Book Review: Shadows (The Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston

Shadows - Paula Weston

Shadows was a good read.


The book follows Gabriella, or Gaby as she is known, as she comes to terms with the death of her twin brother, Jude. And then she meets Rafa, a stranger who seems to know more about her past than she does. And I guess that’s where all the stuff hits the fan.


For some reason I couldn’t really fall in love with any of the characters. I didn’t particularly warm to Gaby herself, and I didn’t find much endearing about Rafa. Sure, he had some sass, and he was good looking, but I couldn’t really grasp at the relationship between the two. I was left wanting more. There wasn’t a lot in the way of relationship development between Gaby and Rafa, and there was so much room for it.

The secondary characters were interesting enough, but I felt like they kind of faded away. Maggie didn’t have a lot of depth to her, and whilst it was made clear that Gaby and Maggie were best friends, I couldn’t really see that at all. There wasn’t a lot of information given about how they came to be best friends, or what kind of things they do together. It just felt a little superfluous, which is sad. I love reading about friendships that reflect those that one has in real life. I thought that Maggie and Gaby's relationship almost reached that level, but lacked the background, as I mentioned earlier.


The Rephaim themselves were intriguing. I think there are a lot of angel books coming out, and every author has their take on the story. I liked the uniqueness of Weston’s spin on the angels and the nephilim - it made the ever popular realm of angels and the such feel quite new and refreshing.


All in all, not much occurred in the book, and I felt a little unsatisfied when I read the last page. As a reader, I have a basic understanding of who and what the Rephaim are, and what their relationship to Gaby is; but there wasn’t any depth to the information. I feel like I need it all to be explained to me a little more. I don’t know why Nathaniel has gathered all the Rephaim together, or why Gaby and Jude went off on their adventure. I understand it is necessary to keep the reader guessing, but a lot of the conversations were one sided, and I was left wondering what the heck was going on half the time.

I know it seems like I am critiquing this novel to no end, but it’s a sign that I actually paid attention to everything I read, and that I wanted more BECAUSE I liked what I was reading. I am critiquing this novel because I believed that it had a whole heap of potential but did not quite live up to it. I wanted to fall in love, but there were things preventing it.


One thing I really did like about Shadows was the language used. There was a whole bunch of profanities, and it was great! Gaby is nineteen years old. Nineteen year olds swear. Young adults swear. It’s just a way of life. And I think the accurate language of the age group within young adult novels is never really represented. The worst it usually gets is ‘crap’, or maybe a ‘shit’ here or there. But that’s just not really representative of how young adults talk. Sure, they may not swear like sailors, but I have never met someone in my age group that doesn’t throw in a swear in a conversation. So, yeah, I really liked that.


I will continue to read The Rephaim series because I did enjoy reading Shadows, and I think the story has a lot of growth to undergo. And, of course, I want to see how everything plays out.


© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.