- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Berkley (6. Dezember 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0451235290
- ISBN-13: 978-0451235299
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,8 x 2,4 x 17,3 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.075.846 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Shaedes of Gray: A Shaede Assassin Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Dezember 2011
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Amanda Bonilla is the author of the Shaede Assassin novels. She lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler and a full-time sun worshipper, and she only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.
Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
I live in the gray. It’s a wonderful place, free of accountability, bereft of conscience. I’ve lived in the black and white, but that was before, and I don’t worry about how I used to be.
I hate the cold, and yet there I was, standing on the roof of the Cobb Building, looking out across the Metropolitan Tract while the dark, cloudy sky spit snow on my face. I wouldn’t have been there at all if I hadn’t needed the money. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I didn’t need the money. I wanted the money. I also wanted the action. That, I needed.
“Could you have picked a weirder place to meet?” a man’s voice spoke from behind me.
“Where’s Tyler?” I demanded, a little on edge that Ty had sent an errand boy instead of meeting me himself.
“Had an appointment that ran late.” His thin lips turned up in a twitchy smile, and I palmed the dagger at my thigh, feeling a bit twitchy myself. “He said to tell you he’s sorry and he’ll call you later.”
Great. It was bad enough I had to wait out in the cold. Now I had to do business with this clueless idiot. Not many of Tyler’s contractors enjoyed the privilege of an in-person visit from him, but since day one, I’d been the exception. I looked Marcus over, from his dirty black hair to his soft middle and right down to his worn, secondhand army boots. Where did Tyler find these guys?
“Let’s get this over with,” I said. “I’m freezing my ass off out here.”
“Seventy-five percent,” the lackey said. My eyes narrowed and I felt again for the dagger at my side. As if it made everything okay, Marcus quickly added, “Tyler promises he’ll get the rest to you after the job’s done.”
I jerked the envelope out of his hand. I didn’t stand out in the cold for seventy-five percent. I didn’t have to. “Ty knows I won’t do shit until I get the rest.” I tucked the money into my coat and waited.
Marcus stared at me, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He looked like he was trying to keep from pissing his pants. I can come across scary when I want.
“Look, Darian. I’m just the messenger.” I quirked a brow and he faltered. “Y-you have a problem with what’s in that envelope, you take it up with the boss man. I’m out.”
He turned his back on me, and I fought the urge to laugh at his carelessness. The tip of my blade pressed into his back before he could face me again. “You know what they do to the messenger—right, Marcus?” He swallowed, and the sound was like a stone dropping into a fifty-foot cavern. “I want the rest of my money,” I whispered close to his ear, and he shuddered. “Tell Ty to call me when he gets it.”
I disappeared before he could open his mouth again.
A gust of wind hit me full in the face as I walked, blowing back my hood and causing my hair to billow out in soft strawberry waves. I locked eyes with a man who brushed my shoulder as I passed him on the street. He studied me for a fleeting moment before averting his gaze. Perhaps he’d picked up on the faint glow of my green eyes that betrayed my lack of humanity, or maybe it was simply the solemn black clothes and deadly expression that seemed out of place on an otherwise innocent-looking girl.
Most nights I felt comfortable roaming the streets of Seattle alone, but tonight something didn’t feel right. I suppose it could’ve been the cold or the wind that stole my breath. Or maybe the fact that Tyler sent Marcus to meet me instead of coming in person. We’d been avoiding each other lately, and not because of our business relationship. It didn’t matter that Ty had shorted me money for the first time in a long time. The only reason I’d threatened Marcus at all was because I knew he’d tell Tyler about it and he’d be forced to call me up. I didn’t like distance between us, despite the fact that I needed it.
I walked, my face protected by the high collar of my duster, deeper downtown and skirted two guys and a girl hailing a cab. “Dude, you’re four-oh-four if you think you’ve got a chance with her,” one guy said to the other before climbing in after the girl.
“Four-oh-four,” I whispered under my breath, committing the phrase to memory. I wanted to find out what it meant, add it to my mental dictionary. I was always careful to use the vernacular of the times.
As the cab pulled away, I thought of the many instances I’d watched from beneath lowered lashes, listening in on conversations. I have perfected the art of imitation. Mannerisms, slang, modes of dress change every day, let alone every year. I don’t miss a single trend. My looks are enough to make me stand out; I don’t need another excuse to draw unwanted attention.
The sleet began to accumulate, and I shuffled my boots through the muck, making narrow paths behind me. I tucked my fists into my pockets and picked up my pace, no longer patient with the weather. Hustling along, I tried not to dwell on the fact that I was alone in this world. I hadn’t encountered another of my kind in nearly a century, and when I had known one, I’d been too green to ask the right questions.
