Ramblings of a Young Aussie Writer

A writer lost in her own imagination

Haze by Paula Weston #2 in Rephaim Series 4 Star Review — June 29, 2015

Haze by Paula Weston #2 in Rephaim Series 4 Star Review

Haze – The Rephaim Book 2

Paula Weston

4 Star Review

As soon as I finished the first book Shadows, I absolutely had to start Haze straight away.

PositivesI loved the first book in the series Shadows and my high expectations of Haze were delightfully warranted. Gaby was more confident and stronger in this book. Thankfully she still held her attitude which makes her a more interesting protagonist. Rafa’s bipolar moods were a bit hard to keep up with but it makes him who he is. In some ways you can understand his conflicting emotions and the reasoning behind them although we won’t truly understand it until we find out what happened between the two before Gaby lost her memory. The storyline had some very real scenes that bring you back from the fantasy world and grounds the story. I often found myself awkwardly smiling or laughing from the witty remarks of Rafa and Gaby which means reading this book whilst in the company of others may incur some strange looks.

NegativesThe cover of a book is always a huge part as to why you would select it in a sea of millions of other books. Even though I really liked the cover of Shadows this cover was not great. I understand they wanted to follow a pattern with the covers but to me it looked like a trashy guy in track pants and no top with a sword on his back. It was too badly photoshopped on to be believable. Not a great way to entice readers but the shadowy wings, similar to the first cover, improve it. As much as I enjoyed this book, I found that there were a few scenes that weren’t explained enough and it made some parts hard to understand. There are also a few concepts that are difficult to comprehend but you get the general gist of it all. The real reason that I gave it only 4 stars though, is that I felt the plot was lacking a bit. The build-up was great and I was completely lost in the story but then it didn’t seem to end well. It was as though I was missing the end chapters. It’s great to end in a cliff-hanger but I think the storyline didn’t set up for such an extreme cliff-hanger to ended with.

Overall I’m very excited to read book three – Shimmer after finishing Haze. I’m very thankful I started reading the series now that three out of the four books are published. The ending of Haze would making waiting for Shimmer to be released, unbearable but luckily I’ll be starting Shimmer as soon as I finish this review. If you want to read a fantasy series with a difference then definitely try Shadows and of course you’ll be devouring Haze and Shimmer before you know what you’re doing.

BLURB –

“But what if we can’t find Jude?” 
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. “We will.”
“How can you be so sure?” I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember. 
“Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to.” 

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed. 

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

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Shadows (The Rephaim) by Paula Weston 4 Star Review — January 19, 2015

Shadows (The Rephaim) by Paula Weston 4 Star Review

Over the Christmas/New Year break I read Shadows by Paula Weston. Once I read the first book, I was hooked and ended up devouring all three within a few days. I’m very excited about the release of the fourth and final book Burn. Here’s my review on Shadows –

Shadows – The Rephaim

Paula Weston

4 Star Review

shadows-approved

PositivesFirst off the cover was different and I really liked it. It gave you an idea of what the book was about and wasn’t the conventional ‘girl in gorgeous dress’ design. I loved that this book is set in such a beautiful real location and the description of the landscape was fantastic but I may be a bit biased considering it’s almost local to me. I enjoyed Paula Weston’s writing style and the characters were fairly well developed. The storyline was fast paced and there were quite a few unexpected twists in it. Paula has obviously put a lot of research into this book and I loved that her concepts were based from real writings and teachings, etc.

Gaby was an interesting protagonist who was refreshingly down-to-earth and relatable. Her reactions to the situations she was thrown into were smart and understandable. She is a well-developed character with a unique story.

Rafa was a very sexy love interest and although it was predictable from the start that the reader would learn to love him, I enjoyed going through the journey. The cliff-hanger at the very end was exciting and I found myself staring in to space contemplating different scenarios that might happen to Gaby and Rafa in the second book, even long after finishing the first.

NegativesI couldn’t find many negatives about this book. There was a few small inconsistencies and even one part seemed like it was missing at least a whole paragraph although it didn’t affect the overall storyline at all. I found with some of the characters – for example Daniel – he wasn’t as developed as I would’ve liked. The ending was a bit complicated and left the reader with some confusion about concepts that were only added at the end. There wasn’t enough time to explain the new revelations properly but I’m sure it will all make sense in the second book.

Overall This book rates as a 4 – 4.5 star book. It did have some negatives but overall I really enjoyed it. For me to thoroughly enjoy a book I need to feel that the storyline is based on reality, giving the reader the sense that it might just be possible. This book was just that – real yet imaginative. Shadows is Paula Weston’s first book which means she will only get better. I’m very excited to read Haze!


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(Alternative Cover)

It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series.