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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 16 July 2015
Firstly I’d like to point out that these books are numbered incorrectly on Amazon. The order of the books are as follows:

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.
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on 12 February 2014
Noooooooooooo...........I need the next book in this series now!!!!! What a truly fantastic read. Just as good as the first book but now I love Rafa even more. Great story development, storyline, characters, originality, action, romance.....I truly loved this book and the series so far and can't wait for the next installment.
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I read Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim Sequence, back in January 2013 and absolutely loved it. Like, REALLY loved it. I've been eagerly awaiting Haze ever since then and am so happy to say that I was in no way disappointed, as I sometimes am with sequels. Haze is just as good, if not better, than Shadows, and I'm now even more in love with the Rephaim world Paula Weston has created. And Rafa, too, but that's a conversation for another day.

Haze picks up right where Shadows left off and instantly puts us back into Gaby's hectic life alongside demons and fallen angels. The search for her twin brother Jude has ramped up significantly, with Rafa, Jason, Maggie and even Simon willing to do literally anything to track him down. Australia is still the main setting though, thanks to shifting, the Rephaim can travel anywhere they like at the drop of a hat. The descriptions of settings and locations in Haze and so vivid and real it was like I was actually there with them. Ha, I wish!

I don't want to give anything away about the incredibly tense plot of Haze, but I was practically on tenterhooks for most of it. I didn't know what would happen from one page to the next, and that's all down to Paula Weston's ability to shake things up and twist the story and characters in ways I never imagined. And the ending... well... all I can say is that I am dying to read Shimmer!

Haze has a magical quality to it; utterly enthralling and addictive. Just like Shadows, it sucks you into a story of good vs. evil, demons vs. angels and girl meets boy. There's a nail-biting, chemically-charged romance that peppers the pages but, happily, it's not the sole focus of the story and doesn't even take centre stage. It's part of Gaby and Rafa's story, but it's not all they are and it's not all they will ever be. I love that most of all, these two people can be so connected but not let it take over the bigger picture: survival and possible war between races.

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!
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on 2 April 2014
Really really enjoyed this. Unlike other reviewers I thought the Australian premise would have put me off (I 've no idea why... I stick to US YA like I stick to US detective shows.) anyway I was very pleasantly surprised. I love rafe and I cannot wait for the next installment.
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on 17 February 2015
Haze is the second book in the Rephiam series, Shadows being the first. If you want to read Shadows, which you most certainly should, you should avoid this review because of spoilers.

Blurb

Gaby Winters' life used to be pretty normal.

She lived with her best friend. She worked in a library. She was slowly getting over the death of her twin brother, Jude. Until Rafa arrived.

Now Gaby has discovered she is one of the Rephiam - descended from fallen angels. She knows demons exist. They are coming for her. And that Jude might be alive.

What she does next could change everything.

My Review

Just like Shadows before it, Haze blew me away. Everything I loved about Shadows I loved all over again and it took all of my strength not to pick up Shimmer (book three) straight away which is waiting on my shelf. I can't read it yet because I know Burn (book four) isn't out until August in the UK! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Even though it's been a while since I read Shadows, I still felt like I perfectly understood Gaby. I really felt for her. I thoroughly enjoyed following her through another action-packed story, guessing what was going to happen next. You can send Gaby Winters an invite to my imaginary fictional tea party please! I admired her strength just as much as the first time and it made me want to be braver and fight alongside her. Not many characters get that response out of me.

Again, like Shadows, I just couldn't put this blasted book down. I read the entire second half in one day. I just kept turning pages, not caring the sky was growing darker. I couldn't help myself. The breathless pace doesn't let up from the first sentence and that truly is incredible.

I have to commend Weston for her fight scenes. They're fantastic. Usually, I really struggle my way through a fight scene and have to skim them to catch the gist. It's very rare for me to follow every punch and every flash of a sword. But Weston just has this way that not only keeps me hooked on every word, but makes me understand what's going on all over the place. And Haze is not a simple book. No way. And yet, I followed every action sequence. In fact, I was always secretly hoping for one.

I just have to add that Haze was as good as Shadows and sometimes that's half the battle.

Evaluation

Overall 9/10 - the only reason I feel I can't give this book a 10 is because it was borderline too confusing at times.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Get book one and read it and tell me how much you loved it!

Would I look up the author? Yes. Have done it. Am eagerly awaiting anything else that comes out of this woman.

Haze's breathless pace doesn't let up from the first sentence and I was left with no choice but to keep turning pages.
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on 20 May 2014
This is the second book in the series and just like the first `Shadows`I count,t put it down. Great characters especially Gabe and although it got a little confusing sometimes to remember who is who a brilliant story. Have reordered the next one which is out on 3July. Can,t wait.
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on 6 March 2014
When I finished Shadows I couldn't comprehend just how amazing this book was. I needed the second (Haze) straight away. I was in love with the characters, the story, the setting and the premise. It was just really original. I love paranormal and was so happy to get into another series that I could adore.

