Jun 29, 2012

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Blood Before Sunrise by Amanda Bonilla (Shaede Assassin #2)

Urban Fantasy
July 3 2012
Mass Market Paperback
336 pages
NAL/Signet Eclipse
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Darian

From Goodreads –
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.

Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…


Is it possible for an author who writes a stellar ‘knock them out of the ballpark’ first book to write an equally good second installment?  Yes.  Yes it is.  Amanda Bonilla has proven this with Blood Before Sunrise, the second book in her Shaede Assassin series.

Blood Before Sunrise starts a few months after Shaedes of Gray.  Everything seems to be going well for Darian until she decides she wants to help Raif, a man who has quickly become a brother figure to her, and all goes to sh*t.  Actually…no pretty much, it all goes to sh*t.

Darian has been alone for the last century then suddenly she finds out she’s not.  She is not the only Shaede as she first suspected and she has a wonderful circle of friends and a super yummy and amazing boyfriend.  (Yes, as you can tell, I like Tyler.  Very much.)  She has great intentions and a big heart…but not always the best way of doing things.  This time, she really wants to help Raif find his daughter Brakae, but Raif doesn’t want Darian’s help because he’s convinced his daughter is dead.  In fact, he has mourned her for years and finally feels as much at peace as he could feel under the circumstances.  But Darian won’t listen because she is convinced that Brakae is alive and she really wants to do this for her friend.  So she does what Darian does best:  she jumps in with both feet.

I love Darian.  Really I do.  She is a great character and is written beautifully.  But in this book she often drove me nuts.  She wasn’t listening to anyone’s advice and it was getting her in trouble.  I know you are probably wondering why, if Darian drove me nuts off and on in this book, did I give it five stars?  It’s because not once did I feel like strangling the book nor did I feel like I had to put the book down to step away from it for a bit.  I did want to smack Darian but Amanda wrote this so skilfully that right when you got to that point where you wanted to yell at our dear heroine, she redeemed herself just enough.  She confides in someone or she says something that lets us know that she won’t be doing anything like this ever again.  And in the end, Darian knows her issues and learns from her mistakes.  She grows so much in this book (her character growth is absolutely phenomenal in this installment) that it works out and makes it all okay.  Darian, with the way she was raised and the way she has lived her solitary life for so long, needs to be put through hell to learn anything.  It’s just a shame we need to watch her growing pains.  Then again, no it’s not because it gives us one hell of a ride!

I mentioned Raif.  He is just amazing.  He’s not even in this book all that much and I still adore him.  I don’t even mind Xander.  There is just something about his arrogance that draws you in.  You want to try to knock him down a bit but then you don’t because then it wouldn’t be as much fun to watch him with Darian.  I am curious to see if we will one day see his ‘honestly compassionate’ side or if we’ll always think he’s a bit of a jerk.  And Moira, I like her too.  And Tyler…  Oh my heart went out to this man more than once along the journey that is this book.  I love how he ended the book.  Okay, love might be the wrong word here, but I did appreciate it.  It’s real and it made sense…no matter how much it sucked.  It’s all part of Darian’s learning curve and seeing that he understands that makes me love him all the more and really makes me know that he is the right man for her.  (Cryptic enough for you 😉 – go read the book!)

Fallon, the “brooding and mysterious Fae warrior” that is mentioned in the blurb above, is one hell of a character.  You know there is something not quite right about him and when you really see what is going on…holy jumpin’!  He is creepy and eerie and all that is good in a villain.  But is he truly a villain here or just a misunderstood character?  Hmm…I guess you’ll just have to read him to see.

The story in Blood Before Sunrise is fascinating.  We find out more about Darian and what exactly happens to her at the end of Shades of Gray.  We discover that she is linked to the fae world and how exactly is neat.  An interesting twist that I would not have seen coming in the last book and one that makes me very curious to see how it will affect everything in the next book.

This book is awesome.  This series is awesome.  I am already drooling over the next book and a release date hasn’t even been announced yet.  This is a truly fabulous urban fantasy read and I encourage all fans of the genre to check it out.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quote –

“My, but you’re a special combination of stupid and stubborn, aren’t you?”


“’What’s your name?’


Good Lord, couldn’t one of them be named Sam or Brad?’”

  1. I agree completely with your review. This book was great!

  2. Another series I hope to try one day 🙂

  3. Great review, Julie. I love, love, love Ty too. And I know exactly what you mean about Darian redeeming herself “just enough” in important moments.

    But the ending… OMG. Killed. Me.

  4. Great review!
    I know the ending was painful but I loved it. It was perfect! It had to happen!

  5. Great review Julie, thank you. This series is on my wishlist, with so many others!

  6. AAAH Julie you were right, we thought the same about the book. I love your review, really. I totally understand the problem with Darian, I was so angry with her but I also know why she did that. Amanda did a wonderful job and the end broke my heart. Can’t wait for the third. Awesome review!

  7. BookaholicCat – Yes it was!

    blodeuedd – You really should. One day. 😉

    Jen – Just in the nick of time. lol

    Pamela – It really did have to happen…

    aurian – I hope you can find time to read it one day. 🙂

    melliane – See, we really did think the same! lol

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