Aussie Book Review: Shadows (Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston

Shadows (The Rephaim, #1) Paula Weston- Shadows (Rephaim #1)

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy

 Publisher-  Text Publishing

 Publication date- 2nd July 2012

 Synopsis- It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be
found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer.

Read the first 3 chapters of Shadows @ Text Publishing.

Review-  Shadows is a gripping, action-packed YA paranormal novel by debut Australian author, Paula Weston.

When Gaby Winters moves to Pandanus Beach and shares a house with her friend Maggie, all she wants to do is forget about the car accident that took her twin brother Jude’s life and grieve the sibling she lost. But as the one year anniversary of his death looms, Gaby continues to have nightmares about frightening creatures and battles and thinks she is going a little crazy. Maggie too is worried about her when she reads the short story Gaby submits to the ‘Dark Thoughts’ writing competition.

Unbeknownst to Gaby, her story brings her to the attention of a group of paranormals known as the Rephaim (decendents of fallen angels). And the attractive man with the piercing eyes that haunts her dreams turns up in a bar at Pandanus Beach calling her Gabe and claiming to be old friends with Jude. Gaby is drawn to Rafa because of his connection to Jude but is uncertain whether she can trust him.

When she is attacked while out with Maggie, Maggie’s boyfriend Jason and Rafa by two strong combatants who appear to want her dead, Gaby begins to question the life she had known. She learns that she too is Rephaim and she has a whole other life that contrasts to the one she was led to believe- orphaned and losing her brother in a car accident. Turns out Jude and Gaby actually turned against the main group of Rephaim along with Rafa and other outcasts. But since Jude’s death, the alliance questions her loyalty. How it is that Gaby has no memory of her former life or what really happened that fateful day twelve months prior? While Gaby tries to figure out her past, she gets caught up in paranormal conflict with demons and hellions and Rephaim who believe she has something to hide.

Gaby is a likeable heroine, she’s tough, speaks before she thinks and has an unbearable amount of grief for her beloved twin. As her life unravels, she is determined to find out what happened to Jude but wonders whether she likes the person she once was. The old Gaby would never have looked twice at Rafa who has a reputation for being a womaniser and always up for a fight. But his loyalty to her during their enquiry into her past unsettles her and she finds she is attracted to him on more than a physical level. But then there’s her ex-boyfriend Daniel who is the leader of the opposing Rephaim who likes to make life difficult for her and she is torn between being Gabe or Gaby, the past and the present.

One thing I really liked about Shadows from the outset is that Maggie is kept in the loop about all the paranormal stuff from the beginning- many paranormal protagonists seem to keep their friends ignorant of their dramas. Gaby is loyal and determined to keep Maggie safe and uncover the truth of Jude’s past.

The chemistry between Gaby and Rafa was engrossing and the author cleverly portrayed Rafa’s dilemma of making a move on Gaby when he knows very well ‘Gabe’ wouldn’t have let him lay a finger on her. Although not all of these issues are resolved, Shadows nicely sets up what we can expect from the next book in the Rephaim series. This has been the first angels/ demons YA novel that I have really enjoyed (other than Lauren Kate’s Fallen series).

Shadows is a fast-paced paranormal which refreshingly portrays a strong, feisty heroine who isn’t too bogged down in self-esteem issues and being distracted by the ‘beautiful,’ dreamy supernatural guy, because Gaby isn’t just an ‘ordinary’ teenage girl, she’s a Rephaim too!

4/5 rating


Purchase book @

Fishpond/ Amazon/ Book Depository UK/ Text Publishing

About the author: Paula Weston is a Brisbane-based author and co-owner of a two-woman writing/design consultancy. She is an avid reader and blogger, a huge fan of Australian literature andfantasy/paranormal stories, a closet comic reader and TV addict and is borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters. She and her husband share their home with a retired greyhound and a moody cockatiel. Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is her debut novel.

This book was read as part of the AWW2012 challenge:

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3 Comments

Filed under Aussie Book Reviews, Australian Women Writer's Challenge 2012, Book reviews

3 responses to “Aussie Book Review: Shadows (Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston

  1. Sounds like a great book! Especially nice to see debut authors hitting the scene with a bang! :)

  2. Glad you enjoyed this Jayne, I’m hearing good things but my experience with angel novels has been less than positive. Going to have to pick this one up now.

  3. Pingback: 2012 AWW Challenge Young Adult Speculative Fiction Wrap-up « Australian Women Writers Challenge

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