Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Urban fantasy
E-book: 237 pages
Release date: September 25, 2012
Series: The Shadow Slayers #2
Source: Review copy provided by the author
Reviewed by: Stéphanie
When Kara Reed learns her bondmate, Julian, is truly dead, and that Gavin has seemingly skipped town, she figures things have hit rock bottom. But soon, a string of bizarre accidents has her doubting those closest to her. And to make matters worse, the demon-king’s brand carved into her best friend Abbey’s stomach is deteriorating by the day.
Then a powerful coven of witches issues Kara an ultimatum. Bring them the blood of a true fallen angel—the only thing that will heal Abbey—or die. Kara would do anything to help her friend. Problem is, the only fallen angel she’s seen lately is the disoriented black-wing who attacked her scouts. One who looks suspiciously like Julian. Getting his blood might be easier if he was more interested in kissing her than killing her.
Caught between a coven of vengeful witches and a murderous dead lover, Kara must deliver the blood, heal the slow poison of Abbey’s brand, and save Julian from being consumed by the Abyss. But to do this, she may need the help of the one man she swore never to trust again…Gavin.
Warning: This book contains an angry demon returning from the dead, a clan lord hiding a terrible secret, and a hunted heroine cracking open a can of whoop-ass. Watch out for creepy kitties, exploding bad guys, and some very sudsy shower sex.
Rarely do I find myself liking a sequel better than the first book. Yet, that’s what happened with SHADOW RISING. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading Slayer’s Kiss and I thought it was a wonderful debut novel, but things just get steamier and more interesting in this second book. There’s simply more action, more adventure, and more curveballs.
One thing that’s very appealing in this series is the main character, Kara. She’s not the perfect heroine—far from it. But I think that’s what I find so interesting. Although she’s not human, she was raised as one and will always have the character traits and morals of a good human being. Her history as an orphan has made her independent and self-sufficient. These qualities get her into a lot of trouble in SHADOW RISING since she refuses the help of many people, when she could benefit from all the help she can get. Her devotion to the ones she loves is obvious in everything she does. From finding the cure for her best friend Abbey’s festering and unnatural cut, to helping her lover Julian, who has risen from dead, remember who he is (even if it might be an evil black wing disguising as Julian), she really tries to help everyone. And as an immature Demiáre female, I think she feels helpless in some cases because she doesn’t have the powers of a fully mature Demiáre.
One person she does accept help from early on, is Tray, a police officer and Abbey’s ex. While he might not be exactly who he says he is, Kara has known Tray for a while and he’s the only human besides Abbey she can trust with her Demiáre life. While I kept asking myself what his true role was in the book was, all was answered at the very end. I’m telling you, you’re in for a surprise when it comes to Tray!
While I’m still not sure who Kara really loves, her heart seems to belong to Julian. The chemistry between these two characters is simply amazing, even if Julian is an amnesiac and remembers nothing of his life before dying and rising as a black wing. I love the funny banter between the two of them, and of course one love scene will have you floating in clouds—literally. On the other hand, Gavin would love nothing more than be a part of Kara’s romantic life, but I think Kara just sees him as someone to lean on and expects him to be there when things go bad. And unfortunately, Gavin wasn’t there when she needed him the most, so I think she holds him accountable for her loneliness and pain.
If you enjoy reading urban fantasies with steamy-hot romantic scenes, this series is not to be missed. Cassi Carver has revealed so much more about her Demiáre world in SHADOW RISING. Information about the Demiáre clan and the witches was missing in the previous book and the author added more depth to her world by revealing just enough to keep her readers interested. Things are heating up (in and out of the bedroom) and I thing something big is about to happen in the next book. Something I really don’t want to miss!