Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Wind and Shadow by Tori L. Ridgewood (Book One in The Talbot Trilogy)

After some events in Rayvin’s life, she is forced back to the little town she swore she would never return to; Talbot. Rayvin doesn’t have much choice, and when her best friend from childhood invites her back to help her, Rayvin accepts. Even though she knows she will walk straight into a town where she isn’t wanted, most hate her, all due to an accident ten years ago. Back then Rayvin was pretty much driven out of town by the people, they didn’t like her, trust her, and everyone believed she had tried to kill one of their young ones; Jason. Turns out, every story got two sides – even if some won’t believe it.

Rayvin did her best to move on, and she finds it more than ironic that she now has to come back and face everyone again. It’s not something she is looking forward to, but she knows she didn’t do anything wrong back then. No matter what others might think.

Grant Michaels is Jason’s best friend, and ten years ago, he secretly had a crush on Rayvin, but never dared to make a move. When she was accused of trying to murder Jason, he turned his back on her (like so many others), and he is certainly not pleased to see her back in town. Being a police officer now, he feels a bigger responsibility towards the town and its people.

So what do you do when weird things begin to happen, pets disappears, dies and worse; people goes missing? When you’re offered an explanation, which may be the truth, but just isn’t “normal”…. Will you accept the truth, or will you go hiding into the bushes, hoping it all goes away?

I admire Rayvin. After the way she was treated 10 years ago, she comes back, head held high. Granted, she doesn’t have much of a choice, but still. Most people would have slunk in, kept their head low, not said much, but not Rayvin. She isn’t afraid of what she is, she knows most people in Town don’t like her, and yes, it hurts, but at the same time – she really don’t care what they think. Well, except for Grant. See, all those years ago, she secretly loved him, but felt he was out of her league. So she never did anything about it. Apparently ten years apart have NOT changed their feelings. A lot of other things have changed, and both misunderstand each other time after time, and when they FINALLY seem to reach an understanding, logic (of all things) comes in between.

And seriously, who would believe in vampires today? Even if Grant have seen Rayvin perform magick, he find it hard to believe her when she tells him exactly what is lurking out in the darkness.

I truly enjoyed reading Wind and Shadow. My heart was hurting when I read about how everyone treated Rayvin. I wanted on several occasions smack Grant and Rayvin on their heads for being so damn stubborn. If they only had listened to each other, instead of barging on pretending to know what the other person felt…

The vampires in this story aren’t cute or sexy. They’re not the most scary beings I’ve read about either, but they’re scary enough. The Leader (de Sade) gives me goosebumps – and not the good kind. If I ever met him in a dark alley, (or a bright lit one), I would turn tail and run. Not that it would do me any good, but still…

The ending isn’t what I thought it would be, but I liked it. It fit the book perfectly, and it was the kind of ending that, when you’re done with the book, you’re automatically reaching for the next book in the series, because you really, really (kinda desperately) wants to know what happens. I can’t wait to find out what Rayvin will do. Do NOT piss off this witch. Payback is going to be hell. Especially if you don’t have anything left to lose.
So... I loved reading this universe, even though it was rough to read in periods, due to the bullying from the Towns people, the mistrust, the very hard decision Rayvin had to make in the end... I do not regret receiving this wonderful book from Tori. It was wonderful written, caught me off guard, and I got more than a little invested in the main characters; Rayvin and Grant. It doesn't have a HEA, but that would have been wrong on so many levels with this book (especially since it's a trilogy). I am looking forward to reading the second book; Blood and Fire when it releases.
About Tori:
After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.
You can find Tori here:
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