Series: Shaede Assassin #1
Published by Penguin on December 6th 2011
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Romantic
Sexual Content: One moderately graphic sex scene.
Reviewed by: Abigail
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...
Assassin for hire is becoming a popular job for urban fantasy heroines. We’ve already got Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series from Pocket Books, going strong at five books with the sixth due out in early 2012. And this month we meet a new assassin in SHAEDES OF GRAY, the first book in Amanda Bonilla’s new Shaede Assassin series from Signet Eclipse.
Since comparisons between the two are inevitable, lets get those out of the way first. Like Estep’s Gin, Bonilla’s Darian is more than human. She’s a Shaede, a being of immense strength and speed capable of disappearing in shadows. Both share a similar code of ethics where killing is concerned: only bad guys are allowed. Both are also aggressive loners, but where Gin has no problem picking up guys when the mood strikes, Darian has certain self imposed rules about falling in love. She’s been burned before and doesn’t intend to ever let it happen again.
Which brings me to the first, of unfortunately many, gripe with this book. Darian is deliberately prickly and very cool towards her main love interest, Tyler…yet he pants after her like a puppy. I didn’t get it. And when certain revelations about his devotion are explained, it made even less sense that he would choose her. Tyler, apart from his misplaced affection, was at least likeable, the other love interest was anything but. Xander, the Shaede King, is in a twisted round-about-way related to Darian. They both know it. It’s super creepy. And yet, he pursues her and she has to struggle with her desire for him. Every scene where they were touching each other I literally cringed while reading. I had other problems with the small feeling scope of the world, the lack of explanation where the potentially interesting mythology was concerned, and general averageness of the writing.
Judging by some of the other early reviews floating around for SHAEDES OF GRAY, I appear to be in the minority, but I just did not connect with this book. I found the protagonist to be too hard, one love interest inexplicable devoted, and the other way left of my ick factor line since he was basically her grandfather/father-in-law, and the writing—especially the dialogue—to be a little forced and even verging on cheesy in places. Do check out some other reviews before you make your decision about this book and the second book in the Shaede Assassin series entitled BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE which will be published on July 3, 2012, but this just wasn’t for me.More Reviews: