My thanks to Evatopia for another fun title!!
Le Dernier Espoire translates to the Last Hope, a particularly evocative and intriguing phrase hinting at good things to come. Cindy Mezni does not fail to fulfill those early indications for intrigue. In this, her first novel published in English, Mezni manages to build a world and an emotional tone that is mesmerizing as Deliah’s journey and struggles unfold before our eyes.
More than a simple YA paranormal romance, fantasy, supernatural or even coming of age story, Mezni manages to bring several elements together while revealing only the “need to know’ information, keeping readers engaged and wondering as the story unfolds.
Deliah lives in a small-ish town with her sister and grandmother: she and her sister don’t get along; in fact they are very different entirely. Since their parents died when Deliah was just a toddler, the girls have lived with their grandmother. When she, too, dies: Deliah’s troubles start to multiply. As if that wasn’t enough turmoil, a new family with three boys has moved into town, and she finds they all seem to cause some sort of reaction for her.
Leighton, Gareth and Travis Wates have come to town, and everyone is watching them. Leighton and Deliah hit it off quite well, there is a sense of protectiveness and camaraderie that the two have that broadens Deliah’s horizons and gives her a friend. Gareth, on the other hand, is someone she is attracted to yet feels she needs to run from, almost in equal measures. Deliah is young, and often I had to remind myself of that fact, several major losses in her still new existence have imbued her with a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to romantic or personal entanglements. And then there are the nightmares: waking her with questions about her parents’ deaths, leaving her with a message that she is to be the one, The Last Hope, to save the world that she knows from the world and things she didn’t believe in. Fearing for her sanity, her only respite seems to be in her friendship with Leighton, which vacillated between an overbearing approach from Leighton to a near- dependent response from Deliah.
Since so much of the story is Deliah’s, we are able to see her every feeling, thought and emotion: these tend to bounce from age-appropriate to almost adult in feel: fairly typical of her situation and age, yet there were times when the information almost felt weighty and too much. Yes, I could see the emotional turmoil, could feel it too, but there weren’t enough moments to break the onslaught of her angst. To her credit, Mezni has written a story that I can see being wholly relatable to teens and those in their early 20’s, when every emotional moment is the most important moment ever.
This story is lengthy at over 500 pages, and perhaps there were moments that could have been eliminated to the benefit of brevity, but it didn’t feel all that long to me. What I did enjoy was the lack of this jumping into a romance, giving us time to start to know the characters, and let them start to develop and unveil their layers before connections are forged. On the whole, I liked the characters and think there is much more to be revealed about them, and this story while not without a few issues that were simply an overzealous need to have the reader connect emotionally to the character of Deliah, was well worth the read and a good first installment to a promising series.
Title: Shadow's Dangers
Author: Cindy Mezni
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Evatopia Press
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible
Appearances can be deceiving…
Losing a loved one is never easy. Although Deliah learned to live without her parents when fate took them from her as a young girl, history repeats itself and causes her to face even greater challenges when Tess, the woman who raised her and was like a second mother to her, passes away. But even worse than dealing with her loss is the coinciding arrival of inexplicable nightmares that haunt Deliah’s nights.
She becomes consumed with images she didn’t understand and a recurrent dream about her parents’ car accident. Oddly, this dream details different versions from what she had always been told about the accident.
But when a new family, The Wates, arrive in town and begin to pay close attention to her, even stranger events follow. Now, Deliah must not only face her nightmares, but the possibility that a world she never suspected exists. And this world may cost her everything.
A copy of this title was provided via Evatopia for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.