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Shades of Gray Paperback – September 29, 2009
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Dark, stunning and mysterious, Shades of Gray breaks through the barriers of modern writing and revitalizes the vampire genre for a new generation. Unlike modern, feeble vampire stories directed at teenagers and Hollywood, Shades of Gray takes us back to a time when vampires were still deadly creatures of the night and love knew no bounds. With the same dedication to the true vampire genre that authors such as Stephen King (Salem's Lot) and Anne Rice (Queen of the Damned) write with, Joleene Naylor, in her first book, Shades of Gray, has captured the very essence of their darkness, the depths of their emotions, and reminded us of the horrifying reality of what it means to be a vampire.
In this first installment of the Amaranthine Series, we are introduced to the two, main characters, Jorick and Katelina ; eternally bound souls who are also victims, caught helplessly between the worlds of light and darkness. Jorick, a vampire trapped in a world he despises, must break the code of his own kind in order to protect a mortal; while Katelina will be forced to choose between the emptiness of her life in the world above, or be further drawn into a tangled web of conflict and deception amongst the warring vampires.
In a time of lust, hatred, betrayal and greed, these two souls will have to face the awesome powers of the vampire clans and their minions, in an all-out battle. But, if they are to find their way through the darkness, they'll also have to overcome their own, inner demons, where they may even be lucky enough to find an unexpected spark of passion waiting to be ignited. When vampires and humans mix together, what happens next is not pleasant; when light and dark combine as one, there is sure to be pain and suffering.
Yet, out of the darkness, the light will shine. From suffering, new strengths shall be discovered. From war, unexpected heroes shall arise. And, in this first book from the Amaranthine Series, you will embark on an epic journey through the forbidden world that exists only in your nightmares.
The author, Joleene Naylor, has crossed boundaries that very few authors ever dare approach. She has taken the publishing world by storm with tremendous courage, writing her story in the only way it could be: unbound by the barriers of modern society and political correctness. Naylor has a refreshing and talented approach to writing with her unique and uninhibited style that is thoroughly exhilarating. Straying from the modern storylines that tend to poison the vampire genre, Naylor has brought to life the frightening world of vampires through her accurately detailed and vividly graphic depictions of their dark natures. She has remained true and loyal to the most dedicated of vampire fans around the world. This is not your Hollywood-induced, watered-down tale of vampires. Rather, Shades of Gray is a blood-curdling, epic saga that is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat and infiltrate the darkest corners of your soul. The only thing you'll be wanting at the end of this book - is the next one! --Townhall.com, D. Kennedy, November 26, 2009
About the Author
Joleene Naylor is the author of the glitter-less Amaranthine series, a world where vampires aren’t for children. As a compliment to the novel series, she has also written several short stories, including the Vampire Morsels collection, and has plans for an Amaranthine Encyclopedia. In her spare time, Joleene is a freelance book cover designer and for-fun photographer. She maintains several blogs full of odd ramblings, and occasionally updates her website at JoleeneNaylor.com. She and her husband live in Villisca, Iowa near the famous – and reportedly haunted - “axe murder” house. Though she enjoys the paranormal, she refuses to invite the ghosts for a visit. Between the cats, dogs, and turtles, her house is full enough.
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Top customer reviews
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I won’t lie. I do enjoy reading about the sparkly vampires. But I also like reading about the scary ones. And in this world, the vamps are truly terrifying. I found myself getting so caught up in Katelina’s story that at times I found myself breathless. When your heart rate spikes in fear for a fictional character, I think that author has done their job well!
I give Shades of Gray 5 stars!
In “Shades of Gray (Amaranthine Book 1)”, Katelina is plunged into a nightmare, unable to contact friends or family, separated from home and work. Worse, her only protector is also a vampire, and he’s way more dangerous than the sparkly sort.
Joleene Naylor’s first Amaranthine book goes back to the good old days of vampires: They’re vile, merciless, and see humans as only food or slaves, just as vampires should. And although Jorick does seem to be one of the (or maybe the only) good ones, “good” is relative in this series’ cold, gory world. The first book is dark and violent—and well told—and hints and big things to come.
I did have trouble with the main character's inaction, but not because she wasn’t written well—far from it. Katelina spends much of the book in a state of shock, and who wouldn’t? Terrible things happen to her at every turn. So, while Katelina’s struggles with helplessness and hopelessness aren’t something I enjoyed, they came because Naylor stayed true to her character, rather than giving her an unbelievable transformation into an action hero halfway through. Just the same, I hope Katelina catches some breaks in future books!
Katelina was a normal young woman who was in a on again off again relationship with Patrick. She comes home one day to find Patrick brutally murdered.
Unbeknownst to her, Patrick was in a world of vampires with ancient laws, cruelty and unspeakable terrors.
Katelina is suddenly drawn into the grips of danger when she is offered protection from Jorick. He wants to protect her. They travel to escape the danger from a powerful coven master who is wanting revenge for kidnapping his child bride.
However, forces in Jorick’s own circle turn against him, and he has to fight to free Katelina from the monsters that has encased her.
My thoughts about Shades of Gray
When I started to read this book on my Kindle, I sort of had a preview into Ms. Naylor’s Amaranthine Series from reading her book of short stories about the characters called, Amarnthine: Vampire Morsels.
That really didn’t prepare me for the roller-coaster that was awaiting me. There were parts of the book that had me riveted. I can’t even tell you how descriptive Ms. Naylor writes. It is fluent and elaborate. Nothing is over-looked. I sometimes felt uneasy reading how debased some of the vampires were.
My favorite part was reading about the sulking and hunky, Jorick. Different from most heros, Jorick has tons of skeletons in his closet… literally.
Katelina is suspicious and rightly so, but she is strangely enthralled by Jorick.
I didn’t understand why Katelina was so willing to go with Jorick. I didn’t understand why Jorick is so protective of Katelina. Nevertheless, I’m reading on to the second book in the Amaranthine Series called Legacy of Ghosts. The more I read, the more I am enlightened. I intend to read the whole series.
I recommend Shades of Gray by Author Joleene Naylor. It is a MUST READ for any “Vampite” like myself.
Shades of Gray is a FIVE STAR read!
By the way, definitely an 18+ read.
I am completely sucked into the world of Jorick, Katelina & Co. It's got every element that I enjoy. This isn't your boring, sappy vampire/human love story. Although love is involved, so is heartache, war, complications and so much more. I love ballsy authors, and Joleene Naylor is not afraid to "go there", where some won't.
If you're looking for a smooth love ride and easily offended, then I wouldn't recommend this. If you like your vampires to behave like vampires, sleep in coffins, stay out of the sun, etc., and if you want to read something amazing, original and full of substance then click "buy now" and get started! You won't regret it.
With all that being said, I've got book 3 to finish up and the rest of the series awaiting. :D