Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Thea Harrison on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Rising Darkness (2013), Falling Light (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, Falling Light, courtesy of the author's website.
Centuries ago, two lovers were torn apart by forces beyond their control. Now they have been reunited by destiny and are willing to sacrifice everything again - and again - to save a world on the brink of extinction. The Game of Shadows continues...
Troubled by dreams of strange creatures and unfamiliar voices echoing in her head, Mary had always felt disconnected from this world - until she met the enigmatic stranger Michael. He knew about Mary's past. He was in it. Searching for her. His soul mate. And it's taken centuries to find her, to re-engage her in an ancient, celestial cause: find the Deceiver before he destroys the world.
Haunted by scores of deaths - their own - Mary and Michael have drawn on the wisdom of the ages, and the power it has given them, to fight the most malevolent force known to man. Joining a select band of warriors, Mary and Michael are nearer to understanding the Deceiver and all he stands for. It's a terrifying reality that also brings them closer to realizing their own destiny and purpose. And realizing that love - like evil - is eternal.
Falling Light is the second book in Thea Harrison's Game of Shadows series. This series is a complete departure from Harrison's paranormal roots and follows a darker more philosophical route. With hints of Urban Fantasy and a love story that lasts through the ages, readers who love Harrison's Elder Races series may have some difficulty adjusting. Can a healer and a soldier really find common ground? Harrison's smooth writing style and fantastic world building skills are present in Falling Light and will have readers clamoring for more.
What I liked:
One of the things that I really appreciated about this series, is Harrison's commitment to doing something unexpected. Reader's who have read the Elder Races series are certainly in for a big surprise with this book and the series in general. Game of Shadows is not paranormal romance series which is what we are used to from this author. Urban Fantasy tends to be darker, has less romance, and focuses on a different kind of goal and those characteristics certainly fit this book. Falling Light is so unlike Harrison's previous work that some readers may be taken aback by the difference, but I think it essentially stems from the fact that this book is Urban Fantasy and not Paranormal Romance. There are some definite distinctions.
Mary and Michael are quite a couple. They are aliens who have sacrificed their lives on their home planet to follow a villain known as the Deceiver to Earth in order to stop him. Unfortunately, they have to keep reincarnating themselves in order to continue their quest. They are susceptible to human life-cycles and they must find each other again with each new incarnation of themselves before they continue the battle. They are definitely old souls. Mary is a healer with exceptional skills and Michael is a soldier. They are so very different from each other, yet their love has survived centuries. The concept was highly original and the world building was phenomenal. It is a very complex world these two live in and their battles with the Deceiver are brutal and all encompassing. Being a fan of Urban Fantasy I understood the differences and how every thing needed to work together to make this series work. And I think Harrison has done a wonderful job with it.
Urban Fantasy titles are generally light on the romance side of things and that was the case in Falling Light. Readers have come to expect a lot of steamy romantic scenes from Harrison and will probably feel like this romance doesn't quite cut it, but I have to disagree. You have to consider the rules of the game. In Urban Fantasy the main focus of the story is something other than the romance, it is almost a distraction from the goal in most cases when the hero and heroine hook up. So I didn't expect anything different and wasn't bothered by their not being a lot of spice.
The main goal was stopping the Deceiver. Now that these two are back together, they need to regroup and get ready for the final battle. They go to find Astra their mentor but they are not really clear on Astra's motivations. She will stop at nothing to stop the Deceiver and that might mean sacrificing Mary and Michael to reincarnation once again. Who can they trust? If they make the wrong decision the results could be catastrophic. I loved all of the philosophical debate in this book. There is a lot of soul searching and trying to figure the meaning of life so to speak and I found all of that very interesting.
What I didn't like:
There was a slower pace at some points in the book and there were definitely some disjointed moments that didn't seem to fit the periphery of the story. I might chalk that up to the fact that this isn't the genre Harrison has frequented in the past and that might explain some of it, but I think it was mostly just the nature of how the story unfolded. It needed those moments of levity to inspire the right amount of darkness in the story. It created a philosophical conflict as well as a physical one. Very interesting concepts to be sure.
This is not a book for the reader who wants a light- hearted romantic tale. It isn't the escapist's readers idea of a good read. It's one that you have to think about a little bit, follow closely and immerse yourself in. And it is not what reader's have come to expect from this author. I liked the fact that she took a chance and created a very original and entertaining Urban Fantasy read. It is not a stand alone so make sure you read the first one before you start it, or you will be completely lost. If you are looking for something different this might be it.
Falling Light is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Thea Harrison resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.
She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction. You can check out her website at: www.theaharrison.com, and also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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