Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians #6)
Read: 25th – 26th August 2015
Re-Read: 24th – 26th October 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So what’s this book about?
Shadows Strike is book six (approx 320 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.
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:
The Immortal Guardians protect the innocent in secret. Sometimes the secret gets out…
U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.
Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive…
In all honestly, I don’t think that Shadows Strike can be read as a standalone story, you’d miss the nuances of knowing the existing characters, understanding the dynamics of relationships and ongoing plot lines. As with most series, there are background story arcs that are concluded within this book while others are left to continue into the next one, and possibly beyond. Having said that, the romance aspect of the tale between Ethan and Heather is concluded by the end of this book in Ms Duvall’s signature HEA style and she does try to ensure her new readers aren’t lost by weaving any pertinent information about past adventures and existing characters into this story.
So, what did I like about it?
I really like Dianne Duvall’s writing style and find her books very easy to read (although not so easy to put down! Lol!); she writes intelligent, engaging stories with a collection of well written characters, set against an imaginative world that cleverly mixes fantasy and reality, making it so easy to submerse oneself completely. The pace of her stories is usually fast, full of action and contains a couple of plot lines which run alongside the main romantic story arc but, fear not lovely readers, she manages to pack this all in without making you feel overwhelmed, bewildered or lost. Shadows Strike did not let me down.
So, you 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, most of the characters within these pages are like this. 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 here are mythical, paranormal beings – adds that level of believability to this fantasy tale. Like most avid readers, I need to see character development through a story; having to embrace qualities in themselves that they hate and/or having to overcome challenges be it emotional, social or physical and goodness me, there’s certainly enough personal growth evident in quite a few characters within this story to satisfy me.
I connect to 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. Heather was amazing, what an inspiring woman! I liked the way that all of the characters in this story were written – even the villains of the tale – as I’ve said before, none of them were flat 2-dimensional creations, they all felt very real. Oh, and like most Brits I do love a bit of well timed banter – again I found myself COL (Chuckling Out Loud) throughout this book.
The mystery/thriller aspect of this tale kept me guessing, the action kept me on the edge of my seat, the romance between Ethan and Heather (and the other couples in the book) warmed my heart, the banter kept me giggling and the passion set my tummy a-tingling. *oh my*
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope – even though some of the more violent scene sent my emotions spinning, there’s nothing about this book that I didn’t absolutely love!!
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I couldn’t 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/setting and a balanced mix of relationship and/or romance to action scenes and sex scenes. I was left breathless wondering where Ms Duvall would take us next!
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 and often traumatic and brutal confrontations and hot lust/romance scenes then give this book a go.
So, has my review of SHADOWS STRIKE (IMMORTAL GUARDIANS #6) 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 SHADOWS STRIKE on Goodreads.com