Title: A Sliver of Shadow
Author: Allison Pang
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
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.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: A Sliver of Shadow is the second book in Allison Pang’s Abby Sinclair series, the first book A Brush of Darkness (review here) was fantastic and I could not wait to get my hands on A Sliver of Shadow. Let me warn you though, reading book one is a must in order to read this installment. Allison just dives right back in with A Sliver of Shadow and does not give you any summary whatsoever. It took me a couple chapters to get back in the swing of it because it had been so long since I had read A Brush of Darkness. However, I enjoyed getting right to the heart of the issues Abby faced and not dealing with filler chapters composed of unnecessary retellings of events from book one. So make sure you have read A Brush of Darkness first and maybe read the last couple of chapters before starting A Sliver of Shadow.
All the usual suspects are back in this book, my personal favorite being Phin. I don’t think I have found a character that even comes close to matching him in personality. He is hysterical and I laughed every time that unicorn opened his mouth. He keeps the mood light when it is often dire and I always enjoy his comic relief. I also really like Abby’s friend, Mel. She has such an interesting back story that I want to learn more about. Little pieces of her past are reveled in this book, but not nearly enough! I hope we get to see more of her in the next book because I am every interested in how she got that violin and what her future holds.
While this book is labeled urban fantasy it definitely takes on more a fantasy feel once Abby steps into Faerie. There are obstacles at every turn, spells gone wrong, the whole of Faerie on the brink of war and Abby stuck right in the middle of it. Many in the world of Faerie seemed very happy letting Abby solve their problems and all of the pressure started to weigh her down. Allison kept the plot moving at such a rapid pace, so all the characters were kept on their toes and struggling to hold everything together. Faerie is falling apart under a sick queen’s rule and no one seems to do anything about it until Abby comes along and forces them to reevaluate their decisions.
One of the strongest aspects of these books is the amazing mythology. I am not sure how Allison keeps everything that goes on in this world straight, but it has continued to get better with each novel. The world building is amazing and so descriptive I can picture it all in my head perfectly. I want to soak in all the details and just leap right into the book myself.
As for the romance, there is a love triangle going on. If you have read my reviews before you are probably aware that I am not a fan. I am anti love triangle actually, but somehow Allison made it work in this book. After reading A Brush of Darkness, I was certain I was on Brystion’s side and wanted to see him and Abby to end up together. So when I saw her feelings for Talivar start to turn romantic I was upset at first. However, somewhere in the middle of this book I switched sides. I just adored Tavilar and how he acted with Abby. The elven prince is almost broken in a sense. His life has been riddled with pain and heartbreak and while we don’t get the whole story of what has transpired in his lifetime, we know enough to sympathize with him. He won me over completely and I fear for what his future holds with Abby and in Faerie.
While the ending was a little killer because we are left on somewhat of a cliffhanger, I really enjoyed watching Abby take her life into her own hands. She is taking charge of her destiny instead of letting it lead her. Allison has created a fantastic urban fantasy heroine and I love watching Abby try to sort through the mess she always seems to end up in.
Overall, this is another fantastic edition to this series. With a strong, loveable main character, an intense mythology, a little bit of romance and a plot that moves at a rapid pace it is a must read! The next book, A Trace of Moonlight, is due out in October and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
FTC: Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book for review.