Thank you so much to Rachel Hobbs for reaching out to respond to an open interview call for my blog! While that feature will be coming later this month, I also read and reviewed her debut novel Shadow Stained!
At least as we speak, the novel is available on Kindle Unlimited and I found it to be a well formatted and compatible copy!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Shadow Stained
- Series: Stones of Power, #1
- Author: Rachel Hobbs
- Publisher & Release: Nielsen, 03/05/20
- Length: 360 pages
- Rate & recommend: 🌟🌟🌟 yes for fans of paranormal, demons, etc!
Here is the book blurb from Amazon:
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 of 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.
The Plot & Story: This is a paranormal adventure for adult readers, where a young woman and her stone of power inadvertently draw the attention of a demon lord. This escalates into a fullscale invasion of Earth and exciting battle of the most powerful demons in the realm. There is also this ongoing back and forth of whether or not the demon lord and girl will ever just get together already. I still am not sure on that point, I honestly thought it was going to be a paranormal romance (but it isn’t thankfully).
It’s an interesting and quickly moving story. I don’t read very much in this genre so it’s pretty new to me in general.
The characters: the demon, Drayvex, is everything. He is such a sociopath and total egomaniac but has a small amount of cinnamon-roll filling inside, and man does he HATE it! His dialogue and monologue, alongside the plot itself, carried the book for me. It helps that he has a darkly attractive human form.
Ruby is not a bad character but she has no fighting prowess at all, no clue what’s going on, and can’t defend herself. She wants to stay and fight demons even though she’s almost died multiple times and Drayvex has to keep rescuing her. I think I would have liked her more if she wasn’t so entirely helpless. Ruby is some kind of witch or cursed, or something, but the most paranormal thing that happened to her before Drayvex is that she is drawn to occult objects at garage sales? I would have liked to know what this is all hinting at, since it is known to other characters that she is special but the reader gets no indication as to why. Which means I’m reading book 2.
I really just want more Drayvex.
The side character demons created some funny moments as well. The lower level ones are not very smart, and sometimes created a three stooges feel. I loved the little chef demon 😍
The Worldbuilding: The descriptions of the demon world were very well done. I loved the twinkling red stars and red sands, as well as the description of the throne. With a new world like that I want to know what it sounds, smells, feels like. I want to be standing at the foot of those black mountains! I got small European village vibes from the time on Earth, with plenty of rain.
Misc: With a tad more to make me care for Ruby and one more round of edits, I would really enjoy this snarky duo. One thing I want to say is that Drayvex reminded me of the Monty Python skit “The Many Uses of the Word Fuck” – it’s a noun, an adverb, lol. In an adult novel this is fine and I did love his personality.
Overall I think it’s a solid debut, and I plan on reading the next in the series! Would recommend for fans of paranormal, demons, and snarky bad boy characters