Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mass market paperback: 400 pages
Release date: February 28, 2012
Series: Abby Sinclair #2
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed by: Jenn
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 eleven 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.
I was very excited when I got a chance to read A Sliver of Shadow early. I've been a huge fan of Allison Pang's ever since I read her debut A Brush of Darkness and I was thrilled to re-immerse myself in Abby's world. (You can read my thoughts on the first Abby Sinclair book here.)
A Sliver of Shadow picks up several months after the events in A Brush of Darkness. You don't need to remember what happened, though, because the author does a wonderful job of filling in the blanks and re-introducing characters as they deal with the aftermath of the first novel. In the relative quiet, Abby has been trying to understand what it means to be a Dreamer and how to use her powers, with marginal success. She's also taking care of Moira's baby, who's half fae and half angel, and trying to do her duties as Moira's TouchStone. Of course, things hit the fan pretty early on in the novel, ending Abby and co.'s peace and quiet.
From here, Abby is on quite a rollercoaster, thanks to Allison Pang's willingness to have her characters suffer. Abby has to face off with a new villain, a fae named Tresa, and also learns all sorts of stuff about her family. Specifically, we find out who Abby's father is and it helps explain some of Abby's gifts. Never in a million years would I have expected this type of reveal so early in a series and I was pleasantly surprised to find out who her daddy is. I love that Allison Pang doesn't hold back, with either adventure or big reveals. And there's a lot of both since about half of the book is set in Faerie, giving A Sliver of Shadow a more fantastical feel and a host of new characters. We also learn a lot more about how Faerie society works and where Moira and her brother Taliver figure into things.
Of course, I can't write about an Abby Sinclair book without mentioning Phineas, the pervy miniature unicorn who lives in Abby's underwear drawer. As in A Brush of Darkness, Phineas is my favourite. He's got an incredibly dirty mind and some of the best lines in the book. (He also has his own Twitter feed in case you're interested in following him.) I was also won over by Taliver, who becomes less mysterious and more human in this instalment of the series. Over the course of the novel, Abby and Taliver's relationship becomes more interesting and more meaningful, thanks to some of these revelations, and I look forward to seeing where things go from here.
A Sliver of Shadow ends on a cliffhanger. It's not a crazy cliffhanger that offers no closure but it's definitely setting us up for the next book, which won't be out for months and months. It's going to be a painful wait because I'm sure that Book 3 will be just as enjoyable as its predecessors.
I'm going to sign off by saying that Allison Pang's Abby Sinclair books are epic urban fantasy. They should be on the must-read list of every urban fantasy fan!
Allison will be joining us tomorrow as part of her blog tour for A Sliver of Shadow so make sure you come back to find out what she does when she's not writing! You can click on the tour banner to find out where else she's been or is going on the rest of the tour.