Azriel. As shrewd as he’d been secretive. Answers didn’t come easy. He’d kept me right where he wanted me, under the guise of love and devotion. Even as I forced the memories down, they resurfaced.
“I don’t want your kisses.” I looked into his handsome, ageless face. A face that would never change, despite the passing of years. “I want answers.”
“As long as you’re with me, there’s nothing you need to know.”
“Why do you seem like a mirage once the sun sets, and I seem more solid?”
“I am born, and you are made.” He tried to stop the questions with another kiss.
“But you can look more solid if you choose,” I said.
“Glamour for human benefit. It’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“You don’t need glamour during the day,” I pressed, eager for information.
“Neither do you,” he said in an offhand way.
“What about the others? Are there others like us wandering the earth?”
Azriel let out an exasperated sigh. “No. We are the last. The only ones of our kind.”
“Tell me something else,” I begged. “Anything.”
“Really, Darian, you are like a whining babe.” His dark eyes turned cold, but he softened the cruel edge by taking my hand in his. “‘Why, why, why?’ It drones in my ears. Why don’t I ask you some questions?”
“Are you deadly?” he asked.
“If I want to be.”
“Are you strong and quick as the wind?”
“As strong as you and just as fast,” I replied.
“Can you pass as shadow during the night, and are you confined to corporeal form during the day?”
“I can, and I am,” I said, almost pouting.
“Then do not worry about what you do not know. We are immortal. The only weapon that can kill us is a blade forged with magic, and even I don’t know where one might be. We are alone in this world, and you have nothing to fear.” His mouth hovered close to mine. “Ask me no...
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This story has great characters: kick-ass heroine, dangerous love interests, and an array of supporting characters that all have a special role in the story. All are well developed with just the right amount of background information for a first novel in a (hopefully) long series.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it reading it. If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, this is one that should go to the top of your To Be Read list.
About the story...
Our heroine, Darian, is 100 year-old Shaede who lives as an assassin. Having the ability to become part of the shadows, Darian uses her special abilities to become the best hired killer of the `dregs of society'. She works for Tyler who is the liaison between her and clients requiring her services.
Working exclusively for humans, Darian is unaware that there is an entire supernatural population in Seattle. Everything she knows about Shaedes, their origins and abilities can fit in a thimble. Her maker, Azriel, lied to her for years telling her that they were the only two surviving Shaedes and avoided answering any questions she had during their years together. After he failed to return home one night, she believed him dead and in turn believed she was the only Shaede left in the world.
When Darian was requested to personally take care of a target, Tyler was suspicious, however he agreed. The job set an entire plan into motion that alters Darian's life forever. She discovers that not only do other Shaedes exist but so do many other supernatural beings. And some of those beings are bringing war to the Shaedes doorstep. Darian will be playing a role in this war whether she likes it or not.
About the Characters...
Darian has all the characteristics of a trained assassin - fearless, ruthless and emotionally detached. She is also very sarcastic and witty, and I particularly enjoyed her internal dialogue - especially when dealing with the men in her life. Even the toughest of assassins can be vulnerable and Darian has a naive side that makes her susceptible to harm. Her vulnerability is a result of the constant lies told by those close to her. Despite her ignorance of the world in which she lives, Darian is very resilient and handles each situation that is thrown her way the only way she knows how...headfirst and fearlessly.
There are love interests aplenty for Darian. The old adage you want what you can't have is true here. Her indifference to having a relationship with anyone makes her a challenge to all the men around her. Azriel was her maker and lover for 20 years, Tyler (her current employer) is in love with her and has been trying to move their relationship to a new level for years, and her new king quickly becomes smitten. Of course, she thinks they are all ridiculous and gets annoyed at the many episodes of male posturing. The author relays these episodes in the most amusing of ways.
If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy story worlds, kick-ass heroines and sexy supernaturals, I highly recommend you read this one. A little on the lighter side of UF, Shaedes of Gray is a very well written and enjoyable read. The author has created an interesting story world and compelling characters and I am looking forward to the next release, Blood Before Sunrise, on July 3rd.
4 Stars - Really Enjoyed It!!!!
Shaedes of Gray is a fast-paced and unique urban fantasy and Amanda Bonilla is an author I'll be keeping my eye on!
The synopsis for this really just tells you how the story begins. Darian has been alone for years. She was created (meaning turned from a regular human into a Shaede) roughly 100 years ago by her lover. Unfortunately, he only stuck around a few years before abandoning her. Even worse, he didn't really explain to her what it means to be a Shaede and he convinced her she was the last of her kind. Darian can pass into the shadows at night and almost float between them like she is invisible. During the daytime Darian is unable to leave her body and become a shadow. The opposite of the Shaedes are the Lyhtans, disgusting creatures that look like monsters instead of humans. They can become almost invisible during the daytime, passing into sunlight. These supernatural creatures, the Shaedes and the Lyhtans, that author Amanda Bonilla created are very original and a nice change from all the vampires and werewolves roaming around lately.
