Review: A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang (Abby Sinclair #2)
February 28 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Simon & Schuster
Received from publisher
Kick Ass Chick – Abby Sinclair
From Goodreads –
Just when her new life as a TouchStone – a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds – seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away…let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.
The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding elven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.
A Sliver of Shadow is the second book in Allison Pang’s Abby Sinclair series and it is a very good follow up to one of my favorite books of 2011. The first book, A Brush of Darkness, easily made it to my favorites list and now the second book is sitting right alongside it.
A Sliver of Shadow is book two in an urban fantasy series. That is important to remember when going into this book. This is not a romance book or a stand-alone novel. It is a typical urban fantasy book two which means it is different from the first book and that there is a whole bunch of stuff going on. So much so, I am not going to go into details because then this review would be even longer than my usual reviews – and that’s saying something. But I will say this, once you get past the initial 60 or so pages where there is set-up and chatter and reminders of events from the first installment, the story is quick and interesting and…well, there is a cliffhanger ending but we’ll just talk about that in a sec.
Abby is the main protagonist in this series. She is human but she is special. The world you are introduced to in these books is the world of the Fae and Daemons. And there is a unicorn – but Phin is not your typical fairy tale fluffy cutesy unicorn. He is a little crass and tons of fun. He is Abby’s companion and is the source of many of the series’ humorous moments. In the first book, Abby was pretty clueless to her involvement in this world that Allison has created. Oh, she knew that the Fae existed and that she sort of worked for one, but exactly how she fit into it all was a mystery to her. In A Sliver of Shadow, she is more comfortable with her role and she is so much stronger for it. She has guts and heart and is overall very likable and a great heroine to read. I loved how she grew from the first book to this one and how she grew within this one too. She is stronger against the Fae, against her friends and even against Brystion.
Brystion is an incubus and he was Abby’s main interest in the first book – but that didn’t quite work out the way either of them had planned. I was warned by Allison, pretty much right after reading book one, that Brystion didn’t play as big of a role in the second book so I was prepared. Besides, after reading the ending to book one, it should not come to anyone’s surprise that he isn’t the main guy this time around. Don’t get me wrong, he does appear quite a bit in this second installment but it’s in a slightly different capacity. (How’s that for vague? *g*) He’s still yummy and brooding and all that good stuff…and he’s still a bit of an arse. I don’t know what it is about men with attitudes and why we think they are perfect matches for our dear heroines but we do. Or do we?…
Enter Talivar. He is the Fae Prince who was sent to guard Abby in the first book. By the time book two opens, he’s been living with Abby for 8 months or so and they have grown somewhat close and quite comfortable with each other. I really enjoyed seeing how their friendship develops – how he sees in Abby someone who is open and true. My heart went out many times to Talivar in this book, but even though his story is a sad one, it made his character stronger and more appealing. He’s not weak in the least – all the opposite. And now that Brystion is out of the way – so to speak – Abby and Talivar are growing even closer. Yes, basically, what I am saying is that a love-triangle of sorts has developed. But no need to fret, it’s not an annoying one. Each man works in a different way for Abby. Both are right and both are wrong and neither would truly work long term, but it will be very interesting to watch and see where it all goes. I am ‘used’ to Brystion with Abby but I really like her with Talivar. Decisions decisions…
Melanie is Abby’s best friend and plays a complicated role in this series and world. And by the end of book two, she is still a mystery just a little less of one. I hope we get to dive into her story a bit more in the third book because it really seems interesting. And there are a few new characters introduced in this book and each is interesting…and some have to do with Melanie’s story and some don’t. There is one nasty piece of work then there is the Queen and Jimmy…all very well done.
Now on to that cliffhanger I teased about earlier. Yeah…it’s a good one. I think it’s exactly along the lines of Carolyn Crane’s cliffhanger in Double Cross. It’s the kind that really really really makes you want the next book but not the kind that makes you want to drive to the author’s house and tickle the continuation of the story of out her or, even easier, bang your head against the wall. It was really well done and I didn’t see that ending coming at all. Allison assures me that things will be resolved in the third book, A Trace of Moonlight, coming out later this year, because the current story arc will pretty much wrap up in that one.
After reading A Brush of Darkness, I had high hopes for book two and I’m glad to say that for me, A Sliver of Shadow reached my expectations. I will be looking at this book for years to come as it sits comfortably on my keeper shelf next to Abby Sinclair, book one.
Giggle worthy quotes
‘On sudden impulse, I reached out to stroke the perfect seashell point of his ear. He stilled, silent except for a sudden intake of breath, his eye becoming languid and half lidded. The pulse at his neck jumped, ruining the effect.
‘You do realize that’s the elvish equivalent of cupping my balls, right?’
I jerked my hand away. I hadn’t meant to be quite that forward.
“The elf has changed into an outfit I hadn’t seen before, dark leather vambraces at his wrists and a thick vest over his tunic. His sword hung lose at his side, but now he also had a massive bow slung over his shoulder, a quiver of nasty looking arrows bristling at his hip. His hair was neatly braided and tucked out of the way. ‘It’s like having my very own pet Legolas.’
His mouth curled up in a private smile. ‘You have no idea.’”
“I don’t have any right to say how they do things here, Phin. It’s like an elbow trying to tell an asshole how to take a shit.”
Books in the Abby Sinclair series –
A Brush of Darkness
A Sliver of Shadow
A Trace of Moonlight