Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preview - Shadowlight - Lynn Viehl

A few weeks ago, Lynn Viehl offered a free e-ARC of her upcoming paranormal romance release Shadowlight, due to release on Oct. 6. This will be the first in her Kyndred series, a spin-off from her Darkyn books. They'll feature mostly the kids who were genetically altered by the Brethren and then thrown into the adoption system. They're all grown up now, of course.

Knowing how I feel about Lynn Viehl's writing and free books (hello!), I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you all that my keyboard has skid marks on it from how quickly I jumped at the chance. The only catch was that I had to blog about the book (she didn't care if the review was good or bad) and I couldn't redistribute or sell it. No problemo.

I was hoping to finish it in time to get this posted on yesterday's blog, but my lack of an e-reading device scuttled my plans. I was bound to my computer for the reading the novel, which meant no reading it in doctor's office waiting rooms or getting a chapter in while I killed a few minutes waiting for school bus arrival time. Grrrr. Want e-reader. Anyhoo. I finally finished it this morning and here are my thoughts (while still trying not to spoiler it).
  1. Like the Darkyn. Still getting Darkyn fix with Kyndred novels. Me likey.
  2. Viehl's bad guys are scary-cold-unfeeling-BAD. Not like kill your mom and dad and cat and then kill you in your deepest fear kind of way. They don't care enough about you to find out what your deepest fear is. If you're in their way, they'd run you down with their car and then take the shirt off your broken body to use it to clean the human-barrier gunk from their car. Makes for chilling reading and it fits well with the Roman roots of the story.
  3. I'm amazed that she's able to keep coming up with new and interesting abilities for her people to get. You'd think that she'd have to start duplicating somewhere, but each one is fresh and new. This novel introduced about a half dozen more er, novel abilities.
  4. This novel really highlights how well Lynn Viehl utilizes character motivation. All her characters have a history that makes them into the people they are now. Rowan isn't just an angry, mouthy chick because she's young and headstrong. There's a valid, compelling why to it. The main character, Jessa, had been young and carefree (sort-of) once. And then she had that ripped away. Her life now is necessarily bleak and focused. She's repenting for her earlier blindness, trying to atone for her guilt. And the fact that she feels that guilt in the first place for something that hadn't really been her fault, makes her a noble (if hard-headed) character.
  5. As usual, I was impressed by the characters, the plotting and the emotions involved.
  6. My only real dislike was Jessa's disbelief. She's got weird abilities herself and knows of others who have them, but she refuses to believe a word about the Darkyn or vampires for the majority of the novel. I just don't get that. Why wouldn't she at least consider the idea?
  7. Overall, another well-written novel by Lynn and a good start to the new series. I'm happy that we got cameos of Sam, Lucan and Alex and that the Darkyn will be playing more roles to come.


  1. So aside from reviewing to do you right too? Great review btw!

  2. Yes, I'm an aspiring writer. :) I'm currently shopping an urban fantasy around to agents and am working on a second urban fantasy and a scifi novel. Thanks for the compliment!