Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Shimmer by Paula Weston

Title: Shimmer (The Rephaim, #3) 

Author: Paula Weston

Rating: 4 Stars

Note: There are minor spoilers for Haze in this review, though if you are unfamiliar with the series as a whole you will be unable to discern the actual spoiler. If you have read Shadows but not Haze, however, there are a few spoilers below. 

You can read my spoiler-free reviews of both Shadows and Haze here and here respectively. 

Shimmer, I find, is my least favorite edition of this series to date. When the weakest link in a quartet still manages to pull off 4 Stars effortlessly, though, you've certainly found an undisputed winner among novels.

Weston's strength, as always, lies in her flawless execution of plot but, even more, in her mastery of characterization. With Rafa out of sight in 
Shimmer, it becomes all the more imperative to tie these characters together and define their relationships. Jude and Gaby, in particular, truly blossom as siblings and their united front, combined with the strange experiences they've shared, make for a memorable growth arc. I'm both anxious and eager to see its culmination in Blaze, the finale to this quartet, as the past finally catches up to these two.

Shimmer takes place predominantly in the Sanctuary, home to the Rephaim. Lines have already been drawn between Nathaniel's followers and the Outcasts but, when forced to work together, these allegiances gradually begin to shift. I found the first-half of Shimmer to fly by seamlessly but I also found it to be oddly repetitive in the argumentation between the secondary characters. Yet, I love how Weston uses this base to evolve her characters as the story wears on and the conversations, however minor or similar, all carry their weight.

Gaby certainly discovers more about her past, especially pertaining to how she came to lose her memory, but so many of the vital details are still shrouded from the reader. Once again, though, we never feel frustrated by the lack of answers since Weston keeps up a steady stream of action and tiny tid-bits to please fans. Where Shadows introduced us to this complex world and 
Haze began to answer our swirling doubts, Shimmer brings forth slightly unexpected plot lines and introduces even more questions into our minds even as we gain answers. I'm in awe of Weston's ability to do this; to introduce even more into the complicated mix-up of Gaby's past all while weaving these threads together. Unlike Laini Taylor's plot introductions towards the end of Dreams of Gods & Monsters, in Shimmer everything feels all-too natural thanks to the expert foreshadowing Weston has littered throughout the story. I'm curious to see, now, what Gaby and the gang make of these new developments in this sequel.

Many readers have promised that the romance in 
Shimmer is delightfully swoon-worthy--it is! While I'm all about the build-up, hence the reason I adored Haze as much as I did, Shimmer in no way disappoints and I'm more than a little curious to finally have all my romantic enquiries answered in Blaze. If you expected to find more about Rafa and Gabe's history in Shimmer you'll remain disappointed but at this point I'm just as curious about Jude's romantic past as I am about Gaby's so alongside the explosive revelations in Blaze and kick-ass action sequences, I'm expecting a full load of swoons, sighs, and kisses. 

Shimmer is a difficult novel to review mainly because it picks up directly where Haze leaves off and much of Shimmer's excellence stems from the plot twists in the second-half of the story. Yet, the political machinations between these Rephaim are just as intriguing and I'm glad we finally glimpsed the true personas of Nathaniel's followers unclouded by bias. It was all-too-easy in the past two novels to distinguish the "good" Rephaim from the "bad" but with Shimmer that line becomes blurred and I love that level of depth in a novel. Though Shimmer may not have provided all the answers I sought, fans of Weston will certainly not be disappointed--well, with the exception of that ending. Seriously, so cruel Ms. Weston. CRUEL. *pouts*


  1. I usually have trouble with these type of books but I love that this has a swoon worthy romance in it. Maybe I should give it a try as well. :)

  2. Oh Keertana, I feel like groaning every time I see a review of Paula Weston's The Rephaim series because it reminds me how foolish I am for not picking up the series yet. I am pretty surprised that even though this was your least favorite book from the series, you still gave it 4 stars. I think that really speaks volume of the series' awesomeness. I am so going to read this soon, I promise! Lovely review, Keertana! (:

  3. I should check book 1, cos now I can't remember it. The heat makes my brain die bit by bit

  4. oh book 3? I don't think I know the series but I'll investigate book 1 and 2. It sounds like a complex read but it can be interesting. Thanks for the discovery!

  5. I'm always amazed by how some authors can weave such a detailed story without losing a single thread -- even as they're adding in more threads! That's a pretty high recommendation when a book is the "weakest" of the bunch and still earns four stars from you. Wow.

  6. Oh no. A cruel ending? NOOOOOOO!!!! That seals this series fate for me - I'm going to have to wait until all the books are out before I pick up book one. I've decided I'm no longer emotionally equipped to handle cliffhangers or absurdly cruel endings. I can't wait to meet these characters though, so hopefully the wait for all the books isn't too long ;-)

  7. I still haven't read Shadows but I'LL, eventually. Anyhow I won't read your review but I'm really glad you liked this one. I have heard that this series has some nasty cliffhangers. :)

  8. Oh this sounds good and it also sounds like I need the whole series. Still, would wait. Why? "cruel ending" GAH! I need the next one even if cruel doesn't mean cliffie. I need my HEA! :D

  9. I'll be honest - I originally wrote this off as being "just another angel series," but, honestly, it sounds SO much more than that! The characterization and plotting sound particularly intriguing, and I'm really looking forward to experiencing it for myself. Thanks for sharing Keertana, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

  10. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to start this series, but knowing me, that won't happen for a while, so I might as well just wait until the last one releases and then... I can BINGE! I love how character driven this series is, but the plot isn't forgotten; it's exciting, twisty, and the mythology is creative. This sounds like something I'd really enjoy. Plus, the slow-burn romance? Yes, PLEASE! I need to meet this Rafa! Even though he disappears in Shimmer, I don't doubt his ability to win me over. ;) Awesome review, K!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  11. Hmmmm I might have to start this series soon since it seems like it's been getting a lot of positive feedback!

  12. Oh man. If this is your least favourite but you've given it 4 stars anyway, then I'm not too worried about the rest of the books in the series. :) I adore Paula Weston. So, so much.

    Great review, hun!

  13. I just glanced at your rating because I still haven't read HAZE yet--oh yes, I'm one of those silly people on the North American schedule--but I'm pleased to see your 4 stars! Hooray.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  14. I'm not picking this series up until the last book is out. I do have a copy of the first book and everyone seems to love this series. I guess I'll be the last to come into the party on this one. :)

  15. I LOVED talking about this book with you! I didn't actually read your review because I've yet to fully formulate mine. But these books are even richer for me because of our discussions after we've read them. I'm itching to re-read the series and take notes on what information is revealed and by whom. I remember in the first book especially, everyone having a different opinion on what happened 10 years ago. I'll for sure be letting you know. This wasn't my favorite of the 3, but it is still a strong installment and I'm dying for the finale.


I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.