Monday, 7 July 2014

Review: Shimmer by Paula Weston

Spoiler warning! Spoilers present for the previous two books, Shadows and Haze

Title: Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3)
Author: Paula Weston
Publisher: Orion/Indigo (UK)
Published: July 03, 2014
Buy: The Book Depository

This series has all of my favourite things – gloriously entertaining romance, heart-stopping action, clever and interesting plot – all skilfully tied together with barrels of tension and emotion. It’s angels without the accompanying drone of been-there-done-that paranormal fiction.

Shimmer is the third and penultimate book and sets off immediately after the (very cruel) ending of Haze, taking us to the Sanctuary, where Nathaniel’s Rephaim and the Outcasts are forced together to save Rafa and Taya from the demons. Not surprisingly, Rafa is absent for a good portion of the book (which is mildly agonising, to say the least) and in the meantime, we get to dig deeper into the history of the Rephaim and Gaby’s old personality pre-memory loss. A lot of answers are still withheld, but the little glimpses we do get are incredibly fascinating and only make me desperate – madly, hair-pullingly desperate – to get the rest. It’s a tense, torturous, on-the-edge-of-your-seat journey, but there are some very satisfying developments, too.

One of the most interesting things about this instalment is Jude and Gaby’s relationship, their differences and similarities, and how the two fit in around the other Rephaim. We get a small taste of that towards the end of Haze and Weston builds on it further here. The secondary characters play as much of a part in holding this series together as the main characters do and Shimmer is probably the book where I appreciated them the most. Mya, Ez, Zak, Maggie, Micah – all of them held my attention in one way or another, and the dialogue and interactions in this book is sharp and brilliant. I even loved the Butler boys with their foul mouths and rocket launchers.

The best of the relationships is, of course, seen in Gaby and Rafa’s, which is nothing short of charged and deliciously complicated, and even more electrifying here than in both Haze and Shadows. You get so much of a sense of what Rafa means to Gaby – not past Gaby, but this Gaby – and it is equal parts heart-breaking and stirring.

The ending is cliffhanger-ish, though far more running-round-in-circles exciting than rock-back-and-forth-in-a-corner evil. It’s the sort that promises pure epicness to come and I know I’ll be impatient (again!) for the next book. I’m still completely impressed with Weston’s writing and think this series deserves every bit of praise and attention it gets. It’s engaging, smart, perfectly paced, and firmly and most definitely one of my favourites in YA.

Rating: 4.5 stars

P.S. Shimmer is complete with a Who’s Who guide and a summary prologue. In other words, most helpful book ever.

P.P.S. Rafa has a motorbike. I cannot get that wildly splendid image out of my head.

71 comments:

  1. Ahhh! Sam, you're making it very hard for me not to want to drop my current read and jump into Haze and then read this.
    I've put off reading Haze because of the torturous cliffhanger, but I need more Gaby and Rafa.
    I'm definitely curious to find out more about their past and I like that we get to see more Gaby+Jude in this one. I HAVE to read Haze soon!
    Lovely review, Sam! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've skimmed read the review cause I still haven't started this series to my big shame! I promise to remedy that very soon btw!! Glad to hear that the third installment on the series managed to keep up the great level that the previous books had!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that this isn't the same ole same ole with the angel theme that has been done to death. I have such a love hate relationship with those type of stories. This does sound interesting and really does make me want to pick this one and up and just go for it.


    Wonderful review Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hawwa @ ItWasLovelyReadingYou7 July 2014 19:25

    I skimmed this review because I haven't read this series yet and NO SPOILERS but, I read the first line of your review and the rating and now I am sO picking it up because your choice of books is always perfect and secondly, i like the cover. Shhhhhh. Off to read your review of the first book now. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lauren, Love is not a triangle7 July 2014 20:27

