Review: Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 01) by Amanda Bonilla

Book info:
Form: pdf, e-book
Genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy
Target audience: adults

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I’d learned the hard way that love is nothing more than the sharpest blade, and it can easily be turned against you. I refused to let anyone have that kind of power over me ever again.”

Darian has lived alone for almost a century in the shadows of the night. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer, Tyler, at arm’s length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she has taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished.

My impressions or rather…a list of sins with the appropriate quotes to illustrate my points better :

“I wore my signature black—tight pants, low on my waist; long-sleeved black nylon turtleneck that clung to every curve of my body; black boots (of course); and, to top it off, a long black duster. I admit, the coat was a little over the top, but I love dramatics.”

Dear Darian- are you an assassin or a fashionista ? Who cares what you wear to work? A tip – not me. Wardrobe descriptions are so boring, especially in fantasy action books, that they should be banned unless they actually contribute to the plot. Not your case, I presume.

“God, he smelled good. Comforting, like fresh-baked cinnamon bread or something equally delicious and loaded with rich spices. His unique scent swirled around in my head, and I wanted nothing more than to lean into him, feel the weight of his arms around me as I breathed him in. But then my common sense gave me a swift kick in the ass.”

Olfactory overload alert – honestly, Darian, I don’t need and I don’t want to know how you think Tyler smells. I wish your common sense kicked your ass much earlier – if a guy smells so much his personal grooming level must be abysmal.

“Ty never overdid it in the clothing department. He was a jeans and T-shirt guy all the way, but he knew how to make the simple garments complement his lean, muscular body. Tyler’s not even a notch below Calvin Klein underwear-model physique, and has a tousled mop of goldand-bronze-streaked hair and strange hazel eyes—green with a brownish star surrounding the pupil. A garbage bag would’ve looked like an Armani suit on him.”

No, not fashion again, please, I promise, I will be good from now on, I’ll tell you everything, just don’t torture me with fashion…by the way that’s the best characterization of Tyler you can get. He is like a paper cut, heavily photoshoped male model who can’t exist because the evolution wouldn’t be so dumb to allow him to – it would be a complete waste of oxygen.

“He needed to forget about me and find himself a pretty human woman to grow old and die with. And then I’d be truly alone. Wouldn’t I? 
Rain pattered against the round toes of my thick-soled boots, and I watched the drops splatter like the tears I refused to shed.”

There is nothing worse than an assassin talking fashion – unless you can find an emo assassin talking alternately fashion and self-pitying rubbish chapter after chapter. Darian, I am looking at you right now.

“I looked like a Goth kid’s wet dream, sitting in my black sex-kitten outfit, sipping a rum and Coke, exuding little to no emotion on the outside while my insides writhed like angry vipers.”

My first general remark: your ego, dear girl, needs some pruning asap or one day you will die under it, literally crushed by its weight. My second general remark: if you wear a black sex-kitten outfit to work then you are not an assassin, you are a prostitute. My third general remark: you seem to be having diarrhoea and you aren’t aware of it– my commiserations.

“Even from across the apartment, his eyes held me captive. Melted caramel flecked with gold, possessing the bright glow that I knew mine had, though his were more brilliant. The smell of him permeated the air, filling my studio with a sweetness that would put a field of wildflowers to shame. His lips curled up at the corners, hinting at an arrogant smile.”

Meet Xander Peck, an overripe hottie Darian failed to murder; another jerk who will invade and foul clean air around you like an unpleasant air freshener in a dirty car. Put on your gas mask, quick!

“Abandoning my signature black, I was decked out in white from head to toe. My white-on-white striped blouse buttoned up to the swell of my breasts, with my white bra visible underneath. I’d tucked the shirt into a white pencil skirt that reached to my white satin heels and hugged my hips perfectly. Business attire, to an extent.”

Business attire? With a visible bra and satin heels? Unless, once again, you mean THAT kind of business…with an additional wedding-themed kink.

“Despite his outrage, Tyler knew I was no delicate flower. In fact, once he’d said that I could probably take on an entire company of Navy SEALs and kill them before they knew I was there. He was right, of course.”

*rolleyes* And who is a shameless, stupid braggart again? Darian of course. Honestly if your main character says such things about herself you can’t help despising her.

“But I kept my standards high, refusing to take any job that involved an innocent. The men who paid me eventually met their ends. Once or twice at my hand. I’d worked for a Russian mob boss for years, and just like the others, his luck had run out. That’s when I met Tyler.”

Who do you think you’re fooling, Darian? High standards, no innocents involved, and a Russian mob? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on. By the way who died and made you God to distinguish between innocents and guilty?

All the sins have been taken from the first part only, mind you. Add to those: an insufferable love triangle, insta-lust, nonexistent female characters other than the heroine, a very awkward, 1st person limited narration which can be put to shame by many fanfic authors, woody dialogues, infodumps galore, a freakin’ katana and you get something I mistook for a novel and is, in fact, a collection of dumbest, most obnoxious cliches.
Final verdict:
An unintelligent being with an overinflated opinion of herself gets beat up by anything not human, still never learns, and is annoyingly vulnerable to masculine good looks. And forget about the Bechdel test because who needs company of other women when there are GUYS around. Your life should completely revolve around guys even if you are that kick-ass assassin chick, right?

A DNF, nuff said.
This entry was posted in a total failure, book review, paranormal, romance, urban fantasy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Review: Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 01) by Amanda Bonilla

  1. Blodeuedd says:

    I am So glad I had the library buy it for me 😉 That way I did not pay and was disappointed

  2. I have to admit I got a little judgy when I saw the title of this book. I'm glad to know my snap judgment was correct. 🙂

  3. It was spot-on. I was misdirected by several good reviews – stupid me!

Comments are closed.