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Shades of Treason: An Anomaly Novel Kindle Edition
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Lieutenant Ramie “Ash” Ashdyn is part of a select group of individuals known as anomalies. They are stronger, faster, and smarter than your average person. They are ingrained with the need to uphold the ideologies of The Coalition above all others. Ash’s loyalty is tested when, on a mission to retrieve some very sensitive information, her entire team is killed.
Being the lone survivor immediately puts Ash on the suspect list. The suspicion doubles when she refuses to give up information gathered during the mission. What no one understands is that Ash can’t give the information. It turns out the person who killed Ash’s team also telepathically put a lock on Ash’s mind. Thinking or speaking about certain events will send her into a blackout.
When Ash signed up to join the Coalition she agreed to loyalty training. It makes Ash unable to go against the orders of her Commander, no matter how much she tries anyway. Of course Ash’s former teacher Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus is sent in to try and get the truth out of Ash. When her mind-lock proves too much for even her loyalty training, everyone figures she’s somehow turned traitor. What no one counts on is Rhys’ feelings for Ash. Even Rhys himself is loath to admit he feels more for his former student than is allowed. But because of their past, he knows Ash is innocent, and he’ll do everything he can to prove it.
Writing this review and thinking back over Shades of Treason, I wonder how much different the book would have been if Sandy Williams kept, even from readers, the fact that Ash was innocent a secret. Probably could have avoided many irritating moments from the beginning to near middle of the book where I just wanted to shout ‘Someone look at this woman and realize there’s more going on than meets the eye!’ Rhys has his gut instinct that things aren’t right, but he honestly doesn’t know what to do to help. I guess you would think for a book that takes place in the future, with all the scientific advances, people would be able to think outside the box a little bit more.
Once Ash actually has concrete evidence and people firmly on her side, the book picked up for me. Williams really did cross every t and dot every i when she wrote Ash’s restrictions. Just when I would think of how Ash could get the information across, she would squash that theory right away. Ash was the only female to ever be able to go through and complete the loyalty training set forth by the Coalition. That in a nutshell should tell you a lot about her character. But just in case: she’s a badass. It helps that Ash is in this situation where she’s extremely vulnerable and her training will only get her so far. She has to rely on others probably more than she ever has before. She becomes more relatable and I liked her quite a bit.
Rhys was also easy for me to like right off the bat. The way Ash would always bait him and he would, in turn, get flustered was great. Williams paid extra attention to Rhys finally figuring out his feelings for Ash and I liked that change of pace.
If you’re a fan of Williams’ Shadow Reader series Shades of Treason will not disappoint.
Though SHADES OF TREASON is science fiction, it really felt a lot like an urban fantasy story just in a sci-fi setting. The main character, Ash, is an anomaly. Though just what an anomaly is was never explained, anomalies are stronger, faster, and in some ways smarter than other humans. All those extra abilities made Ash feel a lot like your standard supernatural urban fantasy heroine.
SHADES OF TREASON is filled with intense battles, political intrigue, and a solid romantic subplot. Though, what really made this book shine for me were the characters. The two main characters really came to life on the page. Sandy did a wonderful job of creating realistic characters that worked well together, and were very likeable. Even the side characters were well fleshed out, and I wish I could’ve gotten to know some of them better.
This book is a five bat book with one scene that makes me take it down to a four bat book. While the characters are on the run from an enemy that has dropped bombs near their location, then sent soldiers after them, that are potentially only minutes away from finding them, and with both characters suffering injuries from broken fingers to bullet wounds, the two main characters stop running and have sex. While the scene itself is well written and even fits with the characters personalities a little bit, I just couldn't get over how dumb it was for the characters to be having sex while running for their lives. That being said I do feel that scene was necessary to create a stronger bond between the characters, I just wish there'd been a better time and place for it.
SHADES OF TREASON has a very solid ending, so I assumed that it was a stand alone book. I was thrilled to find out that this is the first book in a new series. I can’t wait to see what Ash has in store for us in the next installment of the Anomaly series. Until then, I highly recommend SHADES OF TREASON, this is a book I intend to reread many times.
But I got to agree with the hero of the story - the romance should not have happened. Not ever, under any circumstances. The definition of "handler" goes way beyond what we normally see in spy movies. You can't have an equal relationship with someone who has gone through the Anomaly loyalty training; this goes way beyond the Stockholm Syndrome. Because of this Every Time the romantic element of the story came up, my stomach churned.
And yet, I still would like to see the next in the series.