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Shades of Dark Mass Market Paperback – July 29, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. RITA winner Sinclair's sequel to 2005's Gabriel's Ghost mixes space opera with romance, carrying forward the story of tough ex-Fleet Capt. Chasidah Chaz Bergren and her renegade pirate/smuggler lover, Gabriel Ross Sully Sullivan. The interstellar Empire is toppling and its enemies are illegally breeding merciless jukors, or war creatures. When Chaz's brother, Thad, is arrested, she fears he'll be forced to reveal Sully's secret: Sully is a superpowered psychic like the ancient and feared Stolorth. Chaz's ex-husband, Fleet Adm. Philip Guthrie, and a high-ranking, powerful and seductive Stolorth join Chaz and Sully's colorful crew as they plan a desperate raid to free Thad and destroy the jukor labs. The pace might be slow for SF fans, with long interpersonal conversations and erotic encounters outweighing the few bits of action and political intrigue, but the smashing climax will please everyone. (Aug.)
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“Mixes space opera with romance ... the smashing climax will please everyone.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
Top customer reviews
Watching Gabriel struggle against the insidious evil beckoning him is heartbreaking, seeing his shame and hopelessness, and, ultimately, his selflessness. I understand the decision Chas made, I even applaud her for it, she stays true to herself and to her principles, but, oh, did that hurt.
Well done on the ending too, I wasn't sure how Ms. Sinclair was going to pull it off. I needed these two to get their happily ever after, even if it's not how they would have imagined it.
While the first book was a standalone, this book should not be read as a standalone. Read [book:Gabriel's Ghost|352726] first. That said, this is a well-written and completely engaging sequel, Ms. Sinclair didn't take any short-cuts. It appears this is the final book focused on Sully and Chas.
The book has a few bad words, not as many as the first, and a couple of intimate scenes.
Chaz and Sully are hunting a ship breeding monsters before those monsters are released and started hunting them, so their hands are already kept busy. But when Chaz hacks into an Imperial drone for news, she learns that her brother, Thad, has been stripped of command and is being held for questioning (about her and Sullivan) before he is executed for treason. They know it is a ploy, by Sully's cousin Hayden Burke, to draw them out of hiding, but it still works.
They must locate and join forces with Admiral Philip Guthrie (Chaz's ex-husband) and Del (a full powered Kyi-Ragkiril too attracted to Chaz) if the fractured Empire is to have any chance of surviving.
***** This story has long been in the making and I had high expectations of it. I am happy to say that am not disappointed in the least. There are a few times the story got slow, but these sections are filled with much needed information. Such as in life, not everything is nice and tidy. The author can decide to end the tale right here, right now, or publish another novel and continue this amazing adventure. I sincerely hope to see these characters again.
The character of Sully/Gabriel can sound confusing while reading the synopsis; however, readers need not fear becoming confused. The story is crystal clear and flows smoother than silk. Author Linnea Sinclair is a natural when it comes to giving her characters multiple major problems while keeping her story easy to understand and hard to pull away from. Fantastic! *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
The pacing is less sure and quick as the earlier book. Jumping in space tends to slow things down. Also the chain of events isn't obvious or directed. Chaz and Sully leave her brother's fate in others' hands because they need to meet with their source; and other events also break into the action, distracting from the focus. The elements were interesting on their own, but didn't seem to be building towards the climax in a coherent manner.
I wasn't as caught up by the characters and the plot as much as in the first book. The action was still strong and the characters sympathetic, however. Everything got a lot more interesting by the end, though, and makes me curious about any sequels.
I believe that this book is still science fiction even though it contains what others might call paranormal experiences because Ms Sinclair proves a believable basis for the experiences.
There are 5 books involving the "Dock 5 Universe". You don't have to read them in order with the exceptionof this book, Shades of Dark. Shades of Dark should be read after Gabriel's Ghost.