I have to be completely honest – it took me a while to get into this book. But once I finally got into it, I couldn’t put it down. Here is my review of Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson.
When I say that it took me a while to get into it, I think it was mostly my fault, not the book’s fault. I was busy reading for the podcast and wasn’t focusing as much as I usually do. I started over after reading the first few chapters and I’m really glad I did – there were lots of details that I had just glossed over. Has this ever happened to you?
On to the review. The main character is Eric, a high school senior growing up in a small town. This town is full of secrets though (what small town isn’t?). Eric isn’t entirely human. He’s a shade, one of the Dark. His shade identity, Shoman, has a whole host of special powers and fighting abilities. This is a good thing, since there is a prophesy stating that one of the Dark and one of the Light will come together and battle to the death. The losing side will loose not only their powers, but their identities as well.
The champion for the Dark is known as the first descendant. Guess who it is! It’s Eric, of course. Eric knows all of the Dark, since his father is one of the Elders and he’s been around them and training with them his entire life. To his surprise, Eric comes upon an unknown shade one night, standing alone by the river. He has no idea who she is, but he’s drawn to her in ways that he doesn’t understand. And of course, she is a key to everything either working out for the best or going horribly wrong.
This book was pretty good, once I could get my head wrapped around it. It’s pretty obvious who the unknown shade is (the second POV character, a girl named Jessica), but watching her discover it for herself is an interesting journey. The only real complaint I had about the book is that each of the shades has two names – one for their human form and one for their shade form (Eric/Shoman, Teresa/Camille, Jonathan/Pierce – just a few examples). Several times, the two names would be used interchangeably in a scene, when one of the names had only been introduced once or twice before. At times it was hard to tell how many people they were actually talking about. Again, that could have just been me not being able to concentrate, but it did get confusing until I finally got most of them straightened out.
I really enjoyed the mythology that Thompson created here, but I’m hoping she goes into even more detail in the next book. I want to know more about the shades and where they come from! I also thought that it was interesting that the Dark were the good guys, while the Light was evil. Definitely the opposite of what we’re used to seeing.
So if you’re in the mood for an urban fantasy story with slight paranormal romance-y leanings, give this a read.