"A riveting SF action/romance sequel to GABRIEL'S GHOST - Utterly Fantastic!"
When we last left Chasidah Bergren, former pride of the
Sixth Fleet, and Gabriel Sullivan, a rare human
Kyi-Ragkiril, in GABRIEL'S GHOST they had just destroyed an
illegal jukor lab on Marker and had barely escaped with
their lives, thanks largely to Chaz's ex-husband, Admiral
Philip Guthrie, and her estranged brother Thad. Both men now
knew Sully's secret, a secret that could jeopardize both of
their lives. They had also learned that the political
corruption went all to the top of the Imperial government,
with First Barrister Darius Tage who they had trusted
unquestionably with the most sensitive information pulling
the strings along with Sully's cousin, Hayden Burke, who had
been endowed with the Sullivan fortune and intended to keep
it. Power corrupts and it will affect the heroes as well as
the villains in their next incredible adventure, SHADES OF DARK.
When we pick up their story, the Boru Karn is on a mission
to destroy a second, space bound, jukor lab but they are not
exactly sure where to locate it. Guardian Drogue, an
Englarian Monk and Sully's former mentor, had arranged for
them to meet with an informant known only as Dell on
Narfial. When Chaz taps into a news beacon, her largest
concern is that information regarding Sully's feared and
abhorred talents had been broadcast across the galaxy. If
that were the case, their connections would rapidly dry up
and Sully would face unbearable rejection from every one
whose respect he had earned or whose trust he had carefully
cultivated, including his crew. The news is not good.
Although there is no mention of Sully's genetic aberration,
Chaz learns that her brother has been imprisoned, and knows
that Tage and Burke will stop at nothing to get the
information they want from him. Should Thad resist, a
Stolorth Ragkiril would glean his knowledge the hard way.
Either way Thad was dead man. Although Chaz is torn with the
strong need to rescue her brother, her Fleet training kicks
in, and she knows that the needs of the many supercedes the
needs of the one. They must get to Del ASAP before the
damning information is revealed.
Sully agrees, but more trouble soon follows. When they are
intercepted by a Farosian Infiltrator, it becomes painfully
obvious that a trusted member of his own crew had betrayed
their trust. Painful as it may be, Sully knows he must break
his hard and fast rule about probing his friends' minds and
discovers the culprit.
Sully's fears regarding the confrontation are justifiable.
Kyi-Ragkirils are highly motivated by strong emotions, both
pleasure and pain. His relationship with Chaz, his bondmate,
has strengthened his power radically and he doesn't know
what's happening to him or how to control it. It frightens
him. Predictably he loses control during the interrogation
and Chaz is forced to take drastic action.
With the conspirator confined, the Karn proceeds to the
rendezvous point. Another surprise awaits them in Del, one
who will test Sully beyond anything he could ever have
imagined, putting both his personal ethics and his
relationship with Chaz into question. The Kyi is seductive
and Sully's new mentor is not endowed with human morality.
What price will these lovers pay for his assistance?
I have read books that I couldn't put down before, but
nothing has compared to the experience of reading SHADES OF
DARK. I found myself hurtling through space, experiencing
every twist, every emotion, every betrayal and every
victory. There were moments (many) in which Del made my
flesh crawl, as his culture and will collided with Chaz and
Sully's. Yet in the end he was honorable in his own way.
Chaz's self control astounded me, while her compassion left
me completely in awe. Sully, what can I say, this is a trial
by fire for him and he emerges sadder but wiser. Granted he
makes grave errors on the way to finding himself but there
is nothing he will not do in order to redeem himself. The
love he and Chaz share is inspirational.
All I can say is wow, this book should win every literary
award on the planet, and then some. If you read one SF
romance this year, make it SHADES OF DARK. And if you
haven't yet read GABRIEL'S GHOST run, don't walk, to the
nearest bookstore and read it first. BTW fans of this series
- get excited! Ms. Sinclair is currently working on a story
for Admiral Philip Guthrie, which she is calling HOPE'S
FOLLY. I personally cannot wait.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 30, 2008
**2008 PEARL WINNER - BEST SCIENCE FICTION OR FANTASY**
**A PNR Staff Top Pick**
For two fugitive lovers, space has no haven, no mercy, no light - only...SHADES OF DARK
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.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Futuristic, Sci-Fi