Shadows BeforeThe Sun by Kelly Gay (Charlie Madigan #4)

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: Sent

After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.

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I am a new lover of this series! Meaning I found it (well, it found me) just after this book was released. I under took the job of reading the first 3 books so I could catch up before I dove into this one. As with every urban fantasy series I’ve ever read, I highly recommend reading these in order and NOT starting with this one. If you start in this one I guarantee you’ll have no idea what is going on and will end up DNFing the book. Trust me.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about this series, author, book….seriously, I fell in love. Charlie Madigan is just an awesome female character. She’s fierce, loyal and loving to a fault. She’d do ANYTHING for those she cares about, which is the main theme in this book from the continuing story arc of the last book. Charlie’s partner, Hank, has been taken back to his home planet (the version of heaven in this world) to face treason charges. They have been circling around each other for the past three books and FINALLY Charlie is mostly willing to admit she cares for Hank as more than just a partner. I rejoiced immensely at her realization LOL. Those of you that like a little romance in your urban fantasy will enjoy their evolving relationship throughout the series. Charlies growing powers and the realization that she alone plays the most vital role in saving not only her city in Georgia but also the world is the central theme. She is a hybrid, the only being with all three bloodlines running through her veins. Not even the oldest beings in existence know what she is capable of doing but they are all banking on the idea that she doesn’t know how to wield her new abilities. She’s the wildcard for humanity and she is constantly at odds with herself on whether to embrace the light or dark side of her powers. Her internal struggle focuses a lot on her humanity and how it plays a role in helping her see her path. Had she not had her humanity I don’t think she would stand a chance against the forces. Her love and loyalty ground and center her. I loved the progression of her personality in the series that comes to a head in this book.

The whole host of secondary characters fill out the book nicely. That along with the witty writing and snarky commentary make this a fast paced read. I especially loved Rex in this one. He’s been a character since very early in the series who was a spirit that inhabited the body of Charlie’s ex and father of her daughter. He’s been a constant companion to Charlie and a reminder to her that even though her and her ex had substantial problems, she still loved him and he deserved her forgiveness. I was glad Rex became a fixture to Charlie and her daughter along with the hellhound they adopted. I liked how Gay continued to make his presence integral to the story.

The in depth world building and lore within the series are unrivaled by anything I have read to date. Completely original and thought provoking even touching on religion a bit in an abstract way. I am really hoping that more from the series gets written even though it seems to be all wrapped up nicely at the end of this one. I’d love to learn more about the dragon Fae king…that’s my romance book lover coming out. He’s YUMM-O. All big and mostly naked with tattoos down his entire side….shudder…..He also is commanding and has complete loyalty from his subjects but not a lot of his history was talked about. The author has a wealth of characters she could build on and I have to wonder if she did that for the purpose of possible future books. At this point I will buy anything with her name on it. In a sea of books that I’ve been having a hard time with, Kelly Gay showed me the light! Fantastic writing and phenomenal series!

I give Shadows Before The Sun by Kelly Gay 5 stars!  

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