Friday, August 14, 2015

** These reviews are for books three and four of a series that hasn't been fully published here in the States, so read at your own risk, as there are definitely a few spoilers for the previous two books. **

Title: Shimmer
Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim, book #3
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: July 3, 2014 (in Australia -- not till 2016 in US)
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Fishpond | The Book Depository

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Gaby thought her life couldn’t get more complicated.

She’s almost used to the idea that she’s not the nineteen-year-old backpacker she thought she was. She can just about cope with being one of the Rephaim - a 140-year-old half-angel - whose memories have been stolen. She’s even coming to grips with the fact that Jude, the brother she’s mourned for a year, didn’t die at all.

But now Rafa—sexy, infuriating Rafa—is being held, and hurt, by Gatekeeper demons. And Gaby has to get the bitterly divided Rephaim to work together, or Rafa has no chance at all.

It’s a race against time - and history. And it may already be too late.

Having now read this series in its entirety, I think I can safely say this was my favorite out of them all. Of course, I loved each and every book with every fiber of my being, but I loved how the Rephaim had to come together in this book. Okay, I'm lying...I love how Rafa and Gaby came together in this book, lol.

Still, there's just something about seeing bitter enemies having to fight side by side against a common foe. Reminds me of the X-Men a bit. ;) Plus, now that Jude's back, we get to see more of how things were for the past ten years, when the Sanctuary Rephaim thought they knew best and the Outcasts were just rebels with a cause. And yet, no one really knows anything...not even the omniscient Nathaniel.

Because apparently, Jude and Gabe weren't the only ones keeping secrets. But I liked what the secrets did to the characters, what it revealed about them, and not only those who were directly affected but all of the Rephaim and the few outsiders who knew of their existence. The things revealed in this book have definitely changed the game, most especially for the two Rephaim who escaped the Sanctuary's notice for all of those years.

And despite all of these secrets and knowing that Rafa is still keeping things about their history from her, Gaby decides that he's worth the time and effort to get to know again. There's an undeniable connection there, so it makes sense, even with that threat of their past indiscretions looming over them. But I think Rafa has proven over the course of the series that if he did do something to hurt Gabe, something unforgivable, he's willing to make amends, to do whatever it takes to prove he's not that same guy.

People make mistakes. Same goes for half-angel/half-human hotties. I kind of love that underlying theme of forgiveness in these books. Because every single one of these characters has done something for which they need to be forgiven, whether they understand that yet or not -- well, except for poor Maggie...she got dragged into this without knowing what she was getting herself into. :P

Title: Burn
Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim, book #4
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: June 24, 2015 (in Australia -- not till 2016 in US)
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Fishpond | The Book Depository

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Suddenly, Gaby remembers everything.

For a year she believe she was a backpacker chilling out in Pandanus Beach. Working at the library. Getting over the accident that killed her twin brother.

Then Rafa came to find her and Gaby discovered her true identity as Gabe: one of the Rephaim. Over a hundred years old. Half angel, half human, all demon-smiting badass and hopelessly attracted to the infuriating Rafa.

Now she knows who faked her memories, and how—and why it’s all hurtling towards a massive showdown between the forces of heaven and hell.

More importantly, she remembers why she’s spent the last ten years wanting to seriously damage Rafa.

I re-read the entire series in anticipation of starting this final book in the Rephaim series. It was probably the best idea I've had in awhile. =) So much fun experiencing Gaby finding out she's not human all over again, meeting Rafa for the first time, that kiss, the Hellhounds, the training...all of it.

And it kind of helped because this book was the hardest of them all on Gaby as she reconciles who she is now with who she was as Gabe and what all comes with that. Especially where it concerns Rafa and what happened between them. Through a series of flashbacks and memories, we finally get to see what transpired between them, the real reason Gaby stayed at the Sanctuary when she'd been all set to leave with Jude and the other Outcasts before that. And it isn't pretty.

I really could have used more Rafa in the here and now sense in this final book because for half the book, the only time we saw him was in Gabe's misbegotten memories. And I didn't like what I saw. I had kept up hope that this rift between them was Gabe overreacting, that it was her fault it had gone on so long. And that last part is true, but her feelings were warranted. But they were given a second chance, and Gaby/Gabe isn't going to take that lightly either.

Also not pretty? What Jude and Gabe did a year ago that resulted in them losing each other and their memories. Trust has always been an issue with the characters in this series, but that's the least of their worries right now. Because that prophesied war between angels and demons that everyone's got their panties in a twist over? It's coming.

None of this series has been particularly joyful, except maybe when Gaby and Jude were reunited, but this book was by far the most emotionally fraught, at least for me. It changed how I viewed some of the characters. Not necessarily in a negative way; I just have a lot of feelings to sort out. It'll probably take another series re-read -- or two -- before I'm fully reconciled with everyone's new roles.

Really, though...I can't believe it's over! I'm not ready to say goodbye to these characters. Not even Mya. :P I'm pretty damn satisfied with this conclusion…with the answers we got, with how the memory loss happened and how it was resolved, with who the Rephaim are and what their purpose is. That said, I rarely read spin-offs but I would SO read one set in this world.

GIF it to me straight:
Like, one of my favorite series ever kind of awesome. =)

Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)Haze (The Rephaim, #2)Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)Burn

About the author:

I’m the author of the Rephaim series. For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator with pH creative, where my writing involves a lot less profanity. :)

I also love to read, blog, cook, eat, drink and travel and tend to get passionate about human rights, ethical food production… actually, I can get passionate about pretty much anything.

I’m also a huge fan of Australian literature, fantasy/paranormal writing across books, TV and film; I love comedy; I’m a closet comic reader and TV addict; and I’m borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.

Find Paula:

WebsiteTwitter | FacebookGoodreads


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