    AAAHHHHHHHHHHHH my heart is fluttering so fast now! I CANNOT WAIT for this book. How Weston has managed to keep us on the edge of our seats and engaged - without going mad - while withholding crucial information through 3 books now, is nothing short of spectacular. I'm bummed about the loss of Rafa through a lot of this, but excited for Jude time and to see more of Gaby. Thinking of her in past vs. present makes my head spin. My book is on its way from TBD and it can't come soon enough!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I keep meaning to try this series as I have heard such great things about it, but your review has me convinced. The relationship sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, I've heard so many great reviews about this series, I can't believe I haven't heard of it before! It sounds like there's some amazing relationships and character development, I love the sound of it! Great review Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I loved the first book Shadows, and was completely captivated by the unique angel mythology Paula Weston created. *Sigh* and Gabby and Rafa of course! I'm excited that this was a winner read in the series. I want to drop everything and pick up Haze where I left off. Your review makes it too tempting, Sam ! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've yet to start with this series but I've heard so many great things about it. I definitely need to get a move on. Great review, Sam! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I really can't wait to read this one, Sam. I really enjoyed the first two books. And Rafa on a motorbike. Yummy. I've only just glimpsed at it as I hope to read it soon. Lovely review, Sam! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Uh, you've made me UNFATHOMABLY excited for this series. I have an ARC of the first one from LAST FREAKING YEAR and I must read it now. In fact, you may have just set my plans for tonight XD

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't follow this series, but right now I'm totally reconsidering it. It's one of your favorites in YA? WOW. Cute guy in motorbike? YUM. <3 If only he wears leather jacket, then it'd be perfect.... Wait, I'm getting distracted.

    Glad that you enjoyed this series a lot, Sam! I rarely read angel books, but I'll make sure to check this series out later. :) Brilliant review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't know you read this series, Sam, but it's wonderful to hear how much you love it, and I'm glad that this (which I had assumed was the last in a trilogy) was another excellent edition to the series! I hope you get more Rafa in the final, though! Wonderful review, as they always are. xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes I loved the Who's who guide so much because I had forgotten a few of the side characters. Oh and that cliffhanger! That ending made me screech because like WHAT THE HELL HAPPED AFTER THAT. I agree, Weston's writing is brilliant and engaging.


    Lovely review, Sam! <33

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sam!!! I don't know how I will cope without having Rafa around for the majority of the book! I wanted to dive into this book as soon as this book arrived, but got distracted by life as usual, but I can't wait to get back to these wonderful characters asap! Gorgeous review as always!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aw, amazing review Sam :D I'm so glad you loved this book. <3 You do make it sound pretty awesome, lol. But I don't want to read this series :( I wouldn't be able to deal with the heartbreak, I think. I think the romance would bother me. Grrr. But maybe one day; as it makes me curious, since you love the series so much. <3

    ReplyDelete
  17. Danielle @ Love at First Page10 July 2014 00:09

    Eep! Just got the first three books in the mail! Your review has me excited - especially the bit about a "gloriously entertaining romance". Between you and Lauren, my expectations for this series are sky high! :D Fingers crossed. Another amazing review, Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'll be honest - I previously put this series off as being "same old, same old" in terms of the plot, but your review has really intrigued me to give it a try! I'm all for some well-paced action, swoony romance, and a huge emotional accompaniment! I'm glad to hear that this series keeps getting better and better for you! :) Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ReplyDelete
  19. A Canadian Girl10 July 2014 04:09

    I haven't started this series yet but I love that this one contains a summary and a guide of the characters because I always forget things or who the background characters are, especially when it's after awhile that I read the sequel. Hopefully the finale will be epic and you'll get lots of Rafa.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I keep reading fantastic reviews of this series and I need to get my hands on it! It looks like the first book is finally available over here so I'm out of excuses! :-) I'm glad she still has you on the edge of your seat this far into the series. Now I am even more excited to meet Rafa (especially now that I know he has a motorbike :D). Lovely review Sam!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can totally understand why you put off Haze, but I hope you can read it soon now! Cliffhanger aside, it is AMAZING. Plus Shimmer continues straight on from where Haze leaves off so they make good back-to-back reads.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm so late replying to this and you've already gone and read them all! I'm so glad that you enjoyed these books, Pili. Now to wait for Burn! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've read so many angel books, but only a small handful of them feel original or stand out, and the Rephaim series is definitely one of the better ones. I hope you decide to give it a go!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey, it all starts with the cover. ;) Shadows' original cover (the Aussie version, before they went with the UK style) is one of my favourites. I hope you can get started on this series soon! It's a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  25. RIGHT. I am the most impatient of impatient readers when it comes to secrets or information kept hidden from the reader, and to still love this series without being frustrated with it is pretty miraculous for me. I missed Rafa at first, but trust me, the wait for him to make an appearance is MORE than worth it. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. The characters are my favourite part of the series. I hope you can read it soon, Heidi!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I used to think it was an unfairly underrated series, but it looks like more people are finding out about it now, which makes me happy! Thanks, Jeann. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm so glad you loved Shadows. I hope you enjoy Haze and Shimmer too! The Gaby and Rafa moments are some of my favourite. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you, Sarah! I think it's definitely a lot of fun to read. Plus the romance is to die for. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you, Emma! I really look forward to seeing what you think of it. A lot of exciting things happen in this book.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yes yes and YES. I want to know more about all of those things, especially what happened to Jude and Gaby before they had their memory wiped. I'm both nervous and excited about what will happen between all the characters in Burn.


