I cannot tell you just how loud I squee’d when I learned I was getting the opportunity to review A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang. After reading her debut novel, A Brush of Darkness, I will totally admit to
begging…er nicely asking Allison to let me beta read A Sliver of Shadow. It’s very likely all my awesome LE ladies heard my squee from their respective homes when Jackie said I could review the galley she received. *G* I have nothing but good things to say about A Brush of Darkness and Allison’s second novel is just as brilliantly written as her first, which is sometimes hard to say about an author. Simply put, Allison Pang is a must-read author and has made my auto-buy list.
Just when her new life as a TouchStone – a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds – seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away…let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.
The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding eleven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.
I’m not gonna drone on about Abby or Phin or Brystion…if you want to hear my thoughts on these awesome characters, then see my review of Allison’s debut novel A Brush of Darkness.
A Sliver of Shadow starts several months after where the events in A Brush of Darkness leave off. Abby has been working on understanding what it means to be a Dreamer and how to harness that power. Things have been pretty quiet and life goes on. Moira has had her baby, Ion hasn’t really been a part of Abby’s life with the exception of some clues that he’s been hanging out in Abby’s Heart of Dreaming. Well, what fun would it be if all this peace and quiet lasted, right?
We meet several new characters in A Sliver of Shadow, including Tresa, our new baddie. She shows up out of the blue claiming something that Abby just doesn’t buy. However, rather than just brush things off or try to go it alone, she heeds the lesson she learned just a few short months ago and asks for help from our favorite angel, Robert. It’s good to see characters grow and learn from their past mistakes. Now, rather than spending valuable time twisting in the wind trying to figure out not only what in the world is going on, but how big the fire is and how to put it out, Abby gets the help and assistance she needs. Thankfully the problem is quickly identified (well, the first of several) and the crew can start searching for a solution/answer. Heh, too bad that only leads to a bigger problem. I have learned along the way that authors get a huge pleasure out of throwing their characters into the fire and seeing what happens. Yeah, Allison is no exception there. It’s kind of like Professor McGonagell from Harry Potter commenting on Harry, Ron and Hermonie always being found in the midst of some trouble or issue…s*** always seems to hit the fan around Abby and crew, and inevitably it’s up to Abby to save the day. Alas, it would be rather boring to just read about peace and quiet. Kind of need that trouble and antagonist(s) *wink*.
We also get to learn who Abby’s father is and meet him as well. It was quite a shock to learn who this person was, especially since Abby herself had no idea who he was or that he was even alive or . . .you didn’t really think I was going to say did you?
Some of my favorite parts feature Phin the unicorn. He really is the comic relief and his one liners are down right hysterical. As we see, Phin plays a very big part in Abby’s life, more so than she realized. His appearance in the Marketplace back in A Brush of Darkness was no coincidence, as Abby thought, and I’m not saying anything else other than it was quite the shocker.
I guess I do have one teeny, tiny issue. There’s a bit of a love triangle created. I’m not always a fan of love triangles. Maybe it stems from all the Team Jacob/Team Edward hype from Twilight. Inevitably readers choose sides and sometimes readers can get down right ugly with one another over that. I’ll admit to choosing sides when a love triangle pops up in a book and A Sliver of Shadow is no exception. Don’t worry, I don’t go getting all ugly when talking about who I prefer. So, I ask that those of you reading this and who read the book, to refrain from getting ugly with each other in the comments here. :)
You’ll have to read to find out who the other, new love interest is for Abby. I like both, but Brystion claimed my full attention from the get-go and I hope by the end of this series that he and Abby end up together. I am fairly sure Allison is likely to torture both Brystion and Abby for several more books before we get any kind of resolution there. You don’t want to know my response to Allison’s statement (paraphrasing here!) about how a happy incubus is boring. *wink* Weeelll, I just had to tell her my very humble opinion and um, it isn’t quite PG rated if you know what I mean he he. But alas, I do promise you lots of broody, angsty and snarky incubus in A Sliver of Shadow.
I simply adore the world Allison has created. I thought I knew all the characters and players in this world by the end of A Brush of Darkness, but, nope I was wrong. Allison throws in all kinds of twists and turns and plot points I never even contemplated. I love when an author surprises me like that. I’m learning that at the very least, when reading an Allison Pang novel, expect the unexpected and unanticipated. A Sliver of Shadow is a roller coaster ride from the very first pages of the book.
A Sliver of Shadow doesn’t quite end on one of those HUGE cliffhangers, but you are definitely set up for the next book (yet to be titled, with a tentative release in Oct. 2012) and you will want that next book ASAP. If the ARC is any indication, you get a tiny reprieve in the form of a short blurb from the next book *whew*. I’m pretty sure I know who the major characters will be and who the overall villain (at least for the foreseeable future) is, but I have no doubt I will end up eating my words come October, 2012. I feel a major upheaval for both Faerie and “here” (Earth) is on the horizon. I cannot wait to see what comes next for Abby and company and what evil, torturous plans Allison has in store for her cast of characters. I’ve said it before and I’m sure this won’t be the last review you see me say this, but just where is that time machine? I need book 3 stat!