REVIEW: Phantom Shadows by Diane DuvallWednesday, November 7, 2012 1:00
I was first introduced to this author by Sybil when I started to review books here at The Pond, and what a great addition to my keeper bookshelf Ms. Duvall is. If you like quirky characters, kick-ass action, and a lot of heart in your paranormals, then this series is for you.
We first meet Bastien when he’s under the mistaken impression that he’s a vampire. Using his outstanding leadership and organizational skills, he is able to create a formidable vampire army. Of course, fate really has a twisted sense of humor, because now that he’s crossed over to the good side, he has to face his creations night after night to keep human kind safe. But there’s a new enemy on the scene and they’re hunting both vampires and immortals, so using the principle of enemy of my enemy is my friend can Bastien find a way to join forces again with the vampires to successfully stand against this new enemy and keep all he loves safe.
Bad boy turned good, Bastien is a great hero and he sucks you right into the action along with him and the other guardians and the human network that supports them. It’s clear that the other immortals don’t like him and in his devil-may-care fashion, Bastien really doesn’t give a damn and goes out of his way to constantly irritate and push them, until he meets Melanie Tipton, who is working on the research to cure the virus that infects vampires by driving them crazy. There are some great scenes in the book as he provokes the other immortals.
Melanie sees the heart beneath the tough exterior that Bastien shows the world, especially the tenderness he offers her. Slowly she gets through to him and is able to show him he’s truly not as alone as he thinks he is and he truly is part of a family. He is also surprised to find there are other immortals, especially the senior leaders who come out to her research facility to work with his vampire friends she’s trying to find a cure for. The interaction between Bastien and the other immortals reminds me of siblings and the sibling battles that take place in any family. During his vampire phase, Bastien had killed one of the immortal guardians, which is the main reason the other immortals can’t warm up to him, but slowly and surely he starts to overcome their extreme prejudice and finally creates a place for himself in the family.
The author really leverages all the fact or fiction theories about Area 51 with arch villian Emrys, who wants to capture vampires and immortals and experiment with them to create super soldiers. What a horrific person, and you can’t help but shudder with what he’s capable of. Of course, with all the military action from Emrys and his mercenaries, the story should attract military fiction afficionados. I think the military action is really well done.
There are tears, there is laughter, and there definitely is quite a kicker at the end. I can’t wait for the continuation of the series as more of the Immortal Guardians find their one. There seems to be something sinister going on with the mysterious council about whom we don’t know much but it appears that we’ll get to know more in future books since we meet a character who is banished for helping the guardians in this one. My only request to the author is to please hurry up and write more.
Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it’s not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire . . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can’t remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different — and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question — he can’t put her in danger. But she isn’t asking him . . .
Read an excerpt.