Book Review: Shadow Born (Shadows of Salem) by Jasmine Walt, Rebecca Hamilton

Shadow Born is the first book in the Shadows of Salem series by Jasmine Walt and Rebecca Hamilton. Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancé dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play. Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible. If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she’s going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know?

Shadow Born is an urban fantasy that combines the fae and paranormal worlds that I thought I knew and makes it new. The reveal of who and what Brooke is a slow and sometimes frustrating journey, much for her search for what happened to her fiance. There are plenty of twists and turn, and just when I thought I had it all figured out there was another twist or new player in the game. I thought that Brooke had a good balance of strong, capable female lead with a touch of vulnerability and heart. THe balance is well done, and one that is often attempted but not often matched. I liked Maddock's character, and arrogant but ultimately helpful role he plays certainly kept me on my toes. I never really knew who's side he was on, and still think he might have more up his sleeve. This was a read that kept me guessing and interested through the entire book. I just might pick up the next book, Shadow Marked,  but only when I have enough time to read it uninterrupted. 

Shadow Born is a good start to an urban fantasy series. Enough questions are answered to satisfy the reader, while there are enough possibilities for the future that you want to pick up the next book just to see what happens next. A good balance, and I am glad I picked this one up.

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