~Thank you to Shannon A. Thompson for this review copy~
By: Shannon A. Thompson
Publication: May 1st, 2013
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal
Find it here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17801911-minutes-before-sunset
Synopsis: She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.
Whenever I read a really good book, and something amazing happens, I find myself compelled to shout the author’s name out of excitement. Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave) and Susan Ee (Angