Welcome to my stop in the Shadow Stained book tour! Thank you so much to TheWriteReads for including me in this tour, and to the publisher for my review copy. This in no way affects my opinion.
Title: Shadow Stained
Author: Rachel Hobbs
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance
For her, it’s her late grandma’s legacy. For him, the mother of all black arts spoils, granting one demon the power of a God. Immortality.
When occult-magnet Ruby falls victim to Demon Lord Drayvex’s viperous allure, she loses a sentient dark relic to his light fingers and appetite for power. Like calls to like. But when Drayvex himself loses the relic to a traitor to the throne, Ruby coerces him – the tyrant king with a soft spot for humanity – into helping her save her pokey old world village from becoming a ground zero of mass demonic carnage.
Both invested in reclaiming the relic, the one thing Ruby and Drayvex agree on is that it’s in the wrong hands. Co-existing in a precarious arrangement between predator and prey, to save the planet they both love for different reasons, they must become a formidable double-team in the face of an apocalyptic takeover. Now, the fate of both human and demon alike rests with a killer that walks between worlds, and a woman with a curse in her bloodline.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect heading into Shadow Stained as it has been a while since I have read a good paranormal romance book, and while I did have some issues with Shadow Stained, I did enjoy it and can’t wait to see where the sequel will take the characters.
Shadow Stained is a split POV between our two main characters Ruby and Drayvax, and I definitely have a favourite POV. Within the book, we got to know Drayvax a lot better than we did Ruby, which led to me not having much of a connection with Ruby. Within Drayvax’s POV, we got to see a lot more of his inward thoughts and the turmoil that he was going through, whereas Ruby’s seemed quite a bit more superficial and only surface level. While there was the introduction of other characters, none of them really stuck around for very long, which meant that there wasn’t much room for development of our two main characters outside relationships; I am hoping that some of the side characters become a bit more relevant and play a much bigger role in the next book.
The main issue that I had with Shadow Stained was the pacing; the action elements of the book, of which there were many, seemed to be over very quickly, and I couldn’t really get a sense of what was going on because there wasn’t enough description. But Rachel Hobbs would contrast this with slow moments of text when the characters weren’t doing anything, which would make me bored because I wanted that level of action and intrigue back. I hope that this balance is a little better in the next one, so all of the book flows at one speed rather than two separate ones.
I had heard going into Shadow Stained that it was quite a descriptive paranormal romance that did not hold back on the gore, and I definitely agree with those thoughts. Rachel Hobbs does not hold back with the gore, and I think that is something that added to the book and the atmosphere. It almost made it more believable because while we are normally told that a love interest is brutal, we are never customarily shown it, so it made a nice change.
If you want a gory paranormal romance, I definitely suggest checking out Shadow Stained because it is worth sticking with it. I am intrigued as to where the sequel is going to go, especially after the events at the end of the book.
About the Author
Rachel Hobbs lives in soggy South West Wales, where she hibernates with with her bearded dragon and her husband. By day she is a dental nurse at a small local practice. By night, she writes.
Her debut novel SHADOW-STAINED is the first in a dark fantasy series for adults, inspired by her dark and peculiar experiences with narcolepsy and parasomnia. She’s since subjugated her demons, and writes under the tenuous guise that they work for her.
Fuelled by an unhealthy amount of coffee, she writes about hard-boiled monsters with soft centres and things that go bump in the night.