Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset
Author:  Shannon A. Thompson
Publisher:  AEC Stellar Publishing
Pages: 247
Release Date: May 1st, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an 
honest review.

She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

Minutes Before Sunset is a captivating book that follows two characters: Eric and Jessica, and a world that has a conflict between the Light and the Dark. Eric is the First Descendant, sided with the dark, and destined to fight the Second Descendant, who is sided with the light. Jessica is new in town, and quickly becomes caught in the middle. 

The book has action, a little suspense and some romance, and felt like it gave a promising introduction to future stories. The premise is interesting, although I will admit I found some of the facts a bit muddy throughout the book, but we'll get to that in a few minutes. The characters themselves were easy to connect with. While Eric/Shoman is somewhat distant and aloof after the loss he's faced in life, Jessica strikes me as being hopeful, full of life and searching for herself as much as her birth parents. I didn't feel like Eric was overly mopey, which can happen in stories like these, and I didn't feel like Jessica and him connected too quickly, which is also a plus. The story was easy to read, the dialog and settings felt natural. Overall I was quite taken with the book and the way it was pieced together.

While I enjoy learning more as series progress, I felt this story had some areas where a little world building would have helped me. This is probably the biggest flaw about this book in my eyes. I never really felt like I understood what the Light and Dark really were, and why it existed. Near the end we started to get some answers, but I didn't really feel it was clear. I just felt like something was missing and unclear, and I wanted a better grounding in the world the author had created.

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