Title: A Sliver of Shadow
Author: Allison Pang
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Abby Sinclair (Book 2)
Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback, 400 Pages
ISBN-10: 1439198349 (Pocket Books)
ISBN-13: 978-1439198346 (Pocket Books)
Reviewed by: Sheila
Just when her new life as a TouchStone – a mortal bound to help OtherFolk cross between Faery and human worlds – seems to be settling down, Abby Sinclair is left in charge when the Protectorate, Moira, leaves for the Faery Court. And when the Protectorate’s away…let’s just say things spiral out of control when a spell on Abby backfires and the Faery Queen declares the Doors between their worlds officially closed.
The results are disastrous for both sides: OtherFolk trapped in the mortal world are beginning to fade, while Faerie is on the brink of war with the daemons of Hell. Along with her brooding eleven prince Talivar and sexy incubus Brystion, Abby ventures to the CrossRoads in an attempt to override the Queen’s magic. But nothing in this beautiful, dangerous realm will compare to the discoveries she’s making about her past, her destiny, and what she will sacrifice for those she loves.
Quick & Dirty: A love triangle, with occasional sexual harassment from a unicorn, in the midst of dealing with a Faery Queen’s decent into madness.
Opening Sentence: “Run, Abby.”
Abby Sinclair had thought that things were finally going to settle down in her life. But when the OtherFolk are shut out of the CrossRoads, the only way for them to travel from the mortal realm back to their own world, it’s up to Abby and her friends to make things right. Unfortunately, the only person that can reopen the CrossRoads is the Faery Queen, who is drifting farther and farther into madness. Abby will learn secrets kept from her by her mother and father. Secrets that include a powerful fae relic and who her biological father really is.
Even though she is still holding a torch for ex-lover, the very sexy incubus Brystion, she starts to develop feelings for her bodyguard, Prince Taliver. These two men couldn’t be more opposites in every way but one; their feelings toward Abby. I always enjoy a good love triangle. Brystion has started to pursue Abby once again after he learns about her involvement with Taliver. Brystion is distrustful of the fae prince, and not just because he’s a demon and they have a species hatred toward each other. Brystion thinks that problems facing the OtherFolk should be handled by someone else. His heart is in the right place, he doesn’t want Abby to get caught up in something that could hurt her in any way, but he shows it poorly. He can’t handle the fact that Abby might be moving on in her life and he tends to attack her verbally instead of debate his case.
Taliver, on the other hand, really feels like there is a connection between himself and Abby. They both can relate to the physical limitations of their bodies and the emotional scars that define their characters. We get to learn all about his motivations, hopes, and dreams. Talivar’s family, though have hurt him in the past, is still the most important thing to him. And unlike Brystion, instead of demanding that Abby stay out of harm’s way, he accompanies her in an effort to protect her. Brystion is a commitment-phobe and Talivar is bound by his duty to his family and his race. Honestly, Abby’s would-be-suitors are as different as night and day. I am eager to see which she will choose.
Of course, Abby’s love life takes back stage to the larger picture. While Abby tries to convince the Faery Queen to open up the CrossRoads, she learns that her familial connections to the fae court are more of a liability than an asset. The Queen’s madness has left her little in the way of peaceful options. Her only recourse is to seek out a cure for the Queen by going to get answers from a known traitor. But cruising around the Faery Realm is dangerous business these days due to the fact that the daemons and fae are on the brink of war. Does Abby have a snowball’s chance in getting what she needs before a war breaks out? Will her newly discovered family be all that she wanted and more? Or will they end up using her for their own nefarious purposes?
A Sliver of Shadow is a worthy sequel to the first novel. It is still as fast-paced and packed full of intrigue. We learn more about some of the side character’s backgrounds, including Melanie’s Deal with the Devil. But this book seems to be all about family: The family we are born to and the family we make. Ms. Pang emphasizes the importance of each and the choices each of us makes in who we allow within our hearts, be they blood or friend.
“As good as I might expect,” he said dryly. “But we haven’t found Roweena yet.” He paused. “Did you see?”
“See what? Dude, I saw the seizure, but don’t worry about it. Not like you haven’t seen me at my worst, right?”
“I meant the scars, Abby.” There was a world of hurt in that statement, but it didn’t jive with the warrior mind-set if his. I’d always thought scars were signs of manhood, or some shit.
“I don’t think that they’re as bad as you think,” I said slowly.
Maybe it depends on how he got them.
“And maybe it’s none of my business,” I muttered under my breath. I heard a muffled grunt in return. I decided to change the subject. “How’s Phin?”
“He’s fine.” A flutter of amusement tinged the prince’s voice. “I’ve got him in your backpack. He insisted on taking a pair of your panties as a security blanket.”
I rolled my eyes. “Guess he’s earned it.” Although, how someone earned the right to roll around in my underwear I couldn’t say, but he’d been through quite a lot, so I figured I’d give him a pass. Just for now.
The Abby Sinclair Series:
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books provided me with a copy of A Sliver of Shadow. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.
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