Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Posted May 10, 2011 by Carmel in / 3 Comments

Title: Secrets and Shadows
Series: 13 to Life #2
Author: Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: February 2011
Pages: 320
My Copy: Kobo

Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’ realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother – and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

I expected this book to be full speed ahead after the way 13 to Life ended but Shannon Delany maintained the same slow leisurely pace in this second installment much to my disappointment. The first book set the foundation for this series so a lot of world-building was to be expected but Secrets and Shadows should have been all about the action but instead, it’s just more of the same. There are a few new developments from the werewolf point-of-view but overall I got the impression that not much really happened this time around. Pietr and Jessie are still butting heads, the CIA are as sneaky as ever and the Rusakovas’ are in need of a cure now more than ever.

After having spent the bulk of the previous book feeling frustrated towards Jessie over the Pietr situation I had hoped for a quick resolution in book two. Unfortunately, the teenage lover spat continues for the greater part of the story. I still enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet aspect of their romance and the way that they both adamantly deny the similarities that exist between the tragic Shakespearean love story and their own. It was also interesting to see that no matter how much Pietr tries to stay away from Jessie “for her own good” he’s still always there in the nick-of-time when it counts. Not only that, but the whole Rusakovas clan also looks out for her. A pack of werewolves is a good ally to have on your side!

Jessie’s “best friend” Sarah finally blows her lid and reverts back to her old ways. Which was a welcomed development in my opinion. Gillmansen’s goodie two-shoes mannerisms go a long way but even she is powerless when this ex-mean girl reclaims her status. I liked the way that Delany incorporates life lessons into her writing. Amy and Marvin’s abusive relationship is a great example of this. The storyline shows a positive and healthy solution to a common problem facing many women both young and old.

The puzzle that is the Rusakovas is slowly solved piece by piece in this installment. Their past and future is shrouded is mystery but every new morsel that’s revealed is oh so juicy. I loved the family reunion and Jessie’s introduction to their mother. It’s curious how seemingly random characters like Sophia and the old lady seem to know more about the whole werewolf thing than they themselves do. This book doesn’t give away all of the secrets though. There are still plenty more to come! Maybe Bargains and Betrayals will tell all?

I really enjoyed the werewolf storyline this time around; it played a greater role than in 13 to Life. On the other hand, the high school drama facet was a little irritating. I realize that this is a Young Adult book but sometimes the teen angst part of a story just rubs me the wrong way. I found that the characters hadn’t matured nor did they learn from their mistakes. That being said, this book is still an enjoyable read overflowing with important life lessons. Secrets and Shadows is a tale of tragic romance gone furry.

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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3 responses to “Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

  1. Great review Carmel! I’ll admit that the high school drama part wasn’t my fave either, but I was trying to tell myself it was YA. And sadly, sometimes that drama in high school does happen, if not to the same degree. Saw quite a bit of drama at my high school. I was usually on the sidelines trying not to laugh too hard!

  2. but overall I got the impression that not much really happened this time around…

    I have been looking so forward to reading this, but a somewhat slow paced book with lots of high school drama? I dunno…

    Thanks for the great review Carmel!