Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Seconds Before Sunrise, the second book in author’s Shannon A. Thompson’s Timely Death Trilogy, continues the epic tale of Light versus Dark, at the centre of which is the heatfelt love story between the Shades Eric and Jessica. It has a compelling and addictive narrative which explores the elemental themes of good versus evil, love and self-sacrifice and fate versus free-will. All lovers of paranormal and fantasy romance are advised to check out this series so that they do not miss out on a fantastic reading experience.
“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”
Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war. Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.
Please note that my review contains some spoilers for Minutes Before Sunset. If you plan to read this series, you may therefore wish to check out my review of this first (click on the title for the link).
In the previous instalment, Minutes Before Sunset, we met Eric Welborn, who as the First Descendant, Shoman in his Shade form, is destined to battle to the death with the Descendant of Light, enemies of the Dark, to safeguard the fate of his kind. Eric found out that the unknown Shade, ignorant of her birthright, whom he trained to develop and control her powers, and Jessica Taylor, a new student at his high school, are one and the same. Not only that, but Jessica and Eric fall in love, a love that threatens the approaching battle as Jessica’s very existence, as the third Descendant, could jeopardise his victory. To protect Eric and his mission, as well as Jessica, the Shade Elders remove her memories of what she is and her relationship to Eric.
Seconds Before Sunrise continues the tale of Jessica and Eric and the approaching confrontation between Dark and Light. I particularly loved how the author delves into Jessica’s psyche to illustrate that she is aware that all is not well as she feels that something is missing. It is only in her subconscious mind, through frequent and vivid nightmares, that she maintains a tenuous link to past events and the present menace which she somehow senses. Although she is weakened by her memory loss and does not comprehend what her dreams are about or why she is having them, her inner strength compels her to find out their meaning. At the same time Jessica cannot help but be drawn to Eric Wellborn, the taciturn and mysterious boy in her class……
Eric struggles to maintain the required distance between them for her safety as well as that of his people but Jessica and fate have other ideas. Jessica also has to contend with male attention from other quarters and danger is ever present. The tension ratchets up after Eric’s accident, secrets unravel and the plot becomes darker and more sinister as the final battle looms.
Once again I loved how Shannon Thompson created and maintained suspense throughout the tale as neither the Light nor the Dark recognise each other in their human form. Protection of this human identity is paramount for safety and cannot be compromised. Although the reader is familiar with the human form of the characters who represent the Dark, the identities of those who are fighting for the Light is not revealed, which keeps the reader guessing and adds tension. Another successful plot device is that the chapters are written either from the POV of Jessica or Eric, which gives a deep insight into their motivations and emotions. The novel also contains many vivid and imaginative paranormal scenes which transport the reader into the worlds of the Light and the Dark.
The supporting characters are well drawn, from the adults to Eric and Jessica’s fellow pupils. We can only guess at their true identity and nature. Although I have my own opinions as to who is Eric’s arch nemesis, the Descendant of Light, I know that such is the skill of this author that I am likely to be surprised when his identity and those of others are revealed.
Seconds Before Sunrise is a truly emotional and compulsive read, with a suspenseful and fascinating plot that becomes darker as we approach the climax and I am itching to know how the series will conclude! I recommend it to readers of both adult and young adult paranormal romance.
To read an interview with Shannon A. Thompson in which she answers a series of questions about her inspiration for her work, her writing process and more and to read an excerpt from Seconds Before Sunrise, in advance of its publication,click here.
To read an earlier post, in which Shannon talks about her inspiration behind the series, please click here.
Cover artist Viola Estrella