Phantom Shadows (Immortal Guardians #3)
Read: 13th – 15th March 2015
Re-Read: 12th – 15th October 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Phantom Shadows is book three (approx 393 pages) in Ms Duvall’s popular Immortal Guardians Series (currently 7 novels plus 2 novellas); a paranormal romance tale that I think could sit happily on an urban fantasy shelf due to some of the content, set in our modern human world featuring a new twist on the vampire genre.
Immortals and vampires are both infected with the same virus, which lends them dramatically increased strength, speed, healing capabilities and enhanced senses. Vampires are humans who have been infected, whereas immortals are gifted ones who have been infected. Gifted ones are men and women who were born with extremely advanced DNA that lends them special gifts, such as healing, telepathy, precognition and the like. Vampires rapidly descend into madness when the virus damages their brains but Immortals don’t; their advanced DNA protects them from that aspect of the virus.
I’m unsure whether Phantom Shadows can really be read as a standalone story; the romance aspect of the tale between Bastien and Melanie is concluded by the end of this book in Ms Duvall’s signature HEA style, we meet characters from the previous books and there are references to past adventures, however, Ms Duvall tries to ensure her new readers aren’t lost; pertinent information is weaved beautiful into this story without slowing the pace. However, I would like to point out that as with most series, you may miss the nuances of experiencing past relationships, plot lines and characters when jumping in cold or reading books out of order plus, as with most series, there are background story arcs that are concluded within this book and some that will continue into the next one.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Dr. Melanie Lipton is no stranger to the supernatural. She knows immortals better than they know themselves, right down to their stubborn little genes. So although a handsome rogue immortal seems suspicious to her colleagues, Sebastien Newcombe intrigues Melanie. His history is checkered, his scars are impressive, and his ideas are daring. But it’s not his ideas that have Melanie fighting off surges of desire . . .
Bastien is used to being the bad guy. In fact, he can’t remember the last time he had an ally he could trust. But Melanie is different — and under her calm, professional exterior he senses a passion beyond anything in his centuries of experience. Giving in to temptation is out of the question — he can’t put her in danger. But she isn’t asking him . . .
So, what did I like about it?
I have become a definite fan of Ms Duvall’s writing style and find her books very easy to read; she writes intelligent, engaging stories with a collection of well written characters within an imaginative world that mixes fantasy and reality creating a world that I can believe in. The pace of her stories is usually fast and full of action but without being disorienting and I like that she combines a couple of plot lines to run alongside the main romantic story arc. Phantom Shadows did not let me down.
My regular followers will know that I enjoy books where the characters are not black or white, good or evil but a multifaceted mix of positive and negative traits and I like to see them grow through embracing or overcoming their challenges (and oh, boy is that the perfect description of Bastien); the fact that the characters within these pages have been written with personalities that we can see in the real world around us – even though most of them are mythical, paranormal beings – adds that level of believability to this fantasy tale.
I definitely enjoy a story more if the lead female character is intelligent, resilient and has a good sense of humour that’s similar to my own and I wasn’t disappointed here. Melanie was brilliant, what an inspiring woman! I liked the way that all of the characters in this story were written – even the villains of the tale – none of them were flat 2-dimensional creations, they all felt very real. Oh, and like most Brits I do love a bit of banter – this story has plenty of it! I found myself COL (Chuckling Out Loud) throughout, usually Bastien certainly knows how to push people’s buttons and Sheldon is a hoot!
I think I may have reached for the tissues a tad more often while reading this story, but fear not, lovely reader, it’s not all tear inducing. I also loved the fact that the mystery/thriller aspect of this story kept me guessing, the action kept me on the edge of my seat, the blossoming romance made me warm and fuzzy, the banter kept me giggling and the passion set my tummy a-tingling. *oooh*
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope – even though some of the more violent scene sent my emotions spinning, there is nothing about this book that I didn’t absolutely love!!
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I didn’t want to stop reading this book!
It had everything that I look for in a 5 star book; intelligent writing style that’s easy to read, main characters with depth of personality that I can like (or love to hate) and believe in, depth of character in the supporting cast, believable background story and setting and a balanced mix of relationship and/or romance to action scenes and sex scenes.
Due to the graphic nature of the violence and sex scenes, I would only recommend this book to adults who are not offended by this sort of content, so if you enjoy strong alpha heroes and independent capable heroines, tense often traumatic and brutal confrontations and hot lust/romance scenes then give this book a go.
So, has my review of PHANTOM SHADOWS (IMMORTAL GUARDIANS #3) encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself or to find out more about the author. To see the other books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See PHANTOM SHADOWS on Goodreads.com