Darian eventually became an assassin since the profession fits so well with her ability to pass into the night and become virtually invisible. A few years before the start of the novel, she began working through assassination middle man Tyler. Darian and Tyler have a strained relationship when the book starts. It is clear they are attracted to each other, but Darian keeps Tyler at arm's length and doesn't want to get involved with him since they work together.
"I didn't know if I loved Tyler. At the moment, I didn't even know if I liked him. Aside from his constant proclamation of I'm yours, I had no clue whatsoever to his true feelings. What the hell was that supposed to mean anyway? I'm yours. My what? My slave, my guardian, my own personal pain in the ass? Of course he cared about me. . . But what was this between us? I knew about as much about tender feelings as I did my own Shaede nature. Would I even recognized love if it slapped me in the face?"
I didn't really like the point in their relationship that the author chose to start us at. I felt a little confused. . . Was I supposed to like Tyler? Would he become the love interest? I kind of wish I could have seen their interest in each other build instead of being thrown into them already kind of liking each other but not really sure.
Tyler did eventually grow on me. He's annoyingly overprotective of Darian and while I can understand his reasoning I also wanted him to just let her be sometimes. She is a trained assassin who can disappear at night time after all. But Tyler's unwavering feelings for Darian (and his tousled golden hair) eventually won me over. By the end of the story I was definitely on Team Tyler.
"He lifted his head and a lopsided grin made a welcome appearance.
'I meant what I said. You don't have to love me back. But you will eventually.'"
You might be wondering, if there's a Team Tyler, what's the other team? Well, it's not so much a Team as a gathering. Xander is the King of the Shaedes (although much is left to our imagination about his "kingdom" and where all these other Shaedes are). Xander is arrogant and mysterious and keeps a lot from Darian. I was immediately intrigued by him and thought at first that I would be rooting for a relationship between him and Darian. Eventually, however, my lust for King Xander died out a bit as it became clear that he was simply interested in Darian because of what she is. In order for this to be a stronger love triangle we would have needed to see some more passion on Xander's end. With all that said, however, he does still interest me and I'm curious what his role will be in the sequel.
"Jesus. What had I done to deserve this kind of attention? I wasn't charming by any standards, and my sarcastic quips couldn't possibly be that attractive. I did not have time for these ridiculous, dramatic, soap-opera moments."
Darian is the main character and the book is told from her first person POV. When the story starts she is tough, apathetic, and a loner who has no problem taking money to kill bad guys. She believes she is the only Shaede in the world and is still not over being abandoned by her love and maker. Darian's tough exterior unravels a bit when she is faced with several truths presented to her throughout the story. She is a good heroine, strong but with feelings hiding below her cold surface, but sometimes she made some dumb decisions.
There is a trick authors sometimes employ that irks me. . . it's the, "Here is something obvious but we're going to have the character ignore it" game and I never enjoy it. Darian was often a smart character, thinking about all the details before stepping into "battle", but just as often she was a total idiot! First, her maker walks off one night and leaves her and she simply assumes he is dead and everything he told her is still true. Second, she ignores obvious detail after obvious detail about Tyler, right up until the story's ending battle. Third, Darian is given something to combat and kill Lyhtan and simply forgets it at home time and time again!
I did actually like Darian, in fact I really loved this book. I'm being overly critical of it because I loved it so much and I hope the rest of the series will smooth out these little details. I look forward to reading the next in the series, Blood Before Sunrise, which I already have sitting on my shelf. Shaedes of Gray is creative and distinct and I think fans of urban fantasy will find an appealing read with this one. Look past the minor issues for the great story underneath.
Recommended for fans of: urban fantasy, unique paranormal creatures, and up and coming authors.
Darian only knows how to be an assassin. When Azriel made her, he only taught her how to fight, and left her in the dark regarding the supernatural community surrounding her. The world Bonilla creates is unique and as close to reality as an urban fantasy novel can get. The abundance of familiar creatures featured makes it easier to adjust to the idea of a Shaede and the unusual powers one possesses.
It's all in the words when it comes to understanding the plot of Shaedes of Gray. When Darian isn't threatening the king of Shades, Xander, or training with the guard of all guards, Raif, she's learning about what she is and what she's meant to be. With a little bit of romance thrown into the mix, Shaedes of Gray is branded as a fabulous beginning to the series of Shaede Assassin novels.
Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books