Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Shine (Shade, #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.


This was actually a really good ending to the series, which I am glad for.
This book concludes what the DMP wants with Aura and Zachary and them trying to get in the clear and not fess up to what they know. They find out some more things about their connection to the shade and shift and shine, and how to fix everything, among other things…
The most frustrating part of the book is probably the first, um, maybe 200 pages, where Zach has been taken away, and so we have no idea what is going on with him, and Aura has no contact with him. Mostly, I just missed him and wanted to know what they were doing to him, and it was way too long to wait. But, finally, that got mostly resolved, and Aura got to go overseas to visit him for their little vacation, and she got to meet his friend Martin, and see his parents some more, and they saw the Newgrange and all of that stuff.
Within the first almost 200 hundred pages, there wasn’t a lot of actual action (not in some of the rest of the book, either). Aura was trying not to do anything stupid, which was much better than her going out and doing something stupid (like she almost did at one point, actually). That’s one thing that I like about Aura: she isn’t stupid or rash. She knows not to blurt something out or rush into things without thinking them through. I appreciated that.
The second half of the book was mostly spent with Aura and Zach, and it was very nice (particularly the sexy scenes, as well as the sweet ones; I enjoyed those). We got to meet Martin, Zach’s gay friend, whom I actually didn’t remember being mentioned before aside from on Twitter, which is probably only due to the other books being a bit fuzzy in my mind. That’s how things tend to get with the minor characters when it’s been a while -- with Aura’s friends as well -- that they get blurry and I don’t remember who is who. But as I was saying, we got to meet Martin, who I very much enjoyed. We didn’t get to see a lot of him, but I liked what I did see. I would not mind more time getting to know Martin. (Which, I think, we might get when Zachary’s novella comes out, maybe?)
There was no Logan in this book, only in memory. He’s actually mentioned quite a few times, which I was not expecting and so was nice, but I still missed him a bit. I am happy with Aura and Zach being together now, much more settled than I was with the previous book, but I do still like Logan. (Most of this is probably because of Twitter; Logan and Zachary, and Aura, having Twitter accounts is fantastic.)
At the beginning, Aura’s friends/Logan’s family and band mates were a little blurry, but became clear as the book went on. I’m actually a little disappointed that I don’t get to see more of them. Megan and Mickey were interesting and angsty; Siobhan and Connor were cute and I wanted to get to know them more; Dylan was sweet and maybe-adorable (it’s still up-for-grabs in my head), and I liked him and wouldn’t mind getting to know him better as well (also, he said this one pretty amazing thing, where he called Zachary a “freakin’ superhero. Captain Patience or something.” I thought it was pretty adorable). I'm not sure how I felt about the romantic stuff between Dylan and Aura, and I was glad that nothing happened between them in this book (although it was cute seeing Zach get slightly jealous about them). I like Aura and Zach, maybe I just want to see Dylan with someone, since I like him, too.
As I said above, the ending was really good. Most of the action didn’t really start until the last maybe 50 pages? Which, at first, made me think that the book wasn’t going to get completed very well, but I was wrong. It wasn’t rushed, but went very smoothly. Also, I keep saying that not a lot of action happened, but I don’t mean that it was boring, or things weren’t occurring; they were, and it was exciting and interesting. It’s just that, this series is a bit more plot and character oriented than action-packed; which is definitely not a bad thing.
Oh, I guess I should mention the DMP and all of that stuff. The DMP frustrated me with how they went about things, as did their competitors and the people who made the Black boxes, and I liked how everything with them ended, and how Aura (and her friends and classmates) stood up to them. The conclusion to what they were doing was good, as was the, um, ending with Aura and Zachary and their connection with the shift (trying to keep it vague here). I was happy with it.
I really enjoyed this book, and I am definitely going to miss Aura and Zach (and Logan, and Martin, and everyone else). I’m very much looking forward to reading her other stuff/future YA releases.
(Also, I wanted to mention the covers. I preferred the original ones, not these weird new ones. They're just not as pretty to me, I guess. Plus, it bothers me that the new one doesn't match my others, all of which I have in hardback with the original artwork. I hate it when publishers change the style in the middle of a series [or, um, within of a series when it's not finished releasing]. I understand, though, that they are trying to make them more appealing to the eye. Below, tell me your thoughts on the new covers?)

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