Review: “Shadow’s Awakening” by Molle McGregor

Attraction Inflation in Magical Romances.

There is an element of magic in any good Romance. Love strikes and takes us into a realm where we transcend the normal male-female attraction, where we fantasize that there can be some emotion on a higher plane than everyday love. The best Romance writers spend a lot of thought and talent on making us believe that this is possible, allowing us to share in it. On those terms, “love at first sight,” is an easy cop-out, to be used sparingly and with discretion.

It is tempting, as a writer of the Paranormal, to go even one easier: use the magic in the story to create a super-attraction that achieves this end in one fell swoop. You have two characters who are destined for each other, like yin and yang, and nothing in the universe or multiverse can ever part them.

Okay, fine. So you did that in the first paragraph when they meet. Where’s the suspense? Where’s the slow, agonizing buildup? Where’s the sexual tension between the protagonists? I mean, if Lizzie and Mr. Darcy didn’t hate each other at first sight, where would the Pride and Prejudice come in?

Which is a lot of time to spend explaining a flaw in an otherwise great novel.
“Shadow’s Awakening” is the story of a world where humans live their everyday lives, unaware that they are preyed upon by Vorati: demons who live on the radiation of human emotions, notably pain and hate. Protecting them are two groups of magical humans, the Shadows and the Warders. Complicating this scenario is the fact that the Shadows and the Warders haven’t spoken to each other for a thousand years or so. Completely forbidden, no explanation (if you find that unrealistic, look at the history of Ireland).

Without going into more detail, the plot revolves around a Shadow and a Warder who are thrown together by circumstance and find themselves drawn to each other. In a big way (see magical attraction above). It is so obvious that these two are destined for romance that the reader doesn’t become concerned about it.

Fortunately this lack of suspense is balanced by the Paranormal conflict, which includes great fight scenes, intrigue in high places, treachery, misplaced loyalty and unearned distrust, all combined with a writing skill that brings the whole story to a searing climax. And that’s besides the sex.

So we have a story with an imbalance. The Paranormal is great. The Romance is a little too much, “let’s get the games over so we can go to the sex scene,” as I went on about earlier. Not that the sex scenes aren’t worth getting to.

Highly recommended for adult Paranormal fans, and I think regular Romance readers will enjoy it as well.

And while you’re at it, there is a prequel novella, “Shadow’s Passion” available on Amazon that is worth reading first; it puts you in the picture, it’s a complete story in itself, and it’s free. Warning; you might get hooked!

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