Haze: Book 2 (Rephaim) Paperback – 3 Oct 2013
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This series is one of the most mature YA series I've read so far, and one that deserves to be huge where the urban fantasy crown is concerned. It has fallen angels fighting with Katanas, demons ready to rip your throat out and a cast of characters so layered and realistic it's like they're standing right in front of you. It's quite possibly my favourite of all the urban fantasy/paranormal series out there; I honestly can't think of anything that could better it (excluding Twilight, of course, 'cos I still have a special love for that book), and I don't say things like that lightly! Read it! (WONDROUS READS)
Gaby Winters' nightmares have become a reality. Her next move could change everything. Fallen angels, gang warfare and hot romance, this is the sequel to Paula Weston's debut novel, SHADOWS.See all Product description
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Shadows is book 1 – incorrectly listed on Amazon as book 3
Haze is book 2 – correctly listed on Amazon
Shimmer is book 3 – incorrectly listed on Amazon as book 1
Burn is book 4 – correctly listed on Amazon
Secondly I’m writing this one review to cover all four books as I’ve read them in quick succession and I can’t quite separate one from the other right now without referring back to them. As such this review will be completely spoiler free as I know I would have been so disappointed if I’d accidentally stumbled across a spoiler for this series, it’s too good for spoilers. I won’t give you a description of what the books are about as you can pick that up from the blurb. What I will do is give you my thoughts and emotions on the book.
I’ve said before I wish the Goodreads and Amazon would give the option of a six star review but limit the amount of times it could be given so people didn’t waste it, a bit like the golden buzzer in Britain’s Got Talent. You would use this only on those occasions that a book really exceeded all expectations, when you felt like you’d lived the book, when you felt like the characters were your friends and family and you went through every emotion right there with them. If I could give this book six stars and a golden buzzer I wouldn’t hesitate.
I’ve had this book on my wishlist for a while. I’ve hummed and ahhed and felt unsure whether (a) I wanted to commit to another series and (b) would it fulfil my expectations. So five days ago, having been given a gift voucher for Amazon, I decided to take the plunge. I have spent the last five days in this story, five days of leaving dishes piling up in the sink, eating toast because it’s too time consuming to cook a proper meal, getting the bus into work rather than walking, all because I haven’t been able to put this series down. If I’d been able to book a day off work to read then I would have, no worries about wasting a day of my holiday. This series was better than awesome. I’m both saddened and relieved to have finished it. Sad because I have to say goodbye to characters I feel really attached to, but relieved because my life can start again now. It’s been a fantastic read from start to finish. I started the first book with trepidation, as I always do when I have high hopes for a book. And I’ll admit as first impressions went the first few chapters weren’t doing it for me. I thought it was going to be another one of those insta-love situations with lame characters, cheesy writing and no doubt flimsy plot. If it hadn’t been for the good reviews I’d read I probably would have given up quite quickly. But I pushed on and I’m so, so glad I did as I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once I got past that first bit of the book everything kicked in perfectly. As the story progressed it was obvious why the book started the way it did and it fitted into the bigger story really well.
The characters are well fleshed out and developed nicely through the books, everyone had a voice of their own, a story to tell and all had their own complexities. In addition to the main characters I got to know all the supporting cast too and I’ll miss them all. The relationships were both complex and fun. And the romance was perfect. No insta love, no swooning or mooning to be had anywhere. I loved Rafa and Gaby (oh how I loved Rafa, he’s right up there fighting for top spot on my list of book boyfriends). They are full of attitude and the dialogue between them was fun. They have this complex history of distrust and anger between them which confuses Gaby during the first couple of books (as you’ll know from the blurb she has no memory of who she really is) and this was paced well throughout the series. Answers aren’t given quickly in this series and you are always looking forward to finding out more. And that doesn’t just apply to the romance, it applies to everything from the plot and background story, the action and the relationships between the rephailm. The rephailm are split into two groups, divided by years of distrust and violence, yet they all also have history and you just know it wasn’t always this way.
Usually with a series of books there is always one that is that little bit less than the others, one that you feel was maybe just a gap filler for the sake of extending the series and could have been easily condensed into the other books. Not with this series; every book was relevant and interesting and just the right length. Each book picks up exactly where the last one finished and flowed perfectly. At the start of each new book Paula Weston has done an excellent job of reminding the reader of where each book as left off without being boring or repetitive, just in case you’ve had to wait a while for the next book to come out. That wasn’t a problem for me as I started each new book as soon as I’d finished the last. Everything was brilliantly thought out and delivered.
The last book was just the most amazing end to the series. Nothing was rushed or brushed over. I’m sure whilst I was reading the last 30-40% my facial expression would have mirrored that of the painting ‘the scream’! The tension was high and the action fast paced and full on. I really had no idea what would happen next and my emotions were all over the place.
There are four books in total, with the last one being released on 6 August here in UK but I managed to get a copy as it’s already been released in Australia (and I just couldn’t wait the three weeks for it to be released here). So to sum it up, if you haven’t started this series yet and are wondering whether to give it a go, please do. Paula Weston has bumped right to the top of my favourite author list and deserves more recognition.