CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 4 . . . . September 26, 2014
“The Rephaim” series” began with Shadows, a compelling fantasy for older teens. In this electrifying second book of the series, Gabriella Winters (aka Gaby) and Rafa search for Gaby's twin brother Jude and try to figure out who wanted Gaby and Jude to forget who they were so badly that they wiped out their memories and arranged their "deaths". The children of fallen angels and human women, the Rephaim and their Council of Five are, themselves, divided, their calling unclear and their ferocious fighting powers often out of control. Everyone wants a piece of Gaby and is wary of Jude. Powerful Rephaim bicker among themselves. And then there are the others: some like Jason and his sister Dani, secret Rephaim, and others, like Maggie, a human drawn into the battle by love.
Gaby is a strong character, stunned by the revelation of who she is, quick and intuitive and loyal. Although resistant to take on the role Rafa drapes over her shoulders, she bravely welcomes physical dangers, learning to shift to other places and re-learning how to be a deadly fighter in order to find her brother. Gaby accepts the insecurity of not knowing anything about her true past and forges ahead into the future. Also, she falls in love with Rafa, exasperating, handsome, impulsive and knowledgeable Rafa. Rafa who also desperately wants his best friend Jude back. Rafa who can outsmart demons and hellions, and outmanoeuvre other Rephaim who are jockeying for power around him. Rafa who maybe has a nasty history with Gaby, a history he wants to hide because he's falling in love with her. Jude is a fast study, immediately accepting his past and joining Rafa to protect Gaby. His fearsome reputation and the adoration of his friends mark him as a leader to be reckoned with.
The Rephaim Daniel and Nathaniel, battling for control of the Rephaim group, are driven, ruthless, cold-blooded and unpredictable killers. Their followers, Taya and Mya, are suspicious master fighters who intimidate Gaby and annihilate their foes. Loyal Maggie is Gaby's lovable, steadfast friend while Maggie's lover Jason struggles with how he can remain true to his roots and yet helpful to Gaby.
The action is nonstop, with Rephaim shifting, humans blundering into the action and political alliances made and broken. The fighting is violent, bloody and will make readers’ hair stand on end. Dialogue virtually sets off sparks, demonstrating bravery, stupidity, impulsivity and caring, couched in the vocabulary of typical 20-year-olds.
Because the Rephaim shift, the settings vary, from the eerie nightime of an Iowa cornfield to the hot beaches of Australia and the dreary tenements of Dubai.
Weston's themes of sibling love, loyalty, friendship and love will appeal to older teen readers, both boys and girls, who crave the good vs evil battle led by appealing, powerful young people. The third book in this four-book series will be eagerly anticipated. A must-read.
Joan Marshall is a Winnipeg, MB, bookseller.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.