Monday, July 6, 2015

RELEASE DAY: "Ashen Rayne (Shadowlands Book 1)" by Skye Knizley

Young women are vanishing from Miami’s club scene, most disappearing without a trace, others found suffocated in plastic bags, their battered corpses filled with a deadly cocktail of narcotics.
There are no suspects and few clues.
When exotic dancer Rayne is taken, her sister Blaze calls the ladies of Shadowlands to find her.
With only five days before Rayne is found dead or never found at all, Smoak and Ash dive into Miami’s underworld of drugs, prostitution and slavery, using every skill they have to find her before the clock runs out.
In trouble and have nowhere to turn?
Call Shadowlands. We’re here to help.

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Kick ass women in fiction. Ever since I started reading, I always gravitated towards books where the heroine needs no man for help: Nicki Styx, the lead in Terri Garey's urban fantasy series. Raven Madison, in Ellen Schreiber's Vampire Kisses series. But those kinds of women are hard to find. Most of them fall short of what I'm always looking for...except for Smoak. Now there's a female lead!
She's too good to even be called bad ass. From page one you know there's something different about her and Ashley. Ashley is actually deaf, and you wouldn't know it except that they use TTY phones and in the first chapter it is mentioned. Skye didn't write her as disabled. Instead, she uses her disability to her advantage. Smoak is not disabled...she is actually too capable, if that's possible. It's her seeming invincibility that makes you love Ashley more: for showing her scars and her handicaps. But you learn that Smoak is not invincible, and that she does not have a heart of stone.
I don't like to review good books, because I am always afraid I'll run off at the mouth and post spoilers! I'll just try to stick to the basics.
The story should be in the dictionary for "fast paced". But it is not lacking in any department. There is no shortage of emotion, nor is there any detail missing. They define "women's fiction" as being targeted towards women by talking about women's experiences. If they put books like these down as "women's fiction", I bet we'd have had a female president by now. Reading this book was not just exhilarating for me, but as a young woman it makes me feel empowered to read a story about girls like these.
It's vigilante justice without a mask, leaving nothing and no one in her wake. This is not a book by a woman for women. This is a book by an amazing writer for anyone who wants to read real, action-packed fiction.

5/5--put this at the top of your TBR list immediately!

Purchase Ashen Rayne on Amazon!

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