10 September 2009

Review of Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl

When the publishing date of this book was pushed forward, it left Lynn Viehl’s publisher unable to print and send out advance reading copies (known in the publishing industry simply as ARCs), Lynn decided to take matters into her own hands and offered the readers of her blog, Paperback Writer a chance to read the book by sending out e-ARCS, in exchange for reviews (the offer has now expired).

This book will be in bookshops on October 6th.


This is the first book in a spin-off series from the Darkyn books by Viehl, featuring some characters readers of that series will be familiar with.

Year published: 2009 (coming in October)
Genre: Urban fantasy
Series: The Kyndred (#1)
Setting & time: (mostly) Atlanta, Georgia; contemporary.

For those who want to be totally surprised by this book: potential SPOILERS coming up.
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The Story:
Jessa Bellamy has a psychic talent that has helped her build a business that screens job applicants for companies, but someone has discovered that she has this talent and wants to capture her and use her genes for nefarious purposes. However, before the bad guys can kidnap her she is captured instead by a mysterious man who claims he is saving her from being killed, but of course she doesn’t believe him and, ignoring the obvious attraction she feels for him, seeks ways to escape from him. Meanwhile, Lucan and Samantha (from the Darkyn books) are on the trail of a mutant maniac who is seeking Jessa with lust and murder on his mind…

Review and rating:
This is the first of Viehl’s books I have read, although I have been a fan of her blog for some time. I may therefore have missed some of the implications of the scenes including the Darkyn, but I will say that Viehl obviously doesn’t expect the reader to have read the Darkyn books because she shows the reader the things they need to know about them with very little actual explaining, which shows that she knows her craft.

She is also a great storyteller. The narrative never gets bogged down with unnecessary scenes (unless you don't like romance, in which case you shouldn't read this book in the first place), and it isn't overloaded with gratuitous sex, unlike some other examples of the genre I have read (Laurell K. Hamilton, anyone?). If the book has an obvious flaw, it's that Jessa and Gaven are a little too beautiful, a little too perfect. I much preferred Rowan, who has obvious flaws, and am looking forward to read her story, Dreamveil.

But all in all I am satisfied with the book. It is well written, well plotted and difficult to put down and both the action and romance angles are well done, something one can not always expect in a romantic thriller. 4 stars.

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