Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Haze by Paula Weston

Friday, July 11, 2014 with 11 comments
Title: Haze
Author: Paula Weston
Series: The Rephaim, book #2
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: May 22, 2013 (in Australia -- not till September 9, 2014 in US)
Source: borrowed from the awesome, fabulous Lauren and then purchased ;0)
Purchase: Amazon | Fishpond | The Book Depository

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Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

“But what if we can’t find Jude?”
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. “We will.”
“How can you be so sure?” I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.
“Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to.”
I seriously had to re-read this novel -- granted, I read it for the first time back in August -- in order to review it properly, and I still don't think I can adequately portray just how much I love this book...or this series, for that matter. It's been yet another month since my re-read, and I'm still having trouble gathering my thoughts. Why are the novels I love the most the absolute hardest to review? BUT...I have to do this now because my copy of Shimmer will be here in mere days, and I'll completely forego everything else to get to that book...including reviewing the previous book.

It's kind of a well-known fact that contemporary novels from Australian authors tend to be very beloved among us readers, but now we're finally getting wind of some of the awesome paranormal stories they write, too. And I am hooked, guys. So much so, that I'm not satisfied borrowing from wonderful friends anymore or waiting for the US release date. No, I had to go and buy myself a copy of this novel -- and the next one! -- from an overseas vendor to satisfy my need for more Rephaim adventures, even knowing that I'll still have to wait another year or so for the final book in the series. I think my desperation for these books speaks volumes, but just in case that's not enough to convince you, I shall proceed with fangirling over Haze. Fair warning, though: this is the second book in the Rephaim series, so there are possible spoilers for Shadows.

Haze picks up shortly after the events of Shadows, with Gaby having known that she is Rephaite -- a half-angel/half-human tasked with finding the Fallen and ridding the world of demons in the process -- for just about a week. The life she thought she knew isn't real. The brother she's spent the last year mourning doesn't exist. But there's a chance he's still alive, and now that they've established this possibility, Rafa wants to set out in search of him, like yesterday.

And Gaby is just as excited at the prospect. But she's hesitant, too, to discover the demons of her past, the past she can't remember. And so she and Rafa set off in search of other demons...demons they can hunt and kill and cleanse the earth least until she's ready to search for Jude. In doing so, she proves to her fellow Rephaim that she is not the Gabe they remember at all, that she has changed or at the very least no longer remembers who she was before. The amnesia plot was used primarily -- and well, I might add -- in the first book to help establish the world and conditions of the Rephaim by having the Rephaim themselves explain to Gaby everything that she would have already known as Gabe. In this book, Gaby's memory loss furthers the plot by elaborating on her past relationships with the other Rephaim, those whom Jude left the Sanctuary with a decade ago.

It also adds more than a little tension to her relationship with Rafa. He still won't reveal what caused the big break, what drove Gaby and Jude to different sides, or why she and Rafa were basically enemies for the last ten years. But even though we get no answers in that respect, their banter and chemistry is still at an all-time high, fueling their actions and their passion, regardless of what they're doing. There are more than a couple of steamy scenes between these two, but there are tender ones, too, and I loved those just as much.
“I know things are messy with us, but do you really think I could just walk away from you?”
This time he doesn't look away. “Do you really think I'd let you?”
However, Rafa grows agitated and frustrated with Gaby's stalling on the Jude situation, and though I'll admit it did slow the progress of the novel somewhat -- they didn't even set out in search of him until around the halfway point -- I understood Gaby's apprehension...and Rafa's, too. Neither knows which Jude they'll get, assuming that they find him at all. I think this might be the point at which Rafa and Gaby grow the closest, neither wanting to voice their fears but sharing them all the same. Their relationship is coming into its own, but it never overshadows the bigger picture.

Suffice it to say, this book by no means suffers from the dreaded Second Book Syndrome. It's exciting and emotional and raw and packs an even bigger punch than Shadows did. It is pure excellence with none of that filler you find in a lot of sequels. It simply expands upon the things that were already so well done in the first book: the tight-knit bonds and friendships, the slow-burning romance, the kick-ass fight scenes, and Gaby's insatiable thirst for answers to her past. I could go on and on ad nauseam about this series, but really, the best thing I can suggest is picking it up and seeing for yourself just how amazing these books are. Once you do, it'll probably take you ages before you can form coherent thoughts about it, too. ;0)

If I haven't sold you on this series yet, you really should visit the author's website. It hosts a bevy of information on the series, on the characters, and on the mythology behind it all. Plus, it's fairly entertaining. Just like the Rephaim series. You can also check out an excerpt from Shimmer here, assuming you're already caught up with the series.

GIF it to me straigtht:

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

Aren't these covers just gorgeous together?!?

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


  1. Where did you order Shimmer? I think once I finish Haze I will HAVE to get shimmer ASAP. I love these books too. So wonderful. I'm with you--nearly impossible to write a review for a book I love.

    1. From Fishpond. :) My copy's not here yet, but I expect it any day. I'm biting my nails till it arrives, actually. And I've already had a month to recover from that cliffy a second time, lol.

  2. I absolutely loved the first book in this series. I got a copy of Haze when it released in the UK but I'm waiting to have a copy of Shimmer in my hands before reading it because I've heard about the painful cliffhanger. You wrote such a gorgeous review, Jen! It makes me want to dive into my copy right away, but I have to control myself.
    Australian authors have some kind of writing gene I think! I've read several books by multiple authors and everything has been amazing.
    I'm so happy to hear that this didn't suffer from any kind of second book syndrome. I can't wait for more Rafa and Gaby! :)
    Lovely review, Jen!

    1. Shadows was great, but I think that Haze is even a step above that. It was pretty phenomenal. The cliffy in Haze is terrible and gut-wrenching, but I've heard that the ending of Shimmer is even worse. Makes me hesitate to read it, but I just can't help myself. Once it's in my hands, I WILL DEVOUR IT! :D

      Those Aussies are pretty amazing. Makes me want to move there so that maybe I'll get back into writing, lol. I haven't read an Aussie book yet that I haven't loved.

      I hope you love Haze as much as I did. And that you can bear to wait for Shimmer! =)

  3. I have got to read this!! I really enjoyed the first one, and this review is reminding me of all the wonderful characters I fell in love with. Excellent review! And I'm so relieved to hear it doesn't seem to suffer the Second Book Syndrome!

    1. Nope, it's kind of perfection as far as sequels go. :) If you enjoyed Shadows, you will LOVELOVELOVE Haze. It's just that good. :D

  4. I am DYING for my copy of Shimmer to arrive! And I need to check out this author's website asap. So so much amazing tension between Gaby and Rafa. I just want to know her past…but I'm also afraid to know too. I agree, this is a book 2 that shines, and I'm hoping that book 3 is just as good. Great review!

    1. My copy is on it's way but it's being sent to my office and I'm on vacation this week and I'll just die if I don't read it soon. So, I may be going into work at some point this week anyway. Lol.

  5. Okay, I can't read your whole review since I haven't started the series yet, BUT I AM EXCITED. It comes highly recommended by a lot of fellow bloggers. I hope it lives up to my expectations! If Rafa is anywhere near as swoony as Raffe than I think I'll be satisfied. :D

    1. Oh, you'll be satisfied. Because unlike with Raffe, Rafa doesn't completely shut down his feelings. So many swoons. :) Can't wait to see what you think of these books!

  6. AHHH!!! I just read an egalley of Haze last week and it was SO good! I am so glad I read book one first though. I am in love with this series now. I can't wait for Shimmer to be released in North America so I can get my grubby hands on it because I must know what happens.


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