Friday, September 18, 2015

Dianne Duvall - Shadows Strike

U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.
Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive...

Comment: This is the most recent installment in the Immortal Guardians series by Dianne Duvall. As always, I was curious about the plot and what would happen in the lives of all the wonderful characters we've been meeting so far.
This is Ethan's story, a character we've met and saw how much he needed love. He's not the most desperate immortal but he's seen the person he thought he had a connection with falling for someone else and being so happy, that part of him felt that loss. In a very random vampire attack he meets Heather, a woman that's very practical and, he soon finds out, a gifted one as well.
Heather is someone in the military and she can read minds. However, she has had dreams about vampires and a man she helps and that has been driving her crazy so she sets up everything and for moths has been waiting for her dream to happen. When it finally does, everything happens so fast, Heather sees herself in a world she never thought could be real and having feelings for someone she thought was a product of her imagination.
I enjoyed reading this story. As always, I was glad the author included so many characters and domestic scenes that just make me want to read more and more. I really believe that a book's worth isn't all about serious plot maneuvers or insta romances... I have a special appreciation for stories where I can see how the characters deal with daily life issues and funny situations. I think it gives them character and an easiness that's hard to find in paranormal so focused on other themes.
This doesn't mean there isn't serious stuff going on, there is. Of course I'm interesting in seeing hem defeating the bad vampires and in having more clues about the Other that's commanding all the bad things happening and even wanting them to find a cure for vampire insanity. It's just that balancing all these more serious questions with funny or daily life scenarios makes the story feel more completed, more thought over.
The romance in this story was rather fast, I think. Like a friend of mine said, Heather accepts too easily and without fuss the existence of vampires and the disparity between bad vampires and good immortals. I don't think most humans would accept difference that easily, no matter how much goodness was in their hearts.
Despite the fantasy of it, Heather and Ethan make a good couple. I still think it was too easy, but at least their relationship didn't had to go through countless obstacles before they admitted their feelings. It was an interesting change of scenery. I think her father's acceptance was a little too easy as well, though. I understand this but it's not something one can just put aside.
I liked Ethan and Heather together, I think their personalities matched very well, they were similar in some aspects and both were in agreement of how things were happening. No big egos in the way to make them contrast. In the end, it was simply good they found happiness.
My favorite thing was seeing the secondary characters interacting, being and behave like a family. I love seeing their meetings in David's house, how they talk to each other, the trust between them, the care they have for each other and all those things are obvious in the way the author chooses to portray those relationships, connections and conversations. I always look for more scenes with everybody so I can glimpse a bit more of that special bond between everyone.
Can't wait for everyone's romances to happen.
This story was successful, I think it wasn't as thrilling in terms of romance, this felt a bit more like steadiness, but overall, I'm glad how much we found out, the clues about things to come and the fact one more immortal found love and a HEA.
Grade: 8/10

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