Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
US Publish Date: May 01, 2012
UK Publish Date: June 07, 2012
UK Publish Date: June 07, 2012
Add On: Goodreads
It’s with bittersweet feelings that I write this review - feelings I’m sure any reader can relate to when a favourite series draws to a close.
In Shade, book one of the trilogy, Jeri Smith-Ready introduced us to a world where the line between the living and the dead was fascinatingly blurred. She convinced us to warm to her characters, to root for them, and that much remained true when the story flowed into the second book. And it remains true now, with book 3, where we aren’t just left to appreciate the skilful blending of mythology into the plot, but also to admire the great journey in which the characters have travelled. With Shine arrived another instalment of action, romance and mystery, and yet, with the air of closure surrounding it, it proved to be bigger and better than ever before.
Aura, the protagonist, has never been what I would consider a simple character. Her decisions in the previous books have been questionable, and her actions not always smartest, but regardless of her imperfections, I have always admired her. In Shine, the sheer extent to which Aura has matured and grown over the course of the series is truly appreciable. Her strength and resilience were especially evident in this instalment, particularly when fighting for her boyfriend, Zachary. Due to unanticipated circumstances, Aura and Zachary find themselves separated from each other at the start of the book and the aching that follows is clear as glass - and that simple move was enough to really let the reader know that these two were meant to be. Perhaps even enough to convince the few adamant Logan supporters that Zachary deserves his place.
When the book fully set sail, the plot proved to be an intricate one as we revisited the mystery surrounding the Shift and the significance of Newrange in Ireland. Plot-wise, nothing felt underdeveloped, and intriguing new ideas were introduced. Admittedly, once things really got complicated, I was forced to re-read a few passages here and there to keep up… but even when I couldn’t keep track of the deeper story of the Shift, it was still incredibly engaging, and I enjoyed myself regardless.
Of course, the wonderful romance between Zachary and Aura contributed greatly to that. Fans will be pleased to know that Jeri Smith-Ready does not hold back with the sweltering scenes in this book and Zachary and Aura get plenty of tender (and hot) moments to themselves. I have always been a huge fan of Zachary and adored him endlessly in this book. The way he and Aura care for each other is heart-warming to read about, and it’s saddening to know I won’t be visiting the two of them again.
Overall, Shine lived up to my expectations and provided a more than satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy. I can’t think of many other young adult ghost series that have captured my attention quite as profoundly as this one. The final book delivered a sense of much-needed closure, but I’ll be sad to see it go.
Rating: 4 stars