Friday, May 24, 2013

Haze by Paula Weston

"But what if we can’t find Jude?" 
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."
"How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember. 
"Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to."

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed. 

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive. 

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

I loved paula's debut, Shadows, so, so much (despite it not sounding like a me kind of book). It was addictive and intelligent and sexy as anything. I was stalking my mail box for the sequel to arrive and, you guys, the wait was more than worth it. I loved Haze even more than Shadows. 

Straight up: I read this within a 24 hour period, finishing it at 4am. Those are the kind of reading memories I love, being so into a book I cannot turn my light out until I turn that last bittersweet page. 

Haze leaves off straight after the events of Shadows and I was instantly pulled back into Gaby's world. The plot takes you to places you will not expect. Not just in terms of plot twists and revelations  but Weston manages to incorporate so many vivid and unique settings -- from fictional Pan Beach (Queensland coastal town) to Dubai,  to the island of Patmos, to Melbourne, to the cornfields of Iowa and beyond... I felt like I was travelling the world, the sights and sounds are dazzling. (Also! Bungee jumping in Switzerland. I KNOW.)

This Aussie book has everything I love about Aussie YA: there is something in the water and Weston has so tapped into it. Her characters are three dimensional. The prose is eloquent without being flowery. Weston writes with so much vitality, life springs from the pages. The dialogue is snappy and authentic. 
Emotions run high and ring true. The action is swift and tense and believable. There's a lot of arse-kicking, on both sides. The danger is real, the stakes are high and the Rephaim deliver. I'm still reeling...

Rafa. 

[Let's take a moment here to pause...]

He brought the swoon in Shadows, smouldering and sexy and dangerous and completely enigmatic. In Haze, Weston turns the heat up *fans self* while also peeling a few layers back. There are these little peeks into his soul, when his guard is down, that show so much more than meets the eye. I mean, could he get any hotter? Those glimpses of vulnerability and compassion slew me. 

Gaby and Rafa are everything I love about romance. They are still sizzling on this crazy slow burn which just kills me. Sparks fly and the sexual tension is palpable. At the same time, Weston shows seasoned restraint, she adds depth, creates tension, gives these delicious moments to get your pulse racing and then amps up the mystery between them again. She knows when to tease and when to reveal and it's a delicate, maddening perfect dance between those two and the readers. 

There are so many shades of grey in Gaby's world. Who can she trust? Who was she before? Her relationships with the other Rephaim are constantly shifting. I love that. I love how Weston keeps us on our toes with the history and loyalties between Gaby and everyone else.  

My favourite plot-lines are concerning Gaby and her past: her brother and her search for him. Rafa and their history. In these moments I ache for Gaby, tough but vulnerable, lost and thrown into this crazy world of non-stop action. She barely has a chance to come to grips with everything amongst the chaos that is erupting around her. I want so much for her to find her answers, to find her happiness, to feel like she has a place in her world.        

The rights to this four book series have been sold to both the UK and the US. I am so pumped there are still two more books to come. I have no idea where Weston will take us next but I know I am so on board with whatever she has planned. I cannot recommend this series enough. 

p.s. Be on the look out for more Foo Fighters.
p.p.s. That cliff-hanger! Way to end on this crazy, adrenalin moment...   

Haze is out in Australia now!


Thanks so much to Text publishing for my review copy x

4 comments:

  1. "being so into a book I cannot turn my light out until I turn that last bittersweet page. " - THAT WAS ME TOO!!!!

    Love, love, loved this book! LOVED! And I understand your pain with the cliffhanger. I need #3, like, yesterday :)

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  2. I love this review so much Nomes! As you know I loved Shadows as much as you did, so I'm so glad that Paula has upped her game even more with Haze. It all sounds fantastic, the different settings and the sizzling chemistry between Rafa and Gaby! I can't wait :)

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  3. Australian books = perfection. I'm just throwing it out there. Nomes, the fact that you mentioned you simply couldn't put this book down has me dying to read it. Like you, that is the type of literary experience I want. I want something in which I'm so invested I simply can't break free. Absolutely wonderful review :)

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  4. Oh man, I am intrigued! Angel type books are not usually my thing, but we have quite a similar taste in books, I think, so I will definitely be checking this one out, at least when it's released in North America or sooner if I can find an ebook available over here. (wow, run-on sentence much? lol)

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Thanks for the commenty love :)

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