Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Shades of Dark

Shades of Dark
Linnea Sinclair
SciFi Romance
Dock 5 Series/Book 2

Bantam/July 2008
Library Book

*Spoilers for Book 1*

From the back cover ~

For two fugitive lovers, space has no haven,
no mercy, no light—only...


Before her court-martial, Captain Chasidah “Chaz” Bergren was the pride of the Sixth Fleet. Now she’s a fugitive from the “justice” of a corrupt Empire. Along with her lover, the former monk, mercenary, and telepath Gabriel Ross Sullivan, Chaz hoped to leave the past light-years behind—until the news of her brother Thad’s arrest and upcoming execution for treason. It’s a ploy by Sully’s cousin Hayden Burke to force them out of hiding and it works.

With a killer targeting human females and a renegade gen lab breeding jukor war machines, Chaz and Sully already had their hands full of treachery, betrayal—not to mention each other. Throw in Chaz’s Imperial ex-husband, Admiral Philip Guthrie, and a Kyi-Ragkiril mentor out to seduce Sully and not just loyalties but lives are at stake. For when Sully makes a fateful choice changing their relationship forever, Chaz must also choose—between what duty demands and what her heart tells her she must do.

If you haven't read Gabriel's Ghost, read that first, then read Shades of Dark. Both are amazing stories. I read Gabriel's Ghost last year and it's where Chaz and Sully's story begins. I didn't write a review for it, I wish I had, it would have got an A from me. Seriously love Sinclair's writing. She puts you in the moment. You are there with Chaz feeling what she feels.

Shades of Dark picks up a few months after Gabriel's Ghost ends. It's told in the POV of Captain Chasidah Bergren or Chaz as she's known. Which might have been limiting but because of her unique relationship with Gabriel Sullivan (Sully) we also get some insight direct from Sully's head. Chaz and Sully have a special telepathic link so we get not only Chaz's thoughts but Sully's thoughts in Chaz's head.

Chaz is an interesting character, very much a woman accustomed to command. She's also a very likable character who has evolved since we first met her in Gabriel's Ghost. She's lost some of her prejudices and realizes that good friends come in some of the most unlikely forms. And she's in love. The relationship of Gabriel Sullivan (Sully) and Chaz is still in it's early stages time wise but they have been through so much at this point that they have grown extremely close. I loved these two together. They have so very many problems that they have faced and still must face but beneath it all you feel their love for each other. There are moments when I just wished they'd catch a break. When they could just relax and both be at peace without worrying about being captured by their enemies or wondering who they could really trust.

Sully - my heart hurts for him. Sully is a Kyi-Ragkiril, beings with telekinetic and telepathic abilities that have the potential to be so powerful, they're terrifying. Kyi-Ragkiril are rare but a human Kyi-Ragkiril is unheard of. Sully is still learning about his abilities and when the opportunity to be mentored surfaces, he takes it. The mentor causes serious conflict between Sully and Chaz. She doesn't trust easily and has some deep concerns regarding Sully's emerging powers and the intentions of Sully's mentor. Sully embraces his rising powers but with those powers comes greater responsibility. He tries so very hard to do the right thing but it's as if his life isn't his own and his attempts to be the decent, loyal person he wants to be are hindered by what he can't control.

I love the fact that Chaz has a past (Philip) and it keeps coming back to haunt Sully. Makes for great tension and gives another dimension to Chaz and her relationships. Chaz and Philip go way back. Admiral Philip Guthrie was Chaz's commanding officer when she was with the Fleet. He's also her ex-husband and her friend. Can you say complicated? Philip ends up helping Chaz and Sully as well as having to re-evaluate his allegiances. His story is told in Hope's Folly, book 3.

The action is fast paced with Chaz, Sully and crew traveling in space on their ship, the Boru Karn. They do make some stops along the way at ports and space stations. Sinclair's writing makes the reader believe in this place of space travel, alien races, political intrigue and wars. The camaraderie that comes from living and working in close quarters is evident in the lives of these characters. I loved the different friendships that formed on the Boru Karn. The loyalty and trust that these different races had for each other. At the heart of it all was Chaz and Sully and their love and trust for each other.

Rating: A


  1. Ohhh, yes! I loved Shades of Darkness. It was a roller coaster ride. Sully broke my heart and I wanted to be Chaz by the time I finished this book, lol! I fell in love with Phillip too. ;P You'll love him in Hope's Folly.

    I know Gabriel's Ghost is usually the favorite of the two books, but for me, this is the book that really continues the ride and says so much about these characters. And of course, Hope's Folly completes it and continues the story. Great review! So glad you're enjoying it. :)

  2. Hils ~ for me too, I think Shades edged out GG as my fav so far. I do think it helped that I was more familiar with the world when I read Shades. Both wonderful stories!

  3. I read the title of your post and the grade... and skipped everything else! I have Gabriel's Ghost on my TBR. Glad to see you loved it!

  4. Christine ~ Lucky girl you! I think you'll like Gabriel's Ghost. :)

  5. Like I told Hils, I just can't seem to get into Ms Sinclair writing. I think it's the sci-fi elements :( I've heard so much good about this author. I'm glad you enjoyed Shades of Dark :D

  6. nath ~ she's a really good writer but I also like this type of scifi. Reminds me of shows like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica.

  7. I read and loved Gabriel's Ghost a few years ago and was planning on a reread before starting Shades of Dark. But then I didn't get around to it so I still have Shades of Dark to read. Now I have Hope's Folly and Rebels and Lovers in the pile too!! And now I know what I'll be doing this weekend, looking for GG,and reading GG.
    Have you read any of her other books? I LOVED Finder's Keepers and Games of Command (I'd love if she did a sequel to that book)and quite liked An Accidental Goddess. I wasn't as keen on Down Home Zombie Blues though.

  8. I'm not a sci-fi fan but Hil's review of Rebels and Lovers got me intrigued to pick up the book to read. I enjoyed the book, sci-fi elements and all. I'm glad you reviewed Shades of Dark because I want to pick up Gabriel's Ghost and noticed that Shades of Dark features the same h/h. Going to add these two books to my TBB list. Thanks, great review btw!

  9. Kristie ~ I’ve got both Finder’s Keepers and Games on the tbr pile. Once I read Hope’s Folly and Rebels and Lovers I want to read Games of Command. I’m real curious about bio-cybe Kel-Paten.

    Tabitha ~ from what I remember of Hils review, if you liked Rebels and Lovers then you’ll enjoy GG and Shades. IMO the sci-fi elements don’t overwhelm the character relationships, just let you know you’re not in Kansas anymore. :)