Review: Minutes Before Sunset

cover-minutes before sunsetTitle: Minutes Before Sunset
Author: Shannon A Thompson
Series: Timely Death #1
Length: Novel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Available: Now


Two destinies. One death.

Eric has less than a year left before his fated battle when he meets her. She’s a shade like him, but separated from the Dark – and with more power than she should have. And he can’t stay away.

Jessica is new to town and desperate to figure out who, or what, her birth parents were. But she can’t find them without overcoming Eric, and she won’t let him stop her.

‘Minutes Before Sunset’ happens through the minds of two young adults as they struggle to survive their paranormal realities and find balance in their human lives.

Source: Review Copy from the Author

This book took me a while to get into. I love a secondary world as much as the next fantasy-devotee, and I’m rather partial to an alternative world view as well. If you want to put selkies in the swimming pool, ghosts in the garret or pixies in the park, I am completely fine with that (in fact, do the first one and I will be the first in line to read it). Although, if you’re going to, I will want a few explanations. Who? What? Where? Why?

For me this book is too light on explanations about what exactly a Shade is. I get that Light and Dark are fighting (but Light are the bad guys here), I even sort of get why – megalomaniac Lights stealing all teh powerz! – but I never got just what they are. Who are these shades? Why are they hanging around? Why do they have two separate forms, which are completely unalike? Why are they in this small town in the US? And why is there a pesky prophecy anyway?

I hate prophecies. I’m firmly in the pro-choice destiny camp. I hate the idea of someone else messing with your future in a way you have no say in. Luckily Eric feels pretty much the same. Which, to be honest, is about the only thing I could find to like about him at first. He’s arrogant, rude and standoffish – although he has his reasons, and I sort of warmed to him by the end, but he’s a bit too woe-is-me for my tastes. He’s got plenty of stuff on his plate, so I understand he hasn’t got time to be nice. I did wonder why it had taken so long for everyone around him to get to training, though, since if he doesn’t win they all, you know, die (!). It’s not like they haven’t know it was coming for a while.

Jess had the potential to be a great character – the neophyte coming in, all wide-eyed and ready to learn. But if she does learn anything, we as the reader don’t get to share in it. Unless it’s gossip. And I’m not the biggest fan of keeping Big Secrets from readers when it’s blatantly obvious, because there is no other option. Nor of being amazing at things, just because.

So, myself and this book didn’t have the best of starts. I put it down for a bit, then picked it up again, put it down, then cracked on to the finish. It is highly readable (once I got over my miff at not having the whole shade concept explained, and once I stopped actively disliking Eric), but I wanted more. More explanation of what they are and what’s going on? More depth of emotion from both Eric and Jess, rather than the sudden switches in mood. They’re teenagers, I know, I get the mood swings, but this was more a case of them deciding on something, and the reader not finding out until a few chapters later when they’re behaving completely differently. Or announcing their feelings/intentions to someone else, when it wasn’t at all obvious in the text.

But this is probably a me thing. If I’d read this as a teenager I probably would have skimmed through no problem – except the whole shade thing would have annoyed me then as much as it does now. We’ve got a brooding boy, who’s out to save the (well, his) world, though he’s a highly reluctant hero at best. We’ve got a heroine who’s new to this world, but just might hold the key to everything. And we have a prophecy loaded with doom and gloom, and a budding romance that has terrible tragedy written all over it.

If you like your stories more about people and dramatic emotions, which have the potential to take over the whole plot, then this is definitely for you. If, however, you’re more like me and like to immerse yourself in another world, with characters you can root for, then maybe this one isn’t your thing.

Minutes Before Sunset is Out Now!
Visit Shannon A Thompson for more details.

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