Review – Fading Light (Shadow Born #2) by Angela Dennis

Fading Light cover image

Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

“Everyone has a breaking point.”

“Shadow Born, Book 2”

Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It’s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.

Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension.
This blurb came from Goodreads.

Back in April of this year I reviewed the first story in this series Shadows of Fate and thought it was good with some unevenness but that I looked forward to the next one. So when this came up for review I made sure to request it. At the end of the last book Brenna and Gray have realized they were both betrayed but years of torment and thinking the other was to blame have taken a serious toll on their nascent relationship. Brenna returns to earth to finish fighting the war to safe humanity from the demons while Gray goes with her to rebuild their relationship. However while they were gone things on Earth have gone from bad to worse, Brenna isn’t sure who she can trust as a result of previous disclosures, and Gray keeps pushing Brenna to unite with him while not thinking of her as an equal partner. The discovery that more and more frequently humans are devolving into their essential mineral elements without trace of magic or poison and rumors about the cause are stirring the flames of fear and blame have made the life and safety of all Earth’s inhabitants precarious.

Mentally I divided this story into three major parts each of which was intertwined with the other but followed different levels of development. First, was the problem of solving what was causing humans to spontaneously disintegrate into elemental minerals and how to cure or stop the progress of the phenomenon. Second, was Brenna and Gray working through their issues and either deciding to finish the last level of their bond or to end things entirely. Third, was the ongoing theme of betrayal. I found I enjoyed the first and second themes more than the last probably because both Brenna and Gray were still reeling from the effects of previous betrayal and I thought given their much vaunted skills they would have picked up on the primary suspect sooner.

I enjoyed the race to discover the cause and then a cure for the human disintegration. The Hunters employed a variety of different methods from magic to science to experimentation knowing time was running short. The Hunters weren’t only facing a mysterious threat but also the early stages of a vicious war of extermination between humans and those who weren’t. Their attempts to find answers led in an extremely twisted path with its roots in yet another war and really highlighted how much of a challenge the remaining Hunters have as they try to maintain a tense peace between humans and other. I was surprised by a few of the reveals and they certainly explained the difficulty in cleaning up the situation.

Brenna and Gray’s relationship had its challenges. Some of which were left over from their separation and the conspiracy behind it while others involved their changed personalities, experiences, and the high stress situation they found themselves in. Gray wanted to work things out, complete the last portion of their bond, and then return home to rule over his family. He was really only helping on Earth because Brenna insisted on returning. Brenna wanted to work things out, wasn’t sure about completing the last portion of their bond too hastily, and felt an obligation to finish the job she started during her banishment. Plus she had come to care for a variety of different people on Earth.

At times I thought Brenna and Gray were their own worst enemies because neither one was really willing to meet the other half-way. Gray kept going off and doing his own thing without appearing to consider the impact on Brenna if they bonded and something fatal happened to him but stayed focused on his own hurt feelings and desires. I could understand his frustration because it did appear as if nothing he did could make Brenna stop blowing hot and cold. Brenna on the other hand did everything she could to remain separate from Gray out of fear and remembered pain. She knew she had done nothing wrong but she suffered intensely and found it very difficult to trust Gray would actually be there for her if anything happened. Yet Brenna wanted him so his actions striking out alone time after time added to her stress and doubts about completing their bond. I have to admit I did get tired of their back and forth-ing and never quite seeming to learn how their actions were setting the other off.

While Fading Light brought things to a rather tense climax and ended a portion of the overall arc I am expecting her to come out with a third installment because Gray and Brenna’s progress towards their end goals aren’t necessarily at the same point in time. The Hunters and their headquarters are pretty much decimated as a result of the internal treachery but a tension still remains between humans and others and therefore their efforts are needed. I am curious to see what Brenna and Gray can accomplish if they get a chance to actually form a solid team and work together instead of one full of tension and angst. I thought Fading Light was a mostly solid read with some weak spots.

I giveFading Light a B-

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