I didn't think It could get better but it did. Haze had the amazing essence of Shadows but just knocked up another level. This skilfully craft novel contains some history, mysticism, mystery, intrigue, humour and romance in a neat package that is not just entertaining but challenges your mind and imagination. So many twists and turns. So many revaluations and jaw dropping moments.

The characters never get old. We meet new ones and old ones. Rafa the lead male character is still so addicting. Just writing this review makes me want to go back and re read them. His stance in the book is so refreshing. Gabriella I adore. She is probably one of the easiest girls to read. I say this because I find some lead heroines to be very annoying... But this girl is brave, Knows what she wants, beautiful and just a joy to read. Her and Rafas relationship is so hot and oozes sexual tension you just cant put the but down because of it!

I love Angels in YA. Its my best type of paranormal genre. This book just proves why. If you are not a huge fan of Paranormal and haven't really found that one book that has made you think "WOAH" I would defiantly recommend giving this one a go. Its cleverly written and your on the edge of your seat through out with baited breath.

I find myself getting lost in these books all the time. I will say it again... I really am so passionate and interested in these books and the story. If you want to be blown away with a book then pick up Shadows then Haze and prepare to be taken somewhere only a Angel can go. ;)
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on 16 October 2013
The first book in this series, Shadows, was one of my all-time favourite angel books. I couldn't put it down and I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel.

Haze begins where Shadows left off, with Gaby getting used to her new crazy life and realising that she doesn't really know her true self at all. She's constantly being told about the old her, the one she doesn't remember and that person couldn't be more different than who she is now. Gaby knows that there is a chance her brother is alive and she, along with Rafa, Jason, Maggie and Simon, will do anything to find him again. Although this does give the book an exciting and mysterious feel to it, there is more. This series has demons, numerous fights with awesome weapons involved and many, many secrets. Honestly, Haze is one of the most exciting books I have ever read due to how much is going on.

Australia isn't a location used too much in young adult books and that was another reason for me loving this series. Paula Weston uses somewhere fresh and exciting but also as the setting isn't typical, it makes it different. Australia isn't the only setting though. The Rephaim are able to travel to any location by shifting there. The use of shifting throughout the book enables the location to change and for the plot to take unexpected turns at any moment.

Although the demons and the fights are exciting, Haze has something even better going for it. Gabe and fellow Rephaim Rafa have been inseparable since the first book due to her not knowing the dangers she faces and Rafa's friendship with her brother. Since the beginning, there has been a fabulous sexual tension between Gabe and Rafa. Paula Weston doesn't give much away between these two characters but littered through the pages of this book are sexy as hell smirks, tense moments and a connection that rivals any other. Gabe and Rafa's romance does not take over the whole book though, unlike in some others, and instead makes for an interesting sub plot. Their connection adds to everything else in the story and makes it a whole lot more intense. I kept reading Haze waiting for something big to happen between them but Weston held out, making me want it even more.

Haze has characters that I deeply cared about, ones that I was hoping would do well throughout but it also has characters who I hated (because they're pretty evil). There is a fantastic contrast between good and evil in this book and I really enjoyed reading about such diverse characters. Gaby especially was one of my favourites, along with Rafa of course. These two are very different but also very similar due to their backgrounds. Speaking of their backgrounds, this is what makes most of the characters so interesting. Gaby is this normal girl, or so she thinks, but she also has this past that she knows nothing about and finding out about that past is incredibly interesting.

Just like Shadows, I absolutely loved Haze. I stayed up until the early hours of the morning just so I could finish it in one sitting. Haze was also so much better than Shadows, which I didn't think would be possible. Paula Weston certainly has a gift for writing and this series is seriously addictive.
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Please bear in mind that this is the second book in the series and the review may therefore contain spoilers to the first book.

Picking up where Shadows left off, the action and tension keeps a steady pace within the narrative. My love of Rafa grows and grows, even though the secrets from the past are continually skirted around. I have to say I was a little frustrated that there weren't more revelations within Haze. I desperately need answers to the myriad of questions posed within Shadows.

There is considerable development of the relationships and interactions shown within Haze adding to the dynamic of the overall story. It's a compulsive read, culminating in not moving from the first page until you reach the last page and even then screaming in CAPS on twitter that you need more NOW.

Haze left me strung so tight I felt like vibrating piano wire. The third book, Shimmer, is due out July 2014, I hope you're listening Paula, I need those answers and I need them NOW.
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on 27 April 2014
Excellent books. Book I and II are both good to read. Adventures became real and it was difficult to put the book down. Very often I would be reading well into the night. Now waiting for book III.
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