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REVIEW: Gift of Shadows – Amir Lane

Gift of Shadows

Title: Gift of Shadows

Series: Barrier Witch Trilogy Book One

Author: Amir Lane

Genre: Urban Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Publisher: Self

Pages: 216

Reviewer: Aethena, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Why would anyone try to murder a phoenix?

A corpse with no eyes bursts into flames before Toronto’s Special Crimes Detective Fairuz Arshad can investigate. Her superiors are ordering her to close the case before it’s even been opened, and it isn’t the only one. She tracks down a siren and a faerie, both missing organs and brushed off by the police. Fairuz and her dryad partner, Rowan, suspect there’s more to this mystery than it appears. The evidence points to a string of parahuman murders, with all the victims missing organs.

The police are covering up the crimes, and Fairuz realizes the killer may be one of their own. As Rowan joins the ranks of those keeping secrets from her, the list of people Fairuz trusts grows smaller. More bodies are uncovered, and she fears something far more sinister is at work than a simple serial killer.

With her own team turning against her, can Fairuz catch the killer before he strikes again?

From USAT Bestselling Author Amir Lane comes Gift of Shadows, a supernatural thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seat!

The Review

This book is a rare example of a cover being perfect for the story.  The cover showcases mystery, magic, and a woman with power.  The beautiful art work is also a reflection of how adroitly the author paints pictures with their words.  

The story opens at the scene of a murder which establishes the overall theme of police procedural.  The cast of characters is a bit unique.  A barrier witch, Fairuz Arshad, is partnered with a dryad, Rowan Oak, in the Toronto Special Crimes department.  The diversity in this book doesn’t stop there.  The author tackles a multitude of social issues with an adept hand.  I was inspired to find out what was in tabouli salad.  I also shed a few tears.  In a brief scene where the subject of non-genetic parenting is addressed, I wanted to shout, “Yes!  Exactly!  That is how you manage that situation! This author totally understands!”

This book isn’t a specifically a romance, but it does explore relationships.  I was interested in Fairuz’s relationship with her work partner, and I felt a bit uncertain about the witch’s relationship with her romantic partner.  I suspect this will be developed a bit more in another book.  

The one frustration I experienced with this book was editing errors.  I really believe this story deserves a meticulous edit.  Hopefully in future versions and any sequels this will be fixed.  This book was a wonderful read and a great experience.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to explore a diverse world filled with multifaceted characters, vivid imagery, and a fast moving mystery. 

The Reviewer

Lives in the Pacific Northwest and vacations in the desert as often as possible. She is allergic to garlic, sleeps during the day whenever possible, and breaks out in an allergic rash when exposed to excessive sunlight. She has a degree in engineering, works at a comic book store, and goes for long bike rides at night during the full moon because of the sun allergy. Aethena was forced to switch to mostly e-books and audio books when the last floor to ceiling bookcase started to overflow. She is on her fifth e-reader, and is contemplating using her engineering degree to design an e-reader that can withstand her capacity for destruction.

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