Author: Amanda Bonilla
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Shaede Assassin #2
ISBN: # 978-0451237460
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
About the book:
What you can’t see can kill you…
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…
What B is talking about:
Many years ago, Darian became a creature of her own making through the tragedies of her human life, and was then betrayed by the one being whom she loved and trusted. Now fully awakened to a world filled with more creatures and magic than she could have ever imagined, Darian must once again find her place as the only one of her kind. She is unique and coveted, a potential pawn to those who would use her, and powerful beyond her own understanding. But, with trusted friends and true love on her side, this time she doesn’t have to be alone.
I’m of two minds about Blood Before Sunrise. On the one hand, it’s an urban fantasy novel filled with action, fascinating creatures, mystery, and even romance. The fight to save the world comes down to, literally, the last possible moment, and Ms. Bonilla never lets up on the tension that increases as the story progresses. Throughout the novel I was involved and on edge, tense and worried. Just not so much for Darian.
Darian is a loner by nature and circumstance, and she’s understandably built some serious walls around her heart, a history more fully dealt with in the previous novel in the series, Shaedes of Gray. But, in Blood Before Sunrise, she is no longer alone. She has the support of a good friend, as well as the love of a man who would gladly sacrifice his own life for hers. And nearly has. Unfortunately, Darian is incredibly arrogant and stubborn, and her refusal to trust those who have put their trust in her nearly costs them everything. Her mistakes are unnecessary and numerous, and they became increasingly difficult to read.
Another thing in the plus column, however are the fantastic secondary characters. Raif and Tyler are especially well-written characters, making Darian’s miscalculations and slights even more frustrating. Even Xander Peck, the Shaede king, who isn’t the most likeable fellow, shines in comparison, his own arrogance countered by a glimpse of the depth of his worry for those he cares about.
In terms of nail-biting tension and otherworldly visuals, Blood Before Sunrise is a wonderful story. Darian simply left me feeling frustrated and occasionally angry. She certainly didn’t leave me numb, though. Maybe that’s the only way for her to become whatever it is she’s destined to be: she has to fall before she can truly stand. While not a happy ending, it’s one I believe Darian deserves, even though my heart ached for her a little. I’m looking forward to the next novel in the series, not only for the chance to revisit some of the other characters who are part of Darian’s world, but with the sincere hope that she will finally find the strength within herself to deserve them.
Reviews in the Series: