I rarely read SciFi books as in there are only two authors who made me realize that aliens aren’t just slimy, gross, scary things that want to eat me. Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of them. Yep, against all odds, I am addicted to her League series. While I did enjoy Born of Shadows, I can’t call it my favorite. Born of Shadows was full of action, adventure, an unsolvable mystery and a mediocre romance.
For Caillen Dagan, a defiant soldier of fortune, survival isn’t a right, it’s a brutal daily battle. Moving through the Ichidaian universe like a wraith, his brushes with the law and death are legendary. But when an act of rare heroism reveals his hidden birthright, he’s forced into a world much more dangerous and cold-hearted than the bloody streets where he was raised-one of obscene wealth and lethal politics.
Ferocious and determined, Desideria serves as an official bodyguard for her queen. Born of questionable genetics, she will do anything to prove herself worthy of the weapons she carries and the position she’s won by combat. But when she uncovers a ruthless plot to assassinate the queen and overthrow her country’s government, Desideria is caught in the crosshairs.
With assassination contracts out on both of them, Caillen and Desideria must learn to fight together or die alone. And if they fail, their governments will fall into the hands of an unimaginable evil.
Born of Shadows was set only two or three years after Born of Fire, long before Born of Ice and the next generation. That means, the characters from the original cast are now getting their stories. Caillen was one of those characters. It was hard not to like him, though the feelings didn’t get much deeper than that. When he’s around his friends and family, he’s sweet and charming. Despite his undying love and loyalty to his sisters, he didn’t have too much respect for women. He uses them for sex but then pretty much ignores them while he goes on whatever escapade that catches his fancy.
Desideria was more than capable of kicking butt…most of the time. There were times when she could take out an enemy without breaking into a sweat. Then there were times when it seemed like she was utterly incapable of defeating an enemy. I love it when a heroine has to struggle in a fight; to me, it adds to the intensity. Yet, Desideria’s flip-flopping was just annoying. It turned into sometimes she can take care of herself, other times she can’t, regardless of who she was fighting.
While I could certainly see the chemistry between Desideria and Caillen, it wasn’t exactly explosive or memorable. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m trying to say that while they were a cute couple they aren’t a couple I love or would want to revisit in the future.
Caillen’s ADHD (or his inability to take anything seriously) kept Born of Shadows from having that dark tone that most of Kenyon’s books have. I actually liked that change of pace because, hello, who doesn’t like to laugh at the most inappropriate moments? It wasn’t just Caillen who was making the jokes. The group were constantly teasing and mocking each other. For example, there was a time when the group was teasing Caillen about his pathetic flying skills as he maneuvered the ship, trying to flee from the bad guys shooting at them. Personally, I liked all the humor. Yet, I can see how readers who are expecting a dark and gritty story would be upset or annoyed by all the humor.
While the main characters were “human looking” there were a ton of aliens in throughout Born of Shadows. Secondary characters like friends, family, neighbors even mechanics. But the underlying theme between all of them was that they were the good guys. Okay, yes, there were just as many evil aliens as nice aliens, but it was because of the good guys that I could accept them. They had human characteristics that made them relatable, even if they did have green, scaly skin and more than two eyes.
Overall, I enjoyed Born of Shadows. I enjoyed laughing with the characters, constantly guessing who could be behind the assassination attempts and all the intense fight scenes. Granted, Desideria and Caillen weren’t memorable but they were a cute couple to read about. For anyone who likes the dark and gritty stories, I would suggest that you start with one of the other books – either Born of Night or Born of Fire, the first and second books in the series because those books have all the dark, grit and none of the humor that was Born of Shadows. But if you’re like me, and like humor, then give Born of Shadows a try.