Review: Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall

phantom shadowsReviewed by Jen

I so enjoy a redemption story and I’ve been hoping to get one for Bastien from the beginning. It didn’t disappoint. In fact, I’m learning that the Immortal Guardians series is pretty much guaranteed to deliver exactly what I am looking for, every time I pick up another installment.

Bastien is almost universally despised by the other Immortals. After all, he was essentially the villain of book 1, but it wasn’t his fault. He truly believed that he was a vampire and that the Immortals were the enemy. He thought that he was doing the right thing in targeting them, especially Roland, who he believed had killed his sister. A couple of years have passed since Seth took him into the fold, but old hatred dies hard.

Dr. Melanie Lipton knows there is more to Sebastian than the others can see. Firsthand, she has witnessed his loyalty to the vampires she treats. She has developed a real soft-spot for him and the feeling is mutual. But Bastien fears that any association with him will make Melanie’s life difficult among those who hate him. He fights the attraction between them, in hopes of sparing her that ostracism.

Obviously, that’s a losing battle. Bastien may be sharp-tongued, but like all of the Immortal heroes we have met so far, he’s a big softie underneath. His entire life for the past 200 years has been about avenging his sister. He never even considered something like love could enter the picture.  The first two books were pretty insta-love, but one of the things I really liked about the relationship between Bastien and Melanie was that Dianne Duvall laid the groundwork for this in the last book. I believed that these two really fell for each other –and watching them give in to the feelings they’ve been dancing around was so satisfying!

The romance, like all the others in this series, is straightforward, which I really appreciate. There are no big misunderstandings or secrets. The conflicts are external ones, which I tend to prefer. One of the other things I love most about these books –and I know that I say this every time– is how well Duvall draws the big picture. The main couple doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There is great world-building and an interesting nemesis to focus on.

I love the snarky dialogue. The angst. The loyalty. It’s full of big feelings and the author does such a good job drawing me in.

And the secondary cast of characters is just phenomenal. We learn just a little more about Seth and David in each book, keeping me interested without letting me get bored.  The men and women that make up the Immortals are so well drawn and engaging. I want stories for everyone! Plus Zach is entering the picture and I know he’s going to rock my world.

Oooh! And there is a great, exciting surprise for a character we know and love. Duvall keeps the main couples from previous books front and center, with relevance to the current story. They never feel like cameos, but rather, their stories continue to intertwine with what’s happening now. I love that.

So, bottom line, you should be reading this series. It’s really good. Go start with book 1. Do it now.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Phantom Shadows
by Dianne Duvall
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Zebra

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