    And Rafa! I hate being parted from him too. It's not as drawn-out as World After, but trust me, the wait is VERY much worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. YOU MUST. And if you've read it already - because I am hopelessly slow at responding to comments these days - YAY. This series is so much fun and the romance is amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The characters are my favourite aspect, but the plot and storyline is very strong too. I think it's an all-round brilliant series!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Trust me, Rafa is very distracting. ;) I tend to have mixed thoughts about most angel books - I can only think of a handful that I've really liked - but this one is totally brilliant. I hope you can check it out one day!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I actually got my first copy of Shadows from Australia, as I was curious, and I was so glad when the series got picked up in the UK. I hope for more Rafa in the final book too! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  36. It's so helpful. I loved the recap at the start too. I wish all books in series had something like this! And that ending! I am nervous about what will happen next, but I cannot wait to find out.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I hope you enjoy it, Jasprit! I missed Rafa at the start, but the wait for him to return to the story is SO worth it. Trust me. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  38. He's absent for a good chunk of it, but when he does make an appearance, it is nothing short of brilliant. I really liked getting to learn about some of the history in the meantime, though. Can't wait to read your thoughts, Jess!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks, Carina! Aww I hope you have a change of heart one day! Maybe when all the books are out? Then you can read them without worrying about the endings. I actually think the romance might be my favourite part! Admittedly, it's not on the sweet and safe side, but it is full of chemistry and tension and it's love-triangle. :D

    ReplyDelete
  40. !!! I'm excited and nervous now. I really hope you you'll like it! The romance is one of my favourite aspects and Rafa is a character that is so worth meeting. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  41. I don't blame you! It does almost sound like it could be. I gave the first book a try as the initial reviews made me curious and I'm so glad I did. It's definitely one of the better angel series that I've read in the last few years. Thanks, lovely! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. I ALWAYS forget things when it comes to series - even my favourite ones - so I definitely loved the guide at the start. And the summary prologue meant I didn't have to re-read Haze. Which is helpful when you have so many other things to read!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I thought the same, Nuzaifa, and definitely because of the synopsis. However, reviews from a couple of people I trusted made me curious enough to request Shadows back when I started blogging, and I'm so glad I did! It's a great series. And yes, Aussie authors are the BEST. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think the second book will be available for you guys soon too, so YES, you need to get started on Shadows ASAP. Rafa is a character that is definitely worth meeting. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I had to skim your review because I have not read yet this series, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much :) I've heard a lot of praise for this series throughout the blogosphere, and I know Mel loves it, so I guess I should pick it up soon!


    Lovely review, Sam :)


    P.S. You probably already knew, but did you know your review is quoted in the paperbacks of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm? Thought I'd let you know in case no one had told you yet :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm so glad you love this series! Even though Shadows was kind of a disappointment for me thanks to all the hype surrounding it, I'm still continuing with the series and am very eager to move forward :) YAYYYY. I need Jude and Gaby to be together and spend some sibling time. Rafa is missing? Sads. I love him! Haha. Motorbike! YAYY. I can't wait to continue :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Exactly! I can understand people wanting to wait because of the ending of Haze, but this one is definitely more of an exciting twist than a killer. You're welcome, Pili! I'm so glad that you weren't disappointed. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  48. HAH! In my email, it said "it's love-triangle. :D" And I was like, WHAT? Hah. So I had to check, and here it was free as well ;p lol. I actually thought there was a love triangle? Hmm. As that is the only reason, really, for why I'm worried about them, hih (A)

