Shimmer by Paula Weston
I’m so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Shimmer. Thanks to Tundra Press for providing me with a copy. I’ve been anxiously awaiting it’s release since I finished Haze. If you haven’t read the first two books in this series (Shadows and Haze) I’m going to suggest you pick them up right away, read them, and then come back here as there will be spoilers for the first two books in this review.
Gaby and Jude are back. Rafa’s fate is still unknown and the tagline across the top of the book “Secrets. Rivalry. Threats. Lies.” couldn’t be more true!
Shimmer is book 3 of the Rephaim series by Paula Weston. The description from Goodreads is:
Gaby thought her life couldn’t get more complicated.
She’s almost used to the idea that she’s not the nineteen-year-old backpacker she thought she was. She can just about cope with being one of the Rephaim – a 140-year-old half-angel – whose memories have been stolen. She’s even coming to grips with the fact that Jude, the brother she’s mourned for a year, didn’t die at all.
But now Rafa—sexy, infuriating Rafa—is being held, and hurt, by Gatekeeper demons. And Gaby has to get the bitterly divided Rephaim to work together, or Rafa has no chance at all.
It’s a race against time – and history. And it may already be too late.
Shimmer opens with a prologue that reminds us that only 11 days have passed since we first met Gaby! Eleven days! There’s so much action in the first part of this series that it was a bit of a shock to be reminded that so little time has passed. When we last saw our characters, Gaby had been reunited with her twin Jude, and Rafa and Taya were injured and taken by Gatekeeper demons. Now they’ve got to figure out how to get Rafa back.
I love the action in this series, and Book 3 doesn’t disappoint. This is one of those books that I actually put off starting because I knew that as soon as I did I wouldn’t want to put it down (and I wanted to know I had enough time to just read). I was quickly sucked in, and there is definitely lots happening. I like how Gaby is continuing to grow. She had a bit of a hard time accepting that she’s Rephaim and capable of all the things the other Rephaim can do. But we see how the events that have unfolded in the last week and a half have influenced her when she watches a fight between the Outcasts and the Loyal and thinks that getting it out of their system like this, through violence, is a good option:
“And this is my idea of a solution now. When did I become this person? But I know the answer: somewhere between killing a hell-beast and watching Rafa be impaled by a demon blade.”
I also love the intrigue that runs as the backbone of the story. Gaby and Judge both lost their memory a year ago. And something BIG happened right before that. Neither of them remember, the other Rephaim are slow to fill in details, and most (all? hopefully we find out) don’t know exactly what happened a year ago. As the readers we’re left to piece together the bits of information that we have. The Rephaim are searching for the Fallen, in hopes of redeeming themselves. But it seems like there’s more than one agenda from those in charge. I’m interested in that thread of the story line, but I’m really interested in what happened a year ago to bring Gaby and Jude together only to have their memories wiped. And there’s more to Gaby’s history with Rafa that I can’t wait to find out.
I also really enjoyed the fact that Gaby can’t remember how to shift. She’s so passionate and headstrong and there were multiple points in the book where I thought that it’s a good thing she can’t just go on her own to do this. Cause she would, and she wouldn’t survive.
There are some lovely moments between the characters too. Gaby and Jude see some pictures from their past:
“We smile at each other. There’s something deeply comforting about this image – not everything we remember is a total lie.”
As always, Gaby’s (human) friend Maggie remains delightful. Pulled from her normal life and sucked into this world of Angels and Demons she manages to cope with everything, be accepting of her friend and continue to provide support. I’d love to read a story from Maggie’s point of view.
What I didn’t like
There’s not much I didn’t enjoy. I did find the large cast of characters a bit difficult to keep up with sometimes. Shimmer had a handy “who’s who” of the Rephaim at the beginning to remind us who belongs to which group (Outcasts or Loyal to the Sanctuary) which was a helpful reminder.
Overall, this was a great read. Some of my questions were answered, some new ones were raised. We learn more about one of the characters that I’ve been unsure about, but there’s still more to their story. And there were a couple of secrets revealed that I didn’t except. There were definitely secrets and lies and all the threads on those haven’t been untangled yet. Fortunately for us, the final book Burn is due out this summer so it won’t be too long of a wait to find out what really happened!