Shadow of the Sun(Book One of the Timeless Series) by Laura Kreitzer
Let me say that I loved-hated this book at the very beginning. As I got past that I could hardly put it down.
For some reason the whole beginning sort of read like a paranormal Dragnet episode. Dialogue mostly devoid of emotions. It went on for about the first 15% of the book. It was at about chapter seven that things finally took off. ( I was either growing used to the character- some explanations were now forthcoming that explained her- or it was just time to take that left turn into the supper highway of who Gabriella Noelle Moretti really is.
Gabriella of course is adopted which puts her into a common situation these days in fiction. She's also lost memory of her early years in life. At least the first five- which didn't seem too remarkable to me since I don't remember much of my first five years. But Gabriella is a rather gifted young lady who started college classes at age 12. Needless-to say-this is a fair explanation for why she might be just a bit different from many other people. Her intellect capacity is high but she's rather immature and has always been misplaced from her age group so that she's always the fish out of water wherever she's been. So, though she copes well enough to do well in her studies and that has lead to being the authority in Supernatural Specialist, she would agree that it hasn't helped her to develop much of an endearing personality.
The story opens with Gabriella being rather snarky to her equally snarky assistant, Sally. Apparently Gabriella's immature character has not learned the value of having an assistant to the point that she mostly takes advantage of Sally while giving her annoying things to do. Although the sense is that she does this to Sally a lot-as if Sally deserves it-at the moment it is in part that Gabriella has too much on her mind and has not had enough sleep. At age 19 Gabriella had fallen into this job with the paranormal as supernatural specialist for the Zelco Corp. She now is 25 but with perhaps the social skills of a 15 year old. And the reason she took this job seems to be somewhat suspect.
Her adoptive sister,Jenna, sums it up. Gabriella is hoping this job will help her find her parents.And, solve the mystery of why they left her when she was so young. Of course Jenna thinks Gabriella is nuts and that her job was not going to help her do any of the things she hopes.
Up until this day its been a pretty mundane job, with occasional moments of excitement when the FBI shows up and drags away what little they do find that is inexplicable. This time she's received three corpses from a dig in Italy, which don't seem to match what she should have been sent. The corpses were supposed to be hundreds of years old or more; where they looked to be newly dead within days and they don't match the photo of what she was sent.
This has spooked her and one would start to get the feeling she wasn't cut out for this job. She next receives a package with a box that contains two items that look like relics but turn out to be keys. When she starts to open the box she's attacked by a dark entity with fiery eyes, who warns her not to awaken the angels.
The FBI show up to take this away and they make an unusual offer- they want Gabriella to go with them. One agent, Jeff, acts a bit strange about Gabriella touching the evidence, while a second agent, Karen, comes to Gabriella's defense. Eventually Karen reveals to Gabriella that these three corpses are the bodies of angels. Karen is also an angel-Gabriella's Guardian.
On the trip to Washington DC with the corps and Sally and the FBI; the pilots inexplicably take the plane into a storm where there's a lightning strike upon the craft and it crashes. This should have killed everyone but the Angels have wakened-We later discover it is because Gabriella was in danger that they awakened.
The angels in this story are not your typical christian angels. They are not particularly even remotely related to the fallen angels. They are more like the Hollywood-ized angels made from humans who were once mortal and now can bleed golden blood and cry golden tears. They do fight beings of darkness who seem to be of the shadow of the sun.
In a nutshell it turns out that Gabriella is the Darkness Illuminator- the fulfillment of a prophesy; and that these angels are here to guard her.
This sounds like more than enough to drive the plot of this story but there is much more which is both exciting and a bit daunting. Yes there are spelling errors and some grammar points, though mostly points of rule and not of law so, those are minor. I think that it's this extra more stuff that causes many people to become confused and it took me a while to sort out a few problems.
One entire plot point is about the prophesy and how it has been altered by someone to hide the truth.
Another plot point is that these angels-who are somewhat magical- have the capability of having their memories tampered with through magic and that has happened to a large degree.
So, whenever a character spouts on about the prophesy it is unreliable information. The problem with this is that as this unfolds it often seems like we are getting redundant information and that the consistency of the story is all messed up. In fact, the consistency is okay and the reason for the redundancy is to highlight the discrepancies in various character's understanding of past events and the prophesy. This shifting plot line is a difficult and dangerous task to put to some reader's minds.
There are elements of massive confusion when Gabriella starts having dreams created by someone else memories and those memories include the death of angels who are walking around.
It might even become annoying to some people that certain characters can be killed and come back.
There is more to the story though and some of these speed bumps are smoothed out while some go unexplained. Thankfully there are more books and hopefully that means those things will be explained later.
Not so thankfully this appears to be one of those series that goes on for quite a while and it takes a great amount of talent to extend a readers interest beyond a trilogy. So, we'll have to read some more to find out how well Laura does with that.
Carefully peeking ahead I've been unable to ascertain that there will be resolution of all major plot points in the next two books.
I'm a fan of series, but I can see that Laura had a lot to say in this book and that there may be a lot more coming, which may indicate that it may take all of those volumes of books to get all plot points resolved.
This is a great story for lovers of Paranormal Romance and Apocryphal Angels (not to be confused with a pocketful of angels).
(review of free book)