Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl

You get a two-fer today.  🙂

Lynn Viehl has a new book coming out Oct. 6th, and it’s the first in her new Kyndred series, which is a spin-off of her awesome Darkyn series.  There was a snafu with the ARCs (Advance Reading Copies), she didn’t have any, and put out a call to her blog readers to review her book in electronic form (e-ARC, pretty darnd cool!).

I for one jumped at this opportunity because the teaser in the last Darkyn book, “Stay the Night,” intrigued me.  And yes, I’m an ARC whore.  If an author offers any, I’m SO there.

So I read devoured Shadowlight in roughly a week.  It would have been sooner, but I couldn’t drag it with me everywhere, but that’s okay.  I had no trouble keeping track of the story, even when reading another along with it (I do this frequently….and oddly enough, nothing gets confused or tangled or anything in my head).  This doesn’t mean that Shadowlight didn’t keep my interest.  Far from it.

From the first page, I was completely hooked.  And floored.  So many neat ideas.  The book centers around Jessa Bellamy, a woman with an interesting (and somewhat dangerous) ability called “shadowlight” — she can “see” a person’s most horrible secrets and guilt.  She’s hunted by various people: people who wish her harm, and people like her who want to keep her safe. 

The Kyndred fascinate me.  The abilities they possess are nothing short of amazing and unique and wonderful (even the tough ones).

Concurrent with Jessa’s storyline is another, a man bent on revenge who becomes a monster.  I’m just going to leave it at that to prevent spoiling it.  It reminded me a bit of {POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT} “Shadowfires” by Dean Koonz{END POSSIBLE SPOILER}.  In a good way, of course.  I like the idea of what he’d become, on a purely writerly-character torturer kind of way (I’m all about the character torture, *g*).

The pacing was incredible.  It did start kind of slow, introducing everything, but once I was grounded in the story, I was fine.  A few Darkyn characters make an appearance, but don’t worry — Lynn explains it all without being boring or repetitive.  And those who haven’t read her Darkyn books, it makes sense and doesn’t detract from the story at all.  I’m very impressed with how she handled all the backstory.

There’s romance in it too, as well as some hot sex.  Naturally!  I like the hero and think he’s totally hot and mysterious and cool.  We found out later the why of the mystery — it’s really, really cool.

And in typical Lynn Viehl fashion, she threw us an awesome twist at the end.

Oh yeah, I really like one of the other characters, Rowan.  She’s fascinating, flawed, and tough.  We got a little preview of her book, Kyndred book #2, Dreamveil.  I am dying to read it.

So, would I recommend this book?  Hell fucking yeah!  Especially if you like the Darkyn books.  Shadowlight flowed very seemlessly from the end of the Darkyn books.  It all made sense, and Viehl is superb at worldbuilding and character creation. 

So, an awesome book to start a series that is going to be awesome.  But I’d recommend ANY of Lynn Viehl’s stuff, or her sci-fi books writing under the penname S.L. Viehl.  I wasn’t even into sci-fi till I read her Stardoc books.  She’s just THAT good.

Read Shadowlight!  Prepare to be hooked.

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