- Series: Novel of the Shadowspawn (Book 3)
- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Roc; First Ed edition (May 7, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780451464514
- ISBN-13: 978-0451464514
- ASIN: 0451464516
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,451,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shadows of Falling Night: A Novel of the Shadowspawn Hardcover – May 7, 2013
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She’s back.... Near-purebred Homo nocturnus Adrian Brézé and his human mate, Ellen, thought they had dealt with his twin sister, Adrienne. In fact, they thought she was dead. But she survived and now leads a faction of the Shadowspawn—the ancient, shape-shifting, blood-drinking breed who secretly control the world—that wants to leave just enough of the human race alive to satisfy their hunger and serve their needs. She has nothing but hatred and contempt for her brother, who remains on the side of humanity, fighting with the Brotherhood against the Shadowspawn. To defeat him, she has suborned his mentor—the greatest warrior of the Brotherhood. The man thinks he’s bringing a weapon to the Council of Shadows that will wipe out the Shadowspawn’s leaders. In truth, his actions will make Adrienne demon-goddess of the world...unless Adrian and Ellen can turn him back in time
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But the main thread, the conflict between Adrian and Adrienne symbolized by Ellen in their midst, is tied off--for now. The twins have been settled, and the host of smaller characters have all had their chance to deal with life and move on, or die.
From the pivotal Ellen Tarnowski through the much less developed characters of Jack Farmer (Brotherhood) and Dmitri Pavlovitch Usov (Council of Shadows), they rampage, slink, stalk and race through the pages of this elaborate story, each one focused on their part of the puzzle and their immediate surroundings.
Adrian and Adrienne are dark sister, less-dark brother. Raised together until their early teen years, Adrian was kidnapped by the brotherhood and re-educated to humanity. Adrienne, safe in the arms of her horrible family, develops along the normal shadowspawn pathways of careless dominance, and a vision of humanity as cattle. (Though I've never thought of having a chat with the heifer before eating it alive, and enjoying its death-throes. And wearing a jacket made out of the leather and discussing the interesting conversations before death.)
Gentle, intelligent, and athletic, Ellen was intrigued by Adrian, kidnapped by Adrienne, works to rescue herself and brings out important information for the resistance fighting. Her getaway on the back of a sabertoothed tiger was in the finest of pulp traditions. Her subsequent induction into the fight and the active part she takes in bringing down the loathed Adrienne round her out nicely.
The host of "minor" characters are only minor by comparison to the three major characters. We watch Monica, Adrienne's long time Lucy, evolve her ability to accept and internalize Adrienne's world view of herself... and Monica changes, and grows, in startling and unexpected ways.
Harvey, Anjali and Jack, Brotherhood fighters against the bearers of the Dark Sun Shadowspawn, must also change, adapt, or die. They are instrumental in rescuing the physicist Peter Boase, and then go rogue... but the lines are so odd, what is rogue? And how will it impact the final showdown?
Santa Fe policeman and detective Eric Salvador and former Brèzè lucy, Eusebia; Cheba Cortines, join Peter, racing through Europe in the winter, trying to hook up with Adrian and escort his twins to him.
And finally, all the threads come together in Tbilisi as the Council of Shadows begin their discussion of which way to take world dominination and Adrian and Ellen activate their plan, in the teeth of Adrienne's quite solid opposition.
The final outcome is not what anyone expects... but the clues were all there... as far back as the first book
As it opens, Adrienne has co opted Adrian's mentor in the Brotherhood, Harvey, who is bringing a small nuke to Tbilisi where the Council is to meet. Adrian and his human wife Ellen are trying to find him and stop him. Most interesting is the Orient Express train that the Shadowspawn had made that took them from Paris to Istanbul, even having a steam locomotive.
More than in the first two books, the minor characters carried the book. At times the story seemed disjointed. It really seemed like, in some paragraphs, POV shifted with no real warning. Did any of this have to do with Stirling's accident? I truly cannot say.
I did not like the ending as I think it really tore apart the nature of the relationship between Adrian and Ellen. If Stirling decides to go forward with another Shadowspawn novel in this timeline, it will end up being very different than where it started.
Overall, this was a GOOD story. However, the first two books were MUCH better.