Shades of Gray: A book review
Shades of Gray by Joleene Naylor
Shades of Gray tell the story of an ordinary girl, who through events and situations that are beyond her control ended up the object of one vampire’s devotion and an entire coven’s target.
Never in Katelina’s wildest dreams had she imagined that she would end up in the middle of a vampire war when she decided to pursue the urge to find out who brutally murdered her lover. The call she received from a stranger asked her to go to an abandoned house in a deserted part of the town; and though she decided earlier on not going she soon found herself exactly where she said she wouldn’t be and doing exactly what the stranger ask of her.
He was the most beautiful male she had ever laid eyes on…but even at the start she knew something was not right about Jorick, though she couldn’t figure out what. And even when she finally discovered who, or rather what he was she still found herself drawn towards him irresistibly.
The task that was asked of him was very simple – keep an eye on Patrick’s lover, that was all. He didn’t count on developing feelings for this charge and he certainly didn’t intend to get her stuck in the middle of the war between two opposing covens. But what was could he do, if he didn’t protect her she would surely die…
He had seen many beautiful women in his time, but none had affected him as much. She was ordinary looking, and he had been told plenty of times that she was nothing special but he had other opinions about her – something about her draws him to protect her even if it put him and others in danger.
This is certainly a refreshing plot, its realistic enough to make you believe that something like this can happen or may happen and yet fantastical enough that it’ll take you away from reality just for a moment. I love that the main characters are so realistic – Katelina was more than wary of Jorick, even feared him perhaps, yet she knew she must cling to him in order to survive. And Jorick was not the all powerful vampire that we’re used to seeing in movies and reading about in novels; yes, he was strong but not god-like.
Katelina was curious as a cat and hard-headed enough to cause the reader to want to slap her silly at times and yet if we think about how we would react to her situation you’ll understand that you would be curious as well, about what is going on around you, especially if you knew that you are being kept in the dark for a reason. Human nature dictates that we sought out what which was hidden from us and that’s exactly what she did. I love that the author allowed Jorick enough to fail at certain points in the story, it tells that he’s not perfect and at the same time he’s not the tragic character that Louis was or the god-like Lestat.
I must also mention the fight scenes in the novel; the author has a wonderful way of describing the actions, the movements and transitions as well as the emotions of the characters…so vivid are the descriptions that it transports you from the safety of your favorite easy chair to the pages of the book and back. I found myself holding my breath as I hurried to read and turn the pages to find out what happens next in the fight between Jorick and Claudius’ coven.
The novel is for those who’re looking for a beautiful vampire story, that’s dark enough to pick one’s interest and human enough to help the reader relate to what the characters are going through. The love story is believable, the action scene is exciting and the love scenes are sizzling. This is not the teenage, romantic love affair that we see with the Twilight Saga and certainly not the fantastical beyond human world of Lestat. That in itself makes this novel unique and worth the read.
My one comment though was on the cover art; though I still it’s quaint and beautifully made I think it can be improved by making it a bit darker, with sinister undertones. Make the book more eye-catching, something that readers would be drawn to and get curious about. I really, really regret that this book is not available at the bookstores, with good packaging and enough exposure this book will create an entire society of strong followers. Compared to the Twilight Saga this book is way better.
For those interested to read the novel: The book is available at Amazon.com.
Reminder: This is only the first of the series!