Published: May 22nd 2013 by Text Publishing
Format: Paperback, 419 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.
But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.
And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.
Paula Weston brings the amazing to the table once again, with the brilliant and exhilarating Haze. This is one of the best sequels I’ve ever read: the story doesn’t feel like its been dragged out while we wait for an explosive finale, but stands on its own as a complex, well-told novel.
The events of Shadows took place over a matter of days, but I’d forgotten, so it was a little surprising to be reminded that Gaby has only known about the Rephaim, her past and the truth about her brother for a week. She’s still coming to terms with everything, and so her hesitance to seek Jude is understandable (although infuriating, when I looked at it from Rafa’s point of view). However, when Gaby’s delaying lands them in even more danger (involving hellions and angry half-angels), she realises it’s time to face the music. I admire Gaby’s strength and the way she deals with all the changes in her life, but I did want her to kind of (wo)man-up and go looking for Jude. However, Weston has skillfully woven Gaby’s feelings into the story and it’s easy to understand where she’s coming from.
Rafa’s so awesome. I’m going to really try not to dissolve into gushing here, but he really is just … *sigh*. He’s patient, and yes, he did have moments of extreme frustration, but I love that he removed himself from Gaby to work it through, I don’t think he ever made her feel worse about how she felt. He was so supportive and sweet, and although Gaby interpreted their relationship as Rafa giving her mixed signals, I feel that she was the one being unclear about her expectations. Rafa has a long and sordid history, and Haze brings in a few women who have a past with him. He handles it well, for the most part, and I don’t blame Gaby for her jealousy at all. I think she acted in a smart, mature way – refreshing because so many female protagonists these days are prone to unnecessary angst and petty jealousy.
The romance between the two is, as usual, a little confusing (for us and for them!). They’re both fiercely attracted to one another, but Gaby is wary of the secrets Rafa keeps, and Rafa’s convinced that when Gaby remembers her past, she’ll hate him for ‘seducing’ her. Weston has written this aspect cleverly, balancing their attraction with their good-sense and danger filled lives.
I love the action in this book. Gaby’s still getting the hand of the katana and other types of fighting the Rephaim get mixed up in, but she’s always willing to give new things a try. There are a few intense fight scenes, all of which I enjoyed, and they’re balanced perfectly with moments of inaction where the characters get to process what’s happening. Mya is an interesting addition to the book, because she’s so bad-ass, and in many ways, gave me a glimpse of what Gaby may have been like in her other life. Ez never really stuck me as like Gaby, but I have a feeling Mya and Gaby are more similar than they’d ever care to admit.
After all the procrastinating Gaby did about going to Melbourne and finding Jude, I began to think the characters would leave the search for Jude until the next book. So I was pleasantly surprised when the trip finally happened, and what happened after that was amazing. I really enjoyed the climax of Haze, although the excitement made me forget to look at the page count and I was really surprised when it ended. I can’t wait for Shimmer!
I love this series. It’s one of the best (THE best?) angel-themed series available now, and it’s Australian to boot! Paula Weston has created a vivid world, dimensional characters, and a riveting plot line in The Rephaim. I strongly urge everyone to read these books, especially since they’re being published internationally by Orion.
Oh, and I should add that Paula told me that Shimmer is not the final book in the series – there’s one after it 😀 MOAR RAFA, yay!