Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Review: SHADES OF DARK by Linnea Sinclair

Publisher: Bantam (July 29, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0553589652
ISBN-13: 978-0553589658

Shades of Dark is the sequel to Gabriel’s Ghost, the winner of the 2006 RITA Award for best Paranormal Romance. If you haven’t read GG first, please read it before proceeding. It will greatly increase your enjoyment of SD. Linnea feels very strongly about this. Need I say more? Since SD is a recent release, I’ll try to stay out of spoiler territory. I know, it’s hard, but I’ll try. I’ll just say that it is Sully’s BIG secret from GG which determines the course of SD. It’s all one story.

Shades of Dark picks up Chasidah (Chaz) Bergren’s and Gabriel (Sully) Sullivan’s story three months after they destroy the first jukor lab on Marker Shipyards, only to find that there is yet another jukor lab. They’re hunting this lab as their relationship deepens and Sully’s abilities increase... much to the horror of his uber-ethical self. Another problem is that the bad guys know they exist; and Chaz and Sully are now being hunted as terrorists. Added to that, someone is betraying them. When the betrayers are revealed, the reader will be furious. Personally, I thought that Sully was ‘way’ too nice to them. But then, I never claimed to be nice.
Meanwhile, back in the galaxy, politics has gotten a lot nastier. The Empire is unraveling, and vultures are gathering. Chaz’s brother Thad has been arrested, and is being used as bait to catch Chaz and Sully. Throw in Chaz’s ex-husband, who only wants what’s best for her, and a Stolorth Prince, who... only God knows what he wants!

Jukors are still being born; and women are still dying, and lions, and tigers, and... oh my! Loyalties are being tested, and spies are everywhere. Chaz and Sully have no one to trust but each other. However, when Sully is involved in something beyond his control, he shuts Chaz out. When a final betrayal and a tragic misunderstanding of natures and cultures lead to death, Chaz and Sully’s trust is tested to the limit, a limit which only love and forgiveness are able overcome.

Shades of Dark is a much darker story than Gabriel’s Ghost. This is entirely appropriate, considering the circumstances. There is a lot of ambiguity here. It has non-stop action and seamless Science Fiction world building. Above all it is an emotional story of profound love and respect growing through, and overcoming terrible trials. The tension level is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are worth it. The ending leaves plenty of room for more to come for Phillip Guthrie, in Hope’s Folly, coming in spring 2009. Yippee! And if Bantam is smart, much, much more for Chaz and Sully in another book. My fertile imagination sees all sorts of possibilities for more adventures for Chaz and Sully. Oh wow! After all, there is still a galactic Alliance to save, and Sully’s inheritance, and Sully’s abilities, and... Write to Bantam, and tell them we want the rest of Chaz and Sully’s story! The URL is

Happy reading,


Writing Science Fiction Romance
Real Love in a Real Future


Jace said...

Wonderful review, Frances. :-) Makes me want to read it all over again. :-D I agree that there should be at least one more story on Sully and Chaz (and Ren). ;-)

Frances said...

Hi Jace,
Thanks. And, yes, I think that Ren needs his story. Linnea says that he's still a little young for that sort of thing. ;-) After all, he's only about the human equivalent of nineteen.

Anonymous said...

Frances, you have done a wonderful job reviewing both books. I, too, re-read GG before reading SHADES and I'm glad I did. Chaz and Sully are 2 of my favorite characters EVER.

I am happy to report that I had the happy privilege of reading an ARC of HOPE'S FOLLY, the next book in Linnea's "Sully-verse" and it is a roller-coaster ride of high-paced action. Philip is a terrific hero: honorable, smart, funny, he has gorgeous blue eyes, and he can kiss. The heroine of the story, Rya, is tough and gutsy and keeps Philip on his toes. This is a book not to be missed either!

Frances said...

Hi Patty,
Thanks for stopping by, and I'm so glad that you enjoyed the reviews. BTW, we hates your gutz with slime green envy for having read HOPE'S FOLLY. That's just not fair! Linnea just keeps getting better and better doesn't she? :-) Come back and play some more. And... you wouldn't happen to be willing to share some spoilers with someone who hates/no,no Precious, we loves your gutz...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Linnea keeps getting better and better. I have a hard time understanding why there aren't heaps of people standing in line clamoring for her books!

Spoilers, hmmm? Well, Rya was just 10 years old to Philip's 25 the first time they met. They had a somewhat inauspicious beginning- let's just say it involved peas and leave it at that! Heh-heh!

Frances said...

Are you telling me that my slime green envy wasn't too far off the mark? You are so wicked! LOL

Anonymous said...

Not my slime green, Frances, Linnea's. Didn't Zombies involve green slime, too?

The best parts of the book are the ones in which Rya is orgasmic over the weapons. (There are several.) They remind me of the scene from when Harry Met Sally: I'll take some of what she's having! And I don't even like guns!LOL

Heather said...

Great review, Frances! I think that the POV of Shades and GG serve the stories well. Chaz is a wonderful narrator/heroine to hang out with.

Frances said...

Ok, Patty, the slime green is on Linnea's feet. My crocks are slime mud. LOL From Linnea's excepts of HF, I know that I am going to love Rya. She just loves big guns. It's a wonder Philip doesn't have a complex. Bwahaha

Frances said...

Heather, thank you so much. I loved Chaz's first person POV. She is just a person that you would like to have as a friend. When it is done this well, I can't figure out why some people have trouble with FPPOV. The POV is perfect for SHADES. Go figure.

Heather said...

[...]And if you’re about to catch up with her latest release, Frances Drake reviews the author’s SHADES OF DARK[...]

Frances said...

Lord have Mercy! Heather, I feel like a duffus. Somehow I saw everything else on the list except that. Thanks girlfriend.