Review: Against the Dawn by Amanda Bonilla

Posted May 22, 2014 by B. in Rating B, Reviews, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Against the Dawn
Author: Amanda Bonilla

Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

Once a stubborn, reckless loner, Darian has made some terrible and painful mistakes in the past, but with the help of her friends, she has learned from them. Now, she’s determined to work hard to deserve the loyalty and affection of those closest to her by starting over and doing things right from now on. But, Darian soon learns that the past is never truly dead, and, in the realm of the supernatural, some beings will stop at nothing when it comes to revenge.

After a rough lesson or two (or twenty), Darian had finally been getting it together before she was nearly enslaved by a deadly enemy in the previous novel in the series, Crave the Darkness. Having fallen down as far as she can go, she is finally learning from her mistakes, and has accepted that everyone needs help every now and then, including her. Although Darian is still hurting in Against the Dawn, there’s a hopefulness woven throughout the story that wasn’t as notable before, which did a lot to ease the sting of the more difficult parts of the novel.

As has been the case in each of the other novels in this series, Darian’s romantic entanglements are inextricably tied to the every other part of her life, and the complications this causes for the remaining characters in Against the Dawn are a major impetus for all the action in the story, if not the entire series. She’s been caught between Tyler and Xander for a very long time now, and I was relieved to see her finally acknowledge what her heart has known it needed from the beginning. The two men have been at war from day one, and in this story the situation has not only boiled over, but has slipped completely beyond anyone’s control. The tension between the three has been building since the beginning, and I was grateful for the brief respite and wish fulfillment that Darian and Tyler briefly steal for themselves.

One of the things about Against the Dawn that I was looking forward to the most was revisiting some of the other characters in the story, Raif, Asher, and Levi most especially. Ms. Bonilla’s secondary characters have always held their own, regardless of the amount of time we actually see them in the narrative. Their depth and personalities combined with Darian’s shortcomings typically ensured that she never overshadowed them. In this story, that is still the case, although, perhaps for the first time, it feels as if Darian is fully deserving of their friendship and devotion—for which I’m glad.

Filled with great characters and a wealth of action and suspense, not to mention a gut-wrenching cliffhanger, the Shaede Assassin series is one that I enjoy a great deal. The entire story is told from Darian’s perspective, so the audience never sees what’s coming, thereby experiencing all of her doubts and mistakes firsthand—a fact that, based on Darian’s actions to this point and their ramifications, has kept me nearly terrified of the consequences that might be raining down on her at any moment. Still believably imperfect, Darian is a better heroine in Against the Dawn, and rooting for her to both succeed and be happy was both satisfying and enjoyable. Darian’s journey has been a long one thus far, and I highly recommend reading the series from the beginning. With this latest addition to the Shaede Assassin world, I’m more invested than ever and am very much looking forward to the next novel in the series, and whatever may happen next.

My Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot


About the Book:

Six months can feel like a just couple of weeks when you’ve been away in another realm. Literally.

Now that Darian is back in Seattle, she’s ready to face the life—and the man—she left behind. But it’s not going to be easy when a ghost from her past shows up looking to wreak havoc on Seattle’s supernatural crime scene.

Darian isn’t as careless as she used to be, though. She and Tyler, her sexy Jinn protector, have come a long way in the trust department. And it’s a good thing too—because when Ty contracts her to assassinate a wickedly powerful supernatural who goes by the name of Mithras, it will take all her faith in Ty, and herself, to get the job done.

While Darian does whatever it takes to get to her mark, Xander, the Shaede King is busy making plans of his own. With Darian’s attention divided between Lorik’s secrets and her mission she might not be able to stop Xander from doing anything in his power to separate Darian from her sworn protector and in the process, destroy his own kingdom…

Release Date: May 19, 2014
Shaede Assassin #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
Against the Dawn (Shaede Assassin #4)

Reviews in the Series:
Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla (Shaede Assassin #1)
Blood Before Sunrise by Amanda Bonilla (Shaede Assassin #2)
Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla (Shaede Assassin #3)