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is one of my favorite series too! I'm really eager to get my hands on this one as the ending of book two was excruciatingly intense in my opinion. Thanks for sharing how much you loved this, Sam! :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow. Honestly I'd initially pass this series up, but this dang. It seems I should read it.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I've heard so many about this series, everyone seems to love it! It's really good to know that all the praise is well deserved, I've always been pretty curious about them. The covers are so pretty too :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Oh wow 3rd in this series already! I remember wanting to read book 1 but still have not *hangs head in book fail shame*. Though seeing how the series seems to be getting better and better makes me want to read it even more and I love to binge read!! I love how character driven this sounds, especially. I enjoy a big cast but not every author can pull off secondary characters and make them be more than words on a page, you know. I also secretly love a good cliffhanger - even the rock-back-and-forth-in-a-corner evil ones!! Lol!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Of course Rafa has a motorbike, it would suit him so well! I have put off reading this because I was going to re-read Haze, but I think I'll just start this!


    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow, high praise! And now I'm wondering why mention of this series does not strike any chord of recognition in my head. It's possible I have heard of it before, but I've never before gleaned as much information about it as I just have from reading your review just now. And here I thought I was OVER angels and there was nothing new to be done with them anymore. I'm glad to be proven wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  55. MajiBookshelf23 July 2014 08:16

    I skimmed through this review, as this is the THIRD book! wow.. I've never heard of this series before but I added it in my TBR pile! I love that it has entertaining romance though!! <3 Great review!

    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    ReplyDelete
  56. I hope you do pick it up soon! It's a really addictive series.


    And yep, I do know! It still makes me giddy whenever I think about it. I love that series so much. Thank you, Celine!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I read Shadows before it came out, so I didn't really have to deal with any hype. I know that can totally ruin things sometimes! Even though you didn't love it, I'm glad you're still going to continue. I hope the sequels impress you more!

    ReplyDelete
  58. It WAS excruciatingly intense. I hope the wait feels worth it! I'm so glad this series is one of your favourites too.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Based on the descriptions, I'd probably have too, as it doesn't sound like anything new. But it's really good! I hope you can pick it up one day.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I really like the covers! They're pretty simple, but they look good together. Hope you enjoy the series if you decide to check it out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Angel series can be quite hit and miss for me, so I do tend to get excited when one works. :) Would love to hear your thoughts if you end up reading it!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks, Jess. I'm glad you're curious about it. Hope you can read the first book soon!

    ReplyDelete
  63. It's gone crazy fast. I can't actually believe it's nearly over now. Doesn't feel too long ago that I started the first book! I hope you do get to read these books soon, Giselle. A binge-read is perfect for this series as it takes place over only a short period of time.

    ReplyDelete
  64. RIGHT. Though really, anything to do with Rafa and I'm convinced. Hope you like Shimmer, Mands!

    ReplyDelete
  65. You're not the first to say this, which makes me wonder if it gets less publicity from the North American publisher? I first came across it because I stalk a lot of Aussie bloggers. But I'm glad it's firmly on your radar now! And yes, I always think angels/fallen angels are a topic that's been beaten to death, but Paula Weston sure does make her series stand out.

    ReplyDelete
  66. The romance is probably my favourite part. Entertaining hardly covers it. ;) I'm glad this series is being added to your TBR pile, Farah. I hope you like it as much as I do!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Now I'm kind of angry at myself for not noticing this series sooner! Shimmer sounds like a fab third book in a series and that's worth a lot. Gaby and Rafa sound like a couple I should meet really soon. Thanks for your awesome review!!

    ReplyDelete
  68. Gaby and Rafa are one of my favourite couples in YA at the moment. I hope you get to meet them soon!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Oh it sounds so nice! I love the fact that it have all the things you like in a book. I'm glad the cliffy wasn't too terrible. I hope the next ones is as good!

    ReplyDelete
  70. Me too, Melliane! I can't wait to read the next book, though I know I'll be sad to let this series go.

    ReplyDelete