Paranormal fantasy is the breakfast cereal of my reading menu: a default choice, a guaranteed, all-nutrients-included basic entertainment value. It feeds the hungry imagination even when there’s nothing outstanding to make it memorable.
This book is a nice, full bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs. That is praise. I love CFSBs. I ate up Taming Shadows in an evening (what, don’t you eat cereal for dessert? I do.) Then I went right to Amazon for Silver Shackles that night, and gobbled it down the next day. I even rummaged around the bottom of the box, so to speak, wishing there was more.
Any paranormal that makes me sit up and say, “Oo!” is a pleasant surprise. Taming Shadows satisfied my appetite for story without leaving a stereotype aftertaste, and I especially liked the well-rounded characters and world-building that hinted at a lot of serious background research.
The story pours out with the ease of tipping the box. (Hey, I have an analogy here. I will use it up.) A main character with tragedy in their past, touched by the supernatural, working with old allies and new friends, wrestling with personal as well as magical problems, facing some peril and personal issues at once…yeah. This book has all of that, along with some excellent original touches that kept me waiting to see what would happen next.
This is not to say it astonished me. All the paranormals I’ve read, from erotic romance to noir mystery or even portal crossovers, have so many elements in common that I accidentally take books home from the library twice, not realizing from the description & cover that I’ve read them already. This one stands out, but it doesn’t break away from the pack entirely. That’s part of what made it a comforable read.
This is not the book for someone looking for “something different, something totally original, something daring and a little outrageous.” It isn’t slices of salmon sautéed in garlic served with a pear vinagrette reduction and toasted almond slices. Nope. It’s a big tasty bowl of yummy, crunchy, could eat it every morning all week with no regrets tastiness.
Extra points for a remarkable lack of the usual indie-book rough spots in sentence structure, basic grammar & word choice. That was like getting a secret toy surprise in the box! Dig into the sample feature. If you like that, you’ll enjoy the whole thing.