Source: Tantor Media/Audiobook Jukebox – I received this in exchange for an honest review.
Series: Shadows of Salem #1
Narrator: Angela Dawe
Edition: Audiobook, 6 Hours 30 Minutes
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Chicago Police Detective Brooke Chandler is keeping a secret… and if she’s not careful, it could get her killed.
Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancé dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play.
Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible.
If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know?
There are days when I just need a paranormal fantasy novel, there is something so comforting about the genre even with all its cliches and pitfalls. There are times when I just need to see someone unceremoniously dunked into a pool full of danger, weird creatures, and hot guys…Shadow Born filled that need perfectly!
Brooke is a cop from Chicago, who has a little gift that allows her to see memories attached to things she touches. She’s been up against vampires but when she gets to Salem she learns that the paranormal scene is a hell of a lot deeper than just the occasional witch or bloodsucker. She works to uncover the truth behind her fiance’s death and learns a lot about herself along the way. In some ways, Shadow Born is kind of typical of the UF genre, but I don’t mind typical as long as it’s fun and has a cast of characters I want to see more of. Brooke is mouthy and thanks to her fiance’s death she’s more than a little angry, but she’s also driven and more than willing to offer help to those who need it. She’s a bit reckless at times but I like that she follows her gut and doesn’t allow anyone to get her way, powerful or not. Maddock takes a bit of time to get used to, as he keeps his distance from Brooke but by the end of the book I really wanted to know more about him.
The world building is on the light side as Brooke is more of an outsider to the world of paranormal despite her power. We do get to see parts of it, but this book felt more like and introduction to the different races and players in Salem and while we do see some major conflict happening we don’t get a ton of history on any of them. We get to know more about Brooke’s ability, but we don’t get a ton of information other than a name and some speculation. I really hope book two goes into more detail on that matter.
Angela Dawe is the narrator and does a phenomenal job with it. She does some fantastic male voices and Maddock’s accent is perfection.
I’m looking forward to seeing where the second book goes and if the world building gets a bit fuller. As I said it’s on the standard side but I still think it was a fun audio to listen to and definitely one to check out if you enjoy paranormal fantasy.