Firstly, I would like to thank Shannon for sending me a review copy of her second novel, ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ to read and review before its publication date in March. I whizzed through this book much like I did its predecessor and found it very hard to put down, so gripped with the story was I.
Shannon’s second novel picks up a few months after the firstends and we once again find the story being told from the perspectives of the two main characters: Eric and Jessica. The two of them made a monumental decision in the finale of ‘Minutes Before Sunset’ and this drives the narrative of the second book in the series as the consequences of their actions begin to unfold.
At first it seems as if Jessica has gotten the better end of the deal as she finds herself unable to remember key moments of her recent past, while Eric is forced to confront the fact that he remembers everything – including the intense connection he has to Jessica. The decision they made in the previous story had been designed to protect the girl Eric loves but may end up having catastrophic consequences for both of them.
As the story progresses it becomes clear that fate will always find a way to circumvent even the most fool-proof of plans that Eric (in his Shade identity of Shoman) and his people concoct to ensure that they walk away victorious in their fated battle with Darthon.
Things begin to unravel quickly as both Eric and Jessica learn that perhaps everything is not quite as it seems. People that at first seem trustworthy suddenly begin acting strangely, while those that appeared to be against them may not all have their ultimate destruction at heart. Past, present, and future begin to collide at a frightening pace, destiny appears to be a freight train that neither of them have the ability to control.
Who can they trust; who is friend and who is foe?
As the Lights make an unexpected declaration, will Jessica and Eric be able to finally control their fate and beat destiny at its own game?
Much like the first book, I very much enjoyed the thrill ride of ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’. Having read the previous installment in the series I felt comfortable with the characters that populate this particular story universe and this allows the reader to dive straight into the action and enjoy the journey as it unfolds. More of the story is told from Jessica’s perspective this time, this works well as the focus is primarily on her in this book (even though she may not realize it).
The action does not let up for a second, especially in the second half of the book and I like the almost frenetic way that things seem to hurtle towards the book’s conclusion. As a reader you get the feeling that things are quickly spiraling out of control and that our two main characters are fated to never outrun their destiny – whatever that may be.
The author manages to convey Jessica’s confusion and subsequent anger terrifically and does a masterful job with handling Eric’s tormented suffering of having the girl he loves so close yet so far away from him. He knows the sacrifice that Jessica made (even if she doesn’t) and struggles to be the one left to face the consequences of that choice.
The cataclysmic battle between the Shades and the Lights has unexpected consequences and is a showdown in which not everyone will survive. Who lives and who dies, and who is able to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause they believe in?
This is a book full of teenage angst, romance, and supernatural flair all rolled into one. I liked this book very much and it shows in how quickly I devoured it. This is a book for fans of young-adult fiction who like their novels mixed with a healthy dose of the paranormal. If those factors tick your boxes then I highly recommend that you get your hands on this book.