Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Shadowdwellers: Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank

Ecstasy by Jacquelyn Frank is the first book in her new series. It is connected to the Nightwalkers series (Jacob, Damien, Noah, etc.) as it occurs in the same world and with a cross over of characters. The Shadowdwellers are the newest supernatural culture to be introduced. They are notable because they are vulnerable to light and live in total darkness. I confess I found that idea to be difficult to comprehend. The heroine of the story is a human woman, Ashla, who has a horrific past involving abuse by her mother and siblings because she can heal others. The hero is a shadowdweller, Trace, who also experienced torture in his past as a prisoner of war. Ashla and Trace meet in Shadow-scape, an alternate reality or dimension where Ashla has been stranded. These two damaged individuals meet and become connected through Ashla's healing of Trace's mortal wounds. Because a healing by Ashla, involves taking on the injury, she essentially risked her own life to save Trace. (That totally made me think of an original Star Trek episode about a healing empath played by the actress who played Kim Hughes on ATWT..oops, I digress.) When Trace understood the nature of what Ashla did for him, he also realized that they are part of a "Sainted" pair--a relationship highly revered in his culture because greater love hath no man...well, you get the idea. Trace and Ashla are caught up in a powerful connection that overwhelms them. There are mysteries to be solved: how did Ashla come to be stranded in Shadowscape; who is trying to assassinate Trace; and what is the identity of the traitors trying to bring down the Shadowdweller government. This was an excellent, intensely emotional book with a satisfying conclusion. The next book in the series, Rapture, comes out in June 09 which is just too far a way in my opinion. I rate this book four and one half out of five stars.

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