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Book CoverLynne Connolly‘s review of Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl
Paranormal Romance released by Onyx 6 Oct 09

I’m a fan of Ms Viehl’s paranormal books. Her previous series ended with “Stay the Night” and was a lead in to this new series.

Jessa is an intelligent heroine, something I love about Ms Viehl’s books. And the hero, Gaven, isn’t a asshat hero. However, the book does take some time to settle down and it didn’t turn into a page-turner until about 100 pages in. I wouldn’t have read on if it had been a new to me author, but I trust Ms Viehl to deliver, and eventually, she did.

The plot, as is usual for her, is complex and there is a large cast of characters. Unfortunately they are all introduced in the first third of the book, and while there’s no confusion between them, it is frustrating to start to immerse yourself in a character’s dilemma, only to find yourself plunged into a different dilemma with a different character.

The big bad is Gennaro, the owner of a multimillion company involved in genetic research. The creatures in this world are infected by a virus, sometimes artificially induced, and Gennaro wants to synthesize this. Jessa touches people and sees their future, reads them. One of the reasons she falls for Gaven is that she can’t read him. I’ve read that trope before, and sometimes wondered why they can’t learn to develop a mental barrier, but it’s handled well here. Jessa wears gloves, X Men style, which works well for her.

I loved the fact that Jessa had loved someone before, someone she remembered with fondness.

I did enjoy meeting Lucan and Samantha again, from the Kyn series (their book is “Dark Need”) and to discover their connection is as strong as ever and that Sam is still working, still strong and her own person.  Their scenes are some of the most romantic in the book.

Because this isn’t what I’d call a romance. There is a strong love story going on here, but it’s not the main focus of the book. There are too many other things going on for that. The story, the multiple viewpoints and the complex plot mean there are other focuses of attention.

But once I was past the first third of the book it settled in nicely for me and I found the read absorbing and enjoyable. Ms Viehl’s prose is lovely, and its well worth reading the book for that alone. Precise, well chosen and never over the top purple.

The character that intrigued me most in this story is the subject of the next book (you get a sneak peek at the end). I’m definitely hooked.

LynneCs iconGrade: B

“With just one touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone’s darkest secrets, thanks to whoever tampered with her genes. What she doesn’t know is that a biotech company has discovered her talent and intends to kill her and harvest her priceless DNA. Gaven Matthias is forced to abduct Jessa himself so he can protect her, but Jessa has a hard time believing the one man whose secrets she can’t read. As a monstrous assassin closes in and forces them to run, Jessa will have to find another way to discover if Matthias is her greatest ally-or her deadliest enemy.”