Saturday, September 26, 2009

Book Review -- Shadowlight

Shadowlight: A Novel of the Kyndred by Lynn Viehl is the first book of her new Kyndred series which is a spin-off of her Darkyn series that wrapped up earlier this year. I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC of Shadowlight, which releases on October 6th. (Published October 2009 by Onyx Books - 336 pages) Genre is Romance (man-woman) with a sub-genre of paranormal.

With a single touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone’s darkest secrets. She’s tried to hide her psychic ability from everyone, but a bio tech company called GenHance has discovered her talent, and intends to take her, kill her and harvest her priceless DNA to sell it to the highest bidder.

A mysterious photographer named Gaven Matthias is also interested in Jessa; he’s been trying to find her for months. When GenHance makes their move, Gaven has no choice but to kidnap Jessa himself so he can protect her and convince her to join him in helping protect others like her.

Jessa discovers that she can’t see any of Gaven’s secrets, so she doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth, but as a monstrous assassin created by GenHance’s experiments closes in on them, she must decide if the strong attraction they share is proof enough that Gaven is her greatest ally — or is a smokescreen hiding a terrible secret.

Viehl hits it out of the park again with this continuation in the Darkyn world. This novel builds on the Darkyn world -- even includes a plot line with characters we know and love from the Darkyn series -- but everything is layered so smoothly that new readers won't have any problem starting with this new series. But be warned, you'll want to read the Darkyn series by the time you're done with Shadowlight and waiting for the next Kyndred book!

Shadowlight is an edge-of-the-seat tale with trouble at every turn and characters who find out that everything they thought was true isn't. Viehl's characters are three-dimensional making you understand and even sympathize with them, something not limited to the hero/heroine.

And, of course, there is the romance. The hero, Matthias, was amazing. The mystery of his past is really, really cool. The heroine, Jessa, was a wonderful mix of strength and vulnerability. It's hard to write a review and not give too much away, but I loved these characters. Rowan, a secondary character in this book but heroine in the next, was a special treat. She stole the show more often than not, LOL.

Overall it was a fast-paced read. The set-up was a bit slow with a little back and forth along the time line but well done. I read this in a single day and didn't want it to end. Viehl included the necessary back story without bogging down the pace of this story. And in typical fashion, Viehl threw in an incredible twist at the end hooking me completely (as if I wouldn't continue the series!) into the next book Dreamveil -- which can't come out soon enough.

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