to cross me? Well, according to Tyler, the ring would guarantee my protection. Apparently, one look at that bull . . . buffalo . . . whatever would set stone-cold killers to shaking in their boots. It hadn’t mattered to him that I wasn’t so hard to dispatch. He’d insisted I wear it, and who was I to turn down free jewelry?
I met Tyler five years ago. He’s like a temp agency for the underbelly of society—a problem solver in the basest sense of the word. Tyler makes them—poof!—disappear. He’s known in a lot of circles, and he gets paid a nice chunk of change for his services. Working for him had been a no-brainer. I’d needed a new benefactor, as my previous contact had met an untimely end at the hands of the Russian mob. Tyler needed someone apathetic and discreet. He knew I was a killer the first time he laid eyes on me, and I knew he was the type of guy with connections.
Tyler was known for his hard edge, but when his eyes met mine, they held a depth of emotion that caught me off guard. It sparked something in me I’d thought long buried. “You’re not just a good-looking daddy’s girl, are you?” he’d asked.
I laughed. I’d never been a daddy’s girl. “Nope. But I’ve got skills, and from what I hear, they’re the kind you need. The kind of skills that could earn us both a lot of money.”
“What do you know about my business?” he asked, a smile in his voice.
“I know people pay you to solve their problems.”
“And how do you solve problems?”
I pulled a dagger from the sheath at my thigh and drove the point into the bar’s thick wooden tabletop. “I take them away. Permanently.”
And with that, I was hired.
As promised, the elevator whirred to life ten minutes after his call.
Tyler never disappoints. He’s never late.
I didn’t greet him at the door. Cordiality wasn’t one of my strong suits. Instead, I stood at my kitchen counter, pretending to be anything but preoccupied by who had just stepped into my apartment. It’s hard to ignore that level of gorgeous, and Tyler had it in spades. My heart raced at the sight of him, and it suddenly felt like my mouth was too dry to speak. Damn. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of weeks, and just watching him walk toward me was enough to make my stomach do a backflip. And that was a huge fucking problem. I couldn’t afford to feel anything for him. I’d learned the hard way that love is nothing more than the sharpest blade, and it can easily be turned against you. I refused to let anyone have that kind of power over me ever again.
“Is there anything in your wardrobe that isn’t black?” he teased as he walked toward the kitchen.
I resisted the urge to smile, unwilling to let him see the trace of warmth his nearness caused. “I like black.” I almost always wear black or white, depending on the job and the circumstances. Tyler only saw me in black. The work I did for him wasn’t exactly on the sunny side.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said, coming closer. “You look great.”
So do you, I thought, as he shrugged off his heavy wool peacoat. Ty never overdid it in the clothing department. He was a jeans and T-shirt guy all the way, but he knew how to make the simple garments complement his lean, muscular body. Tyler’s not even a notch below Calvin Klein underwear-model physique, and has a tousled mop of gold-and-bronze-streaked hair and strange hazel eyes—green with a brownish star surrounding the pupil. A garbage bag would’ve looked like an Armani suit on him.
He reached around to his back pocket and produced an envelope containing the rest of my money, and a slip of paper. “Is that for me?” I asked, reaching out.
“Yeah, the information’s on the paper.”
I leaned over the bar and he pressed the envelope and paper into my hand, grazing my fingers as he pulled away. Though his skin was cooler than mine, Tyler’s touch left me warm. And wanting more. My skin all but burned where he’d touched me, a brand that reminded me I’d have been better off dealing with Marcus. Tyler must have felt it too, judging by the way his lids became hooded and his chest rose and fell in a quick rhythm. I took a tentative step back, irritated at my own stupidity for orchestrating this visit. Shit.
He ran his fingers through the thick tangles of his hair and dropped onto a stool at the bar. His jaw clenched, the muscle at his cheek flexing. “Look, Darian. I want you to be careful on this job. Something doesn’t feel right.”
Ty’s instincts were usually right on. But I never gave much thought to things like caution. “I can handle it,” I said. “You don’t need to worry about me.”
“I know you can handle it.” Ty gave me a level stare. “That’s not the point. Maybe I should take this one myself.”
“No way.” This job paid double my usual fee. I had no intention of giving up that kind of money. Or the kind of action a double fee usually indicated. “I’ve got this one. Period.”
