Author: Allison Pang
Release Date: Feb. 28, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books
Abby Sinclair Book #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (400 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Author
About the book:
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 elven 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.
What B is talking about:
Eight months after the end of A Brush of Darkness, Abby Sinclair is still figuring out her place among the OtherFolk. She’s not only a TouchStone to her boss and Faery Princess, Moira, but she’s a living Keystone as well, a designation that has more than a few complications of its own. She’s also the temporary guardian of Moira’s infant son, the object of an elven prince’s affections, and the possessor of a Faery relic some would kill to have for their own.
This time, Abby travels to the royal court of Faerie itself, and finally gets the answers to some of her most vexing questions. That she doesn’t like some of those answers is to be expected, but Pang made it clear in the previous novel that she’s not inclined to make the journey easy for either her characters, or her readers.
Once again, Abby is tossed into the most impossible situations, many of which don’t turn out well, though they are a lot of fun to read. She is still a delightful mix of snarky wit and mortal vulnerability, and carries the weight of two worlds with competing bouts of resignation and determination. She is sometimes hurtful and always stubborn, but she admits her mistakes and would die for those she loves.
As dark as A Sliver of Shadow occasionally becomes, Pang balances it well with hilarious dialog and an enthusiastic sense of humor. The returning cast of characters, especially Phineas, the pervy miniature unicorn, is a welcome addition to the madness. Abby’s friends are colorful and fierce, and the more she learns about herself, the stronger those bonds become.
Abby’s romantic entanglements are just as enjoyable this time around, despite my lingering concerns for her happiness from the last story. She finds a kindred soul in Talivar, the “Crippled Prince,” who’s vastly different from Brystion, but good for Abby in a lot of ways. Brystion is back and vying for her affections, too, I was happy to see, and for a little while, she manages to have them both. The possibilities that are hinted at between the three of them are just lovely, even though Pang stops the fantasy at some well-orchestrated teasing.
A Sliver of Shadow is an excellent follow up in this series, and handily carries on the momentum established in the first story. Abby and her friends are easy to become attached to, and I found myself thoroughly invested in their shared story, both cheering for them and worrying for them as they made their way through the twists and turns of the novel. Pang has proven that she’s a consistently able writer, never giving up too much, while making Abby an open, relatable heroine who’s both mystifying and irresistible. I’ve enjoyed every bit of this series so far, and cannot wait to find out what’s in store next.
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)