Author: Amanda Bonilla
Series: Shaede Assassin
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy: ARC provided by author
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 a fantastic start to a new dark Urban Fantasy series by debut author Amanda Bonilla. The main character is Darian. She's an assassin who works for Tyler. Despite her job, she does have a moral compass. She'll only take out the bad guys. No innocents allowed. As a Shaede, and the last of her kind, Darian is uniquely suited for this kind of work. She's had a lot to contend with in her human life and in her life as a Shaede. She is cold and not interested in love due to her heartbreaking past. Darian, despite her profession and coldness, is incredibly likable. She's tough, not afraid to speak her mind, and gets the job done. Her most recent target, Xander Peck, up ends her world. Things are changing. Nothing is as she thought. Watching Darian cope with the changes occurring in her life completely held my interest throughout the novel.
I really enjoyed the inventive beings that make up the supernatural world around Darian. I don't recall reading about Shaedes or some of the other creatures that appear in Shaedes of Gray. Ms. Bonilla also includes a number of well known and lesser known fantasy beings as well, but the emphasis here is on the Shaedes, their counterparts, and who Darian really is.
I also enjoyed Tyler, Xander Peck and the other members of Xander's Court. Ms. Bonilla does not skimp on character development. There are a lot of interesting back stories here, and I hope that we will see more of these characters in future books. Tyler was especially endearing. The chemistry between Darian and Tyler is wonderful. While I understand Darian's desire to not become involved with Tyler, I was pulling for him. This is not to say that Shaedes of Gray is a romance. The focus is on Darian and what is happening in the preternatural world.
There are some superb plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing. The pacing was excellent throughout. Shades of Gray is full of compelling characters, exceptional world-building and a story that leaves you wanting more. The Shaede Assassin series is on my must buy list.
I give Shaedes of Gray 5 Qwills.