Ty shifted in his seat, and I knew his pensive attitude had nothing to do with the mark. “You ever think of a change in venue? Maybe a new line of work?”
“Sure, because I’ve always secretly wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Please. I’m good at what I do, and you know it.”
Standing from the stool, Ty rounded the bar and leaned up against the sink beside me. I balled my hands into fists, more to keep them from shaking than anything. God, he smelled good. Comforting, like fresh-baked cinnamon bread or something equally delicious and loaded with rich spices. His unique scent swirled around in my head, and I wanted nothing more than to lean into him, feel the weight of his arms around me as I breathed him in. But then my common sense gave me a swift kick in the ass. There was a stack of reasons why I couldn’t be with Tyler. He was human while I . . . well, I sure as hell wasn’t. Plus, he deserved someone softer. A nice piece of womanly eye candy. Someone capable of giving and receiving love without considering it a bargaining chip. Someone who wouldn’t stab another person with something sharp if he pissed her off. That someone wasn’t me.
“How long are we going to keep doing this?” His tone, though dark, had a sensual edge to it. A yearning that mirrored my own. Shit.
“Tyler—” My gaze dropped to the floor. I couldn’t look up because he’d see the emotion written all over my face. “We’re not going to talk about this.”
“Maybe I want to talk about it.” His voice became softer still. He reached out, his fingers caressing me, shoulder to wrist. A jolt of excitement shot through my core, and I cursed my weakness and my susceptibility to his touch. I wanted him, and not just for the night.
“We work together.” The excuse sounded as lame in my head as it did coming out of my mouth.
“Then you’re fired,” he murmured, brushing his fingers against my palm.
My cheeks flushed and it had nothing to do with the temperature in my apartment. These moments between us were becoming more frequent—and harder to resist. I put my palm against his chest, my entire hand tingling with excitement from the contact. He felt solid, rock hard, under my hand, and I wondered what his skin would feel like without his T-shirt between us. I pushed him gently away, severing our contact and allowing me enough space to take a decent breath. I couldn’t focus with him so close. And we needed to talk business.
“So,” I said, shaky, “I take it the mark’s a real bastard?”
Tyler took an extra step back, his smile turning almost sad. “You know me,” he said with a sigh, and the sound mirrored my own disappointment. “I don’t take money to kill just any asshole. Only the scum of the earth will do.”
That’s why I worked for Tyler. He shared my disgust for the morally bankrupt, and I could count on him to flush them out of their holes for me. Be it a drug dealer, pimp, or worse, Tyler hated abusers just as much as I did. And each and every one of them abused their victims in one horrible way or another.
Talking business was like a gust of fresh air. It cleared my head, redirected my focus. This job was the only thing keeping me from violating all of my self-imposed rules in regards to Tyler. I’d spent decades polishing my armor, and now was not the time to let it tarnish.
I leaned back against the stove, but still, the distance between us could be closed by an arm’s length. Even the air seemed thinner, as though there wasn’t enough of it to share. Tyler sealed the gap, his eyes trained on my face, drinking in every detail. He reached out, his fingers feather light against my cheek, and tucked a stray strand of hair behind my ear. Time to take this conversation out of the kitchen. I needed some space, and the current cramped quarters weren’t doing anything for my willpower. I tapped the envelope of money against my palm, paced away from Tyler, and rounded the far end of the polished concrete countertop. I flopped down on the overstuffed chair in the living room that bordered the kitchen. Unfolding the slip of paper, I read the mark’s info with more interest than the situation called for. “I’ll get ahold of you when it’s done,” I said.
Tyler stiffened, his shoulders square. “You can’t keep avoiding this—us—Darian.”
Who says? As far as I was concerned, I could keep avoiding it until the end of time. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Right, Ty? We work well together. And I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Why can’t things stay just the way they are?”
“Change is the only constant, Darian.”
He always said my name with care, as if the word was fragile. The sound of it made my chest ache. “We just can’t . . . be together.”
His eyes burned into mine. “Why not?”
Why not, indeed? “It’s not a good idea. Trust me, Ty. I’m not what you need.”
He threw his coat over his shoulders and headed for the elevator. “Why don’t you let me worry about what I need? Be careful tomorrow. I’d hate for you to trip on your boulder-sized pride before you get the job done.”
The elevator whined its way to the ground floor, leaving me alone.
Way to go, I thought. You wanted things to cool down. Looks like you got your wish. He’d forget about his fascination soon enough. It wasn’t really me he wanted. More likely it was the idea of me. The exotic, preternatural creature. Tyler would find someone worthy of his adoration. The thought of his arms around another woman made me want to scream. I sat for a moment, absorbing the quiet and the hollow ache in my chest that only his absence caused. Fuck if I knew why, but the torture of having him near was almost better than the anguish of watching him leave.
Rather than continue to stew in my misery and obsess over emotions best left unrealized, I locked the envelopes—both the seventy-five percent and the remainder of my fee—in a safe tucked behind a false wall. Tyler wouldn’t dare cheat me. I trusted him with my life; the money was a no-brainer.
I unfolded the paper once again and reread the name and address scrawled on it.
Xander Peck, 1573 East Highland Drive
His name rolled off my tongue a couple of times. Not exactly a Tom or Josh or Steve. But I guess Darian wasn’t exactly a Becky, Suzie, or Jennifer either.
Poor bastard. I wondered who Xander Peck had pissed off to deserve a visit from me. Whatever he’d done, it must’ve been pretty bad. People paid through the nose for my services, and I wasn’t exactly listed in the yellow pages. You’d have to have connections, and not the normal kind, to hire a Shaede to mete out your punishments.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Let me just begin this by saying if you like your sci-fi/paranormal/urban fantasy with just a little romance, you owe it to yourself to check out this series right at its beginning. What's the difference, you ask? Paranormal romance tends to be pretty steamy...not just the "Things that Go Bump in the Night" go bump in the night, if you know what I mean. (And some of them go hump, ahem, bump in the night quite alot!) Bonilla has chosen instead to let the romance develop through - I'm assuming, here - several books, comparable to Mercy and Adam taking several books to get together in Patricia Briggs' superb Mercedes Thompson series, or, similarly Kat Richardson's characters of Harper and Quinton moving slowly in her atmospheric Greywalker series. I admire this...it gives the reader time to know the characters, spot their strengths and weaknesses, to see if they've, indeed, met their perfect match and just how far they'll go to win or keep them. Lessons aside, if it takes awhile to warm up to our Shaede assassin, that's just the way Darian wants it. Experience has taught her to trust or love no one. In the early 1900's, Darian was a young woman (yes, human) who made an advantageous marriage to please her parents. The match was less than pleasant as her husband was firmly in the closet, except when he came out to beat his wife. Her transformation to Shaede was performed by a seductive stranger who heeds her unspoken desire to disappear by making that physically possible. A Shaede can dematerialize with a moment's thought, a skill that makes her pefect for the job of assassin that she and Azriel, maker and now lover, take up to keep them in funds. This backstory is a little slow to appear, but keep going...because years after Azriel has deserted her and is presumed by Darian to be long dead, she discovers that his tales of their being the only ones of their kind are just one of his falsehoods. It's when the reader is introduced to this large and imaginative world of every sort of Fey that the tale really starts to hum. Who Darian is hired to kill and why is really just a springboard to all of the mayhem and backstabbing that echo the human world all too closely. As a reader of all sorts of paranormal romance and sci-fi urban fantasy, I found this book to be a worthy intro to a new and fascinating series...July's 2nd entry, Blood Before Sunrise, seems much too far away.
The description interested me and i was excited to read this book but was disappointed with the shallow and less than believable character develoment. One small example, the lead chick, who's supposed to be cold, mercenary like, detached and tough as nails, demands double her payment to do a job and then allow herself to be forced to do additional security work for free and without a single complaint. One my things that distract you from becoming emersed and make you ask "really?" That said, it was still a decent plot and the climax was gripping. Not sure if i will read the next in the series or not.
Darian is a shade, she was abandoned by her love without any idea of who or what she really was. After her love disappeared she decided to use her shade abilities to her benefit and became an assassin for hire only going after bad guys.I had no issues connecting to the story. The action kept me reading and there were some great twists thrown in along the way. We quickly jump into SHAEDES OF GRAY getting to know Darian's personality. She is self reliant, Strong, hides in plain site, doesn't take crap and has a snarky personality about her. She also has no idea what she can really do and who she really is, doesn't show her true feelings and refuses to let people get close to her. Darian is given a job and finds out quickly that this one isn't like any other she has ever taken. She finds out that what she always thought was the case is far from the truth and is thrust into a world she has secretly longed for and at the same time wants no part of.The world was easy to follow along to and the characters were all unique and full of personality. One of my favorite characters was Raif the warrior who ends up being a great supporting character through out the story. He was loyal, honest and he made me laugh a number of times and really knew how to kick @ss.SHAEDES OF GRAY does have a blooming romance along the pages. Tyler isn't what Darian thought he was and she has pushed him away while wanting him close for a long time. Tyler makes his feelings for Darian well known from the start and is very protective of her even though she can very well take care of herself. I enjoyed following as they grew closer and watching Darian fight against herself for her happiness.SHAEDES OF GRAY was my kind of Urban Fantasy I was hooked from page one and I cant wait for book 2 BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE to come out.
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick & Dirty: An original and complex urban fantasy romance. Opening Sentence: I live in the gray. The Review: When the story begins, we meet Darian, a shaede, and as she believes, the last of her kind. A shaede, in this series, is an immortal (well, immortal as any other almost human is) who can physically blend her body in with the darkness. Her gift also comes with some heightened senses, other superhuman abilities and a nose for sniffing out other immortals. Darian has been trained by her maker, and once beloved Azriel, to act as an assassin, taking on contracts from the hot, and also immortal, Tyler. Tyler, my ladies, is of the Jinn species, or loosely translated, he¿s a genie. A genie, ladies! One whom has bonded himself to Darian and will grant her every (well almost every) wish. Phew, is it hot in here J When Tyler takes on another contract and hires out Darian; neither one of them realize their lives are about to change dramatically. You see, the contract is to kill none other than the King of the Shaede Nation. Imagine her surprise when she discovers not only is she not alone, but there are a slew of other immortal races just hanging out there among the rest of us. Alas, this hit is just a sham, a way to bring Darian so she can serve her king¿s actual needs to kill his most powerful rival, who also happens to be his son, none other than¿wait for it¿.why, it¿s Azriel of course. Apparently, in order to die, a shaede must be taken out by either a natural enemy, or someone from his own family tree. Harsh! So, now we find Darian being trained to fight immortals, in love with a genie, and being sought after by her king, who in a strange way is kind of like her grandfather. But what she doesn¿t know, and some others definitely do, is that there is something special about our Darian, something not even they have ever seen. But, as with most paranormal type things, with great power comes great danger and she must fight for her life, again and again, and in the end it is the fate of an entire species she carries on her shoulders. This book was thrilling, like an amusement park ride I didn¿t want to get off of. Seriously, it was after one in the morning. I was tired. My oldest bratlet¿s alarm goes off at 6:30. Did I mention I was tired? Not many books grab a reader from the very beginning, and keep them like this all the way through. I can¿t wait to read the next installment, Blood Before Sunrise. Notable Scene: ¿You¿re a pretty Shaede,¿ she said before twirling in a circle. ¿Wanna dance?¿I wondered if I camr across as the kind of girl who let loose on the dance floor. She looked me up and down and gave a small shrug of her tiny shoulders. ¿No, but I thought I¿d ask anyway.¿ Whoa. That¿s new. ¿I guess people have to be pretty careful around you, don¿t they?¿ ¿What do you mean?¿ Blondie replied, her eyes drifting shut again. ¿Because I can hear your thoughts?¿ ¿Uh, yeah.¿ I watched her sway and twirl, and the strange flow of air that came off her sort of lulled me, momentarily confusing my purpose in being there. I blinked back a sudden wave of lethargy and tapped her shoulder again. ¿I know you¿re, um, busy dancing and all, but someone said you might have some information on where I can find the Enphigmalé.¿ She twirled again before peeking out at me through one eye. ¿When night becomes day and day becomes night, the nine will come to claim their right. When darkest soul meets lightest love, her blood will play creator¿s role, and from stone release their souls.¿ I didn¿t expect her to go all rhyming and poetic on me. Not to mention that none of what she said made an ounce of sense. She spun again and ignored me completely while the music absorbed her attention. ¿You want to elaborate on that?¿ I asked, grabbing her by her arms to stop her. I was getting seasick from all the rocking. ¿Marked as creator, but no one¿s maker. No mother, no father, they surely will take her,¿ Sylph Girl sai
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A great first book of a series. Loved it and can't wait to read more
Shaedes of Gray is the urban fantasy novel that immediately flicks on the curiosity switch inside of readers. Amanda Bonilla paints the picture of a naive but strong Shaede, and gives her a destiny that can only be defined in terms of time. Darian only knows how to be an assassin. When Azriel made her, he only taught her how to fight, and left her in the dark regarding the supernatural community surrounding her. The world Bonilla creates is unique and as close to reality as an urban fantasy novel can get. The abundance of familiar creatures featured makes it easier to adjust to the idea of a Shaede and the unusual powers one possesses. It's all in the words when it comes to understanding the plot of Shaedes of Gray. When Darian isn't threatening the king of Shades, Xander, or training with the guard of all guards, Raif, she's learning about what she is and what she's meant to be. With a little bit of romance thrown into the mix, Shaedes of Gray is branded as a fabulous beginning to the series of Shaede Assassin novels. Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books
This is my first Bonilla novel to read, and it will definitely not be my last! I am going to share the synopsis from the back cover of the book because I have a habit of including spoilers in my summaries. I'm working on it! Darian has lived alone for almost a century it the shadows of the night. 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. Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm's length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers in necessary to protect the innocent - and a welcome distraction. But 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 has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished. There is so much about the premise of this book that I enjoyed: 1. Darian, the 1st person narrator and protagonist, is not perfect. She is cranky, cynical, and skeptical of most everyone. I relate to that because I'm that way before coffee. 2. Darian has fun powers that allow her to sense the powers of others and allow her to fade into the shadows. That's cool. She is not the most powerful character, but her powers have great potential. 3. The world Darian lives in includes many other powerful creatures that I enjoyed. I would like to know more about them and how they work. For example, who are the seers? What are their full powers? 4. The novel clearly sets up the next installment in the series. I enjoy series books because I get to spend more time with the characters. There are also a few things about the book that I didn't enjoy: 1. Darian is CRANKY. She is rude to almost everyone with or without cause. She has baggage, yes, but why is she so cranky all the time? 2. Why did Tyler feel connected to Darian? Without giving spoilers, I didn't understand his draw to her. Yes, she tells us quite often how beautiful she is. Yes, she is a powerful creature. BUT, what did Darian do to make Tyler fall for her? She's quite awful to him. 3. Why in the world is Darian attracted to Xander? I need to know more about him and their interactions to believe the attraction on either side. Does he want her only as a pawn? Does she want him only because he is powerful? Darian is not my favorite protagonist, but she is interesting. The world that Bonilla has created is even more interesting. I have high hopes for the rest of the series and I look forward to Darian's growth and learning more about the other creatures. Three out of Five Stars
I have to say that Shaedes of Gray is really a "my" type of book - witty, kickass heroine who has awesome powers, a friend that has always looked out for her, another more powerful, high-ranking love interest comes along, and amidst the love triangle troubles, nothing's better than a big and complex plot to up the thrill and suspense. Typical for a Paranormal Romance novel, but the idea of the Shaede, well that is very unique, and very cool. The characters in SOG were very memorable in their own way - the female protagonist, Darian, was witty, snarky, and a girl who sticks up for herself. She is the master of her own decisions, and she will allow no one to be her king, or to make her a pawn of some twisted game for power; Tyler's sweet and fiercely-protective in his own silent way, but he is also funny and easygoing; Xander is intense, highhanded, powerful, but very romantic and male. It took some time to get into the momentum of reading this novel, but the excitement escalated towards the middle till the end where I just couldn't tear my attention away from the book; I HAD to know where the story went, and how it concluded! Overall, SHAEDES OF GREY is an amazing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance novel packed full of fast-paced action, suspense, witty humor, sarcastic and kickass heroine, love triangle that'll leave you feeling so conflicted as to who to side with, a complex plot with curveballs at every turn, and betrayals and deceptions that will leave you reeling hours after you've put down the book. Even though the plot was a little typical, it was still fun, intense and never dull.
Great read! If you like charecters such as Chloe Niell's Merrit,Patricia Briggs' Mercy, and Laurel K Hamilton's Anita then this is the book for you! Great start of what I hope is a long standing series.
Great read; not the average, predictable plot. I can't wait for Amanda's next book!