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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti

Honestly, I was torn on what to say about this book. There was part of me that was engrossed in the story that is part of a bigger plot and a part of me that was turned off at times by the characters’ behaviors. That’s why it’s taken me so long to write a review for this book, much less weigh out how I should rate it. Hopefully I give you a decent enough review to help you decide whether or not this book is for you in case you’re on the fence.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: August 30, 2016

Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Wellington was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her trust in her fellow man had gone from shaky at best to nonexistent. Her mysterious rescuer wants to convince her he’s the exception. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.

If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk. And the way his arms wrap around her tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .

To recap: Vivienne Wellington was the FBI’s best profiler, then the Scorpious Syndrome hit and Vinnie survived it only to be taken captive by someone else who survived Scorpious but came out a few straws short of sane. When she’s rescued by mystery man Raze, she knows he’s hiding something and while she’s attracted to him she refuses to trust him. Raze on the other hand is juggling a difficult decision: Do the job he was ordered to do, or make a new home among some of the survivors, and Vinnie.

Raze has been a mystery since he first arrived on the pages. It was obvious he was hiding something so that wasn’t a surprise and neither was the truth since Raze’s purpose was revealed early on. I was a bit torn on whether to like Raze or be ambivalent about him. I didn’t feel like I really got to know him as a character and what I did get to see was either just a sliver of something interesting or it didn’t cast him in a favorable light.

I didn’t know what to make of Vinnie at first. She was this combination of sweetness, light, and innocence but she quickly proved that she wasn’t a fool or anyone’s victim. She could be stubborn, forceful, and sneaky if she needed to be and that was a pretty interesting combination. She lacked a verbal filter that most characters have and it was the source of some pretty humorous moments between her and almost any other character she was with. My one complaint about Zanetti’s heroines though is that they’re not strong enough to survive on their own in a post apocalyptic world and that kind of bothers me. Does that mean that women who didn’t find a big strong man to protect them died off because they weren’t as capable as the men at surviving? Hmm.

But to me there’s a bigger issue with the heroes. They want to come off as alphas but in the case of Raze and even Jax from the first book, they’re controlling a-holes too. And the heroines eat it up like it was candy. I sure as heck don’t care for a hero who talks to a woman the way these men sometimes talked to the women they supposedly cared about. Nor do I care for a heroine who thinks it is okay for men to use their size and strength to get their way. Case in point: There’s a scene where Vinnie discovers something about Raze and when she kind of babbles on he tells her to stop talking before he beats her. Granted, I doubt he would have but still, the threat was there and I didn’t care for it. It doesn’t matter if they’re trying to “protect” these women, bullying them into submission isn’t attractive.

Maybe that’s why I didn’t feel Raze and Vinnie’s relationship as much as I should have. Their physical attraction wasn’t a problem but since Shadow Falling is a romance, I wanted there to be more development in the emotions department. That didn’t come until way later on in the book and I don’t know why it took so long because once it started to happen then the relationship became more believable and enjoyable for the most part.

Something I want to make absolutely clear though: That annoying male trait I mentioned above is present in ALMOST all of Zanetti’s heroes but NOT all. *cough*Sin Brothers series rocks *cough*

But what keeps me from saying “No Thank You” to this series is that the plot is well done and addictive and while the macho male attitude grates on my nerves, it hasn’t crossed the line into “Unacceptable,” just “Unattractive.” That’s the power of a darn good plot, it has the ability to balance out characters that can make you want to scream.

Final Verdict: Shadow Falling shows how talented Rebecca Zanetti is at building a world where there are no laws anymore and humanity is on the brink of complete collapse. Now if something could be done about the irritating macho men and the fragile women who are front and center, Zanetti would be unstoppable.

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