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Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl- A Review

September 1, 2009


With a single touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone’s darkest secrets. She’s tried to hide her psychic ability from everyone, but a biotech 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.

Note: This book has not been released as of yet. But, lucky little biznatch that I am,  I managed to snag an e-ARC through much begging of the incredibly talented Lynn Viehl.

I said it on twitter and now I will say it again:

How in the hell did I get through life thus far without ever having read Lynn Viehl’s work? For now, after having read Shadowlight, I fear that I won’t be able to do without it. Joely was not kidding when she warned me that Lynn’s books were like crack.

Shadowlight being no different. I haven’t had the privilege of acquiring her Darkyn books-since I don’t know that any of our local bookstores carry them in my country- but I just had to order If Angels Burn about half way through Shadowlight. I feared I may have gone through withdrawal symptoms without it and I’m so happy it arrived a few days ago so I don’t have to wait!

Let me just say that I never felt lost reading Shadowlight and, as a new series should, it stands on its own two feet quite nicely. Though I imagine there’s an extra kick of nostalgia if you’ve had some previous experience with the Darkyn characters who make a cameo in Shadowlight.

I literally begrudged every minute I was kept away from this book and I would have been finished a hell of a lot sooner if I hadn’t been having such a rough week. Which is a topic for another day, but Shadowlight definitely helped take the edge off in my time of need. I loved the way Lynn inter-weaved the Darkyn and Takyn threads so seamlessly. Her characters are so numerous and all so intriguing that I find it incredibly hard to pick a favorite.

Jessa, the heroine, is saddled with an ability known as the Shadowlight which gives her the ability to see into the darkness of any person she touches heart and into events that leave them ashamed or guilt ridden. It, along with a very tragic moment in her past, alienates her  from her peers and co-workers at Pheonix Inc. who are beginning to notice the pains she takes not to touch any of them. Even in her vulnerable moments, Jessa’s a perfectly capable and smart heroine and never goes beyond her means nor seems useless when the goings get tough. And for all that, she’s incredibly lonely.

And Gaven Matthias, our delectable hero, sees it. But then, there’s not much he doesn;t see about Jessa when he’s committed himself to taking her.  He is the real enigma in the story, and even though we’re given hints and small clues, I didn’t figure him out until Lynn smacked us upside the head with his ability and backstory.

I felt gleefully clever when I figured out one of the plot twists before it was revealed though. And I shan’t share here what it pretained to.

If I absolutely had to pick a favorite though, it would be Rowan. She stole the show, or rather, the book. From the very first line she speaks to the very first time we get a glimpse of “whats her deal”, Rowan fascinated me. Every scene she was in left me wanting more. Not only because of her smart ass remarks but because you could really empathize with her. Even with her bitterness. Especially with her bitterness.

Lynn wastes no time on miniscual details in Shadowlight. Fast paced and tightly plotted, there was enough action, romance, and supernatural in here to hit all three of my reading sweet spots. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read all year and a Keeper!

Please do yourself a favor and pick yourself up a copy of Shadowlight, to be released on October 6th, 2009.  Or better yet, pre-order if the economy hasn’t been too harsh on you. And if it has, this would serve as a fantastic escape read.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to emerse myself in If Angels Burn-book 1 of the Darkyn series.

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