Saturday, January 9, 2016

#Review: Shadow Touched by Erin Kellison - 4 Wine Glasses

25430503Title: Shadow Touched
Series: Shadow Touch #1-4
Author: Erin Kellison
Format: ebook, 336 pages
Publication: January 5th 2016 by Lyrical Press
ISBN: 1601835779
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses

*Shadow Touched is Ellie and Cam's complete story, previously released as Shadow Touch, Shadow Play and Shadow Hunt, ending in the thrilling conclusion, the previously unreleased Shadow Burn.

A darkness looms over humankind, lurks in mirrors, blurs boundaries—a twilight world ruled by powerful mage Houses...

It is bleeding into our world, bringing with it banshees, wraiths, fae from the twisting forests of Twilight. But Eleanor Russo’s problem is a very different kind of phenomenon. Her dark mirror image is a wild thing, willfully seducing the very man Ellie hoped could help her.

Dr. Cam Kalamos has devoted his career to exploring the boundaries between this world and Twilight. But nothing could prepare him for the mischief and mayhem of a soul split in two.

As Ellie and Cam explore their deepest desires and barely escape with their lives, there is only one certainty: Trusting in shadows is a dangerous game.

Linda's Thoughts:
"Shadow is on the move," a soldier said suddenly....
"We spotted her in the West atrium, then she vanished into the unfinished apartments. Scared the shit out of Dr. Marea on four, then ended up in the kitchen ogling a cheesecake."

SHADOW TOUCHED by Erin Kellison is a superbly unique short story compilation. It's set in our world at a time when Shadow aka dark magic is moving into the norm. Shadow originated in Twilight; Twilight is the place between life and what comes after—a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril and mystery -and the home of the Fae. Erin previously blew me away with her Reveler series and SHADOW TOUCHED does it, again. I've never read anything like this. It's dark and suspenseful with just the right touch of romance and humor to offset.

This set of stories represent the life story of Eleanor "Ellie" Russo and Doctor Cameron "Cam" Kalomos. I liked both leads. Ellie was an anomaly - born with her shadow unattached. She was raised by her grandmother after both her parents had abandoned her  - unable to cope with her and her footloose shadow. Her Grandmother had been good to Ellie. She had moved to a rambling old farmhouse in the wide open spaces outside Phoenix to raise her - so Ellie didn't have to cope with the limelight until recently when her Grandmother passed. However, life has become unbearable for Ellie. Her shadow acts on instinct rather than reason, is much more feral, has been gaining strength and refuses to abide by Ellie's wishes. Ellie is at her wit's end and has sought the help of Doctor Kalomos and the Segue Institute to make her and her shadow completely autonomous. Here's a short description about the Segue Institute:

The Segue Institute was the preeminent research organization for all things paranormal and it was housed in a haunted, renovated turn of-the-century hotel. The place was supposedly loaded with what the scientists there called Shadow, capital S, a scary word for magic. Dark magic.

SHADOW TOUCHED includes four novellas that combined equal the full story of Ellie and Cam. Each story drew me in more as dark magic gained a stronger foothold in our world and Ellie and Cam developed a relationship that was much more than that of a subject and her researcher. Following please find a short description of each novella.

In SHADOW TOUCH, the first novella, we are introduced to Ellie, Cam, the Segue Institute and the situation with Ellie and her shadow. An expert's controversial help is sought to assist.

SHADOW PLAY, the second novella,  takes place a few months after SHADOW TOUCH. Cam and Ellie have been working together seeking ways to control and work with her shadow. It is not easy for Ellie. Then... the emergency assistance of the Segue Institute is requested to rescue a child who has been lured into Twilight. Ellie is determined to aid the child's distraught mother. This tale introduces the Mages.

SHADOW HUNT is the third novella. It begins with an horrific murder at the Segue Institute. Cam, now fae-touched, and Ellie are determined to bring the murderer to justice which entails a dangerous, action-packed visit to the domain of one of the Mages' houses. The situation definitely get more threatening in this installment. Cam, Ellie and her shadow must learn to work together to survive.

SHADOW BURN is the final and previously unpublished novella. It's teeming with fast-paced, high-stakes action and heart-felt passion. I was on the edge of my seat for much of it. Have no fear, though - the author deftly wraps Cam's and Ellie's story up with a happy, tidy bow - so the reader is left with a smile.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from the novellas:

"Can she be killed?"....
Eleanor went cold, her old fear surging. But she nodded yes. "If you kill me."

"I am her and she is me."
Something clicked in his mind.
He was an idiot, Worse, she knew he was an idiot. Her shadow was not a reflection or ghost twin or doppelganger.
Her shadow was herself.

"There is absolutely nothing that can harm the shadow. Nothing. I advise you strongly not try."

When I started this book, I was unaware that this set of novellas were  off-shoots from Erin's Shadow series - which I have not read. It took me a bit to become acclimated to the setting - but, truly, not that long as the author does fill in any necessary information from what had previously transpired in the Shadow series. However, reading SHADOW TOUCHED has whet my appetite to go back and read her Shadow series.

I thoroughly enjoyed this set of novellas and am fascinated by the encroaching Shadow. I can't wait to read more stories set in this world. I would highly recommend SHADOW TOUCHED to anyone who enjoys dark paranormal urban fantasies. Just be prepared for a roller coaster ride!

Suggested Reading Order:
Shadow Series-

Shadow Kissed Series-

Shadow Touched

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