This has been a tumultuous series for me to read. I absolutely loved the first book in the series only to fall so disappointed in the second book after waiting for almost a year for it to come out. Now another year later and the third book came out and I found myself not sure I wanted to continue. While I am glad I did, there were some issues that kept me from enjoying it completely.
Phantom Shadows is Sebastian’s story. And yes, you really need to read these books in order as the author relies on you knowing what has happened. She doesn’t go back much to rehash things, which is my first issue with the series. The books are so far apart in release dates, that I frankly barely remember the stories, let alone the fine details that she expects you to remember.
Sebastian is an Immortal ,who in book one believed he was a vampire on his way to madness. In this world, there is a vampire virus. A select group of people are affected differently by the virus. They become Immortals and don’t grow crazy over time from the virus, unlike vampires. Vampires start off lucid and grow crazy. I don’t remember all the details, but for some reason Sebastian thought he was a vampire, wanted revenge on the Immortal Roland, built an army of vampires and kidnapped Roland’s mate, Sarah, and supposedly murdered an Immortal.
So as you can imagine, Sebastian isn’t really liked around the Immortal houses or compounds. During this time, three of Sebastian’s vampires agreed to help the Immortals try to find a cure for the virus, so they were sequestered in a secret compound. Melanie, the heroine of this story, befriends the vampires and works hard at a cure. But during this time, one of the vampires goes crazy and begs for Sebastian to kill him. Sebastian breaks into the compound to honor that wish, thus making him even more enemies. But through it all, he never hurt Melanie.
So that is a lot of back story without giving any spoilers to the series…right? Oh, yeah, Immortals usually have a special gift. Sebastian can feel emotions by touching someone. Humans who have the potential to be Immortals are called Gifted Ones. Not all Gifted Ones become Immortals.
Then there is Seth and David, who are the oldest Immortals and have a lot more “gifts” than any Immortal. We learn some about both of these guys in this book, but still the mystery surrounding them continues.
Bastian is feeling the attraction to Melanie. She is never afraid of him, so he often rebuffs her so the others won’t shun her for liking him. She also has his deep respect for how she works with the vampires when no one else wants to. Through a lot of events, these two keep getting put together and Melanie just won’t let him go. She isn’t scared or ashamed by what she feels. Bastian continually pushes her away, until some events make it impossible for him to do that.
The fight scenes are intense as they are looking for Emerys, the evil one who dissected Ami. Ami isn’t human and she isn’t Immortal. You have to read book 2 to learn more about her. But Ami and Sebastian are friends…almost like brother and sister, much to several Immortals surprise and confusion. So Emerys is out causing havoc trying to get his hands on vampires, but in particular an Immortal. Several times we get intense fight scenes putting many characters in jeopardy.
I can’t say I hated Sebastian in books one and two, I just didn’t care for his character. We find out he is hiding a sensitive, loving side that he covers so well. He is truly misunderstood, but he also doesn’t go out of his way to correct that problem. In fact, he has snark and cat fighting well under control.
The other big issue I had was it seemed they made the same mistake a couple of times putting Melanie in harms way more than once. I saw the climax coming and it wasn’t a twisty, make me figure out the issue. Also, you don’t see what they do to the bad guys, but you know it was good.
Why do I recommend this series:
- I love a group of people coming together and while they are not blood related, they create a family.
- That even someone we think is irredeemable can be redeemed.
- Kick ass Immortals with all the right moves.
- Undying love and how each person would do anything to save their other half.
- The mystery behind what or who Seth is…that is my biggest question.
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