Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Seduced by Shadows by Jessa Slade

Dear Ms. Slade:

0451228286.01.LZZZZZZZI confess to being reluctant to start this book. I’m not sure why. I think because there wasn’t anything about the description of the book or the cover that really stood out. It was a paranormal story about good demons and bad demons. Given that it was a free book, however, it didn’t hurt to at least read the first chapter. I was intrigued enough by the first chapter to continue given that the writing style appealed to me.

Ferris Archer is a former southern gentleman who is now one of the demon possessed. He and others like him have banded together to fight in the war against other demon possessed individuals and malices that populate the earth. Archer views himself not so much as a warrior, but a trash collector . Malices can be drained but they cannot be returned to hell and over time, just regenerate. To say that Archer is weary would be an understatement. He went from fighting in the Civil War to a non stop, centuries long battle against entities simply cannot be defeated. When others warn him that the battle is being tipped toward the evil, Archer doesn’t believe it. The battle has always be tilted against them. Their numbers are few and seem to be getting fewer all the time. Archer plays the ennui inflicted rebel quite well.

Sara Littlejohn is a thanatologist who suffers a terrible car accident, leaving her maimed and in pain for possibly the rest of her life. She is tempted by a demon in the form of Archer who promises her a pain free life. She invites him into her body in some strange dream sequence. (Archer previously appeared to her telling her, cryptically, to refuse the demon).

Sara’s demon is a rare and powerful kind and she is desirous because, well, I wasn’t quite sure. I think it is because she represents some rare connection to the other side of the Veil which separates Earth from hell.   Sara is being hunted by a djinn who wants to harness that connection.

Sara’s possession is different and there is little explanation why. It just is. There hasn’t been a female possessed in centuries. There’s some whisper of mated-talyan bond but again, no explanation why she is the first in the long line of many demon possessed individuals to be a) female and b) teshuva versus djinn.   Teshuva’s are good demon possessions (if there can be good demon possessions).   Teshuva demons are those who are repentant. Djinn are those demons who are not. Teshuva demons and their possessed gain redemption by dying in battle against the djinn.   The demons appear to be written as male in gender although it is referred to as “it”   in pronoun form.    The  demons, even though they are sentient beings inside the body, have little impact on the characters in the book except through violence.

The extent of the demon possession is not fully explained for me.   Does the teshuva merely lie dormant until called upon? This wouldn’t be accurate since at one point Sara’s powerful demon cowers in the face of a djinn.   But while Sara and Archer have sex, there appears to be no connection or involvement by the demons.

There’s no rhyme or reason for why someone gets a teshuva or djinn, it seems. Is it because the soul is qualitatively good in some fashion? It seems awfully convenient that the good guys get the teshuva’s. Would a truly repentant demon possess a serial killer? Does the demon change their soul?

The style of the prose is engaging but the overall story was confusing and difficult to follow.   There was a tendency toward repetition (I don’t know how many times that Archer referred to himself as taking out the trash but it was too many).    I kind of felt like the romance between Archer and Sara was a default one.   Sara saw Archer first, became physically attracted to him, he helped her through possession and then they were a pair.   I am intrigued and will read the next book in the series, but I left this book with many an unanswered question.   C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. Angela James
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 16:59:38

    I read about a chapter of this book but ended up not going back to it. I just couldn’t get into it, though I wanted to. But I’ve been having that problem lately so I wasn’t sure if it was me or the story. Since you felt kind of ambivalent about it, I probably won’t go back to it.

  2. pamelia
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 19:38:05

    I am currently halfway into this book and enjoying it only because it’s not the same old same old like most of the other books I’ve just read (probably because they’re books 4 or 5 in series which should’ve ended gracefully as trilogies?). The writing is nice and spare with a kind of reality to it. The dialogue is a little uneven, but often entertaining. These characters just feel more real to me than the usual tortured silent hero meets tortured whining heroine so many people are churning out. Yes, there are some pacing problems and some needless repetition, but at least it’s not boring me. Hope the second half keeps me as intrigued as the first!

  3. Jocelyn
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 20:21:03

    I quite enjoyed this book personally, although I thought Archer denied the connection between himself and Sera for a too long. As for the unexplained portions (why some people get teshuva and some djinn, etc.), I equated it to belief in God. Like you said, it just is and you simply have to accept it as is. There’s no rhyme or reason we can comprehend. *shrug*

    Now that you have my two cents about the book, I’ll get to the real reason I was posting. I don’t know if I missed it in when I read the post, but what was the grade you’d give this book?

  4. Jane
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 20:22:34

    @Jocelyn: Oops! I gave it a C.

  5. Sandy Williams
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 00:35:45

    Finally, a book I read before the Dear Author review was posted.

    I enjoyed Seduced by Shadows, but I do remember having some of the same questions you did while reading. I kept waiting for the details to be explained. In the end, I decided maybe they would be explained in future books?

  6. Jessa Slade
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 01:40:28

    I’m being the author who awkwardly steps into the middle of a discussion about my tortured soul my story, but I had to say Thank you, Jane! for reviewing my first book.

    DA is one of the first sites I came to when I realized — though I’d been a writer for a long time — I knew next to nothing about being an author. So I’ve been hoping for/fearing a review here. I thought I’d share: When Google Alerts popped this review, I actually had that same feeling in my stomach as when a squirrel runs across the road in front of your car and you’re not sure if the thump you heard was the tire hitting the squirrel or your heart hitting your stomach.

    For me, a C review from DA equates to the squirrel squeaking away with most of her tail. I will live to dig up more nuts. Yay! (Who needs a tortured soul when there are tortured analogies?)

    Anyway, thanks again.

  7. Jane
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 10:24:47

    @Jessa Slade What? It’s only your tortured soul and not your baby?

  8. Larissa
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 10:25:59

    Jessa! LOL! Looking forward to reading the book!

  9. Jessa Slade
    Oct 21, 2009 @ 15:37:46

    Come now, Jane, a book isn’t a baby. It’s a book.

    My dog is my baby.

  10. Therese Lichon
    Oct 30, 2009 @ 20:43:12

    I was most pleased with my reading of this first book. Since I find romance to be light, fun reading, I especially enjoyed the fact that I had to think a little about what I was reading. (where this seemed to be a criticism of the reviewer) Also, I found the background characters most intriguing and I’m hoping that future books will explore the Marked Souls from the angelic prespective.

%d bloggers like this: