Updated: Oct 5
Book Review: Shadow Stained (Book 1: Stone of Power Series)
Author: Rachel Hobbs
Genres: Fantasy, paranormal, young-adult, romance, adventure, supernatural, and horror.
Author blog: http://www.authorrachelhobbs.co.uk
Summary: For her, it’s her late grandma’s legacy. For him, the mother of all black arts spoils, granting one demon the power of a God. Immortality. When occult-magnet Ruby falls victim to Demon Lord Drayvex’s viperous allure, she loses a sentient dark relic to his light fingers and appetite for power. Like calls to like. But when Drayvex himself loses the relic to a traitor to the throne, Ruby coerces him – the tyrant king with a soft spot for humanity – into helping her save her pokey old-world village from becoming a ground zero for mass demonic carnage. Both invested in reclaiming the relic, the one thing Ruby and Drayvex agree on is that it’s in the wrong hands. Co-existing in a precarious arrangement between predator and prey, to save the planet they both love for different reasons, they must become a formidable double-team in the face of an apocalyptic takeover. Now, the fate of both human and demon alike rests with a killer that walks between worlds and a woman with a curse in her bloodline. Review: Rachel Hobbs pulls you into an amazing adventure with this fantasy-based paranormal romance, waiting to clutch you into its web of intrigue and mystery. The beginning of the book was thoroughly immersing: to the point, if I have to put it that way, giving you a clear understanding of the powerful demon's character, followed by the woman that was going to presumably change his course of 'uncaring' demeanor and life forever. He was, by privilege, as a demon, powerful, arrogant, manipulative, and every bit cruel with a knack for humor, whom I enjoyed indulging myself in very much. The change in his character could be seen as a reader, and also feel the twisting, new emotions he was tasting and how he dealt with them.
Ruby, on the other hand, was bitter, easily hurt, and often in a dilemma of what the next step of her life should be. Yet, she was easily trusting of others which left her at a disadvantage, oftentimes. Drayvex's sudden arrival in her life was like a breath of fresh air, someone different, far from her distasteful village, and thereby she couldn't get away from him, no matter the circumstances that occurred throughout the story.
The style of narration was unique, backed up by the superb wordplay in her writing. The plot of the story was one of its finest points: from the way it transformed from being just a game to Drayvex to having to hold the burden of the human and demon race, whom he could have cared less. The involvement of the stone 'Lapis Vitae' and the 'Cursed bloodline of Ruby' was shown throughout the story with a highly detailed configuration.
The chemistry between Drayvex and Ruby was another element that I couldn't miss despite the chaos brewing around them. Their transition from prey to hate to love (although Drayvex may not admit this) was pulled throughout till the end of the book. It was more of an unhealthy obsession from what I could understand, than love itself, which if you can think about it, can suit nothing less for a demon lord. I also thoroughly enjoyed the book because of the dialogue exchange between Drayvex and Ruby. There are some amazing and deep lines in the book, delivered by Drayvex, especially: “Right. But if you don’t give a damn enough to change your life, then why should anyone else stick around?” "If you treated a pawn like a queen for long enough, the lies would eventually start to stick." Those are a few of them that I loved the most.
The ending of the book was satisfying, befitting the first book of the series, enough to keep me wanting more of this amazing treat. The main qualm I had with the story was the several grammatical mistakes I found in the book, and at times, interrupted with the reading flow. But, if you're not a grammar nazi like myself, you're good to go. I also found what could have been better was Ruby's lack of development in her certain traits. Throughout the book, I've seen her grow very little, in terms of her trust towards others and her lack of will for fighting her feelings. Although silent in her nature, I found her as someone that acted upon her feelings, only to regret later on, so I hoped to see that change in that, but since there might be books coming up in the series, I sure hope to see her believe more in her intuition and strengths than anybody else. Repetitions were something I tried not to skip through, such as the repetition of scenes in Ruby's and Drayvex's head. The violence is a little too much, so it may not be for the faint-hearted souls, but since it does mention, it is a horror, you'd expect it to be gruesome, surely. After having read and reviewed the whole book, I give it four stars out of five. The next book in the Stones of power series is definitely in my to-read list once it is published, and I suggest that you should have it too. If you wanna get your book reviewed as well, check out the online writing services offered on https://www.shaziyakhanwrites.com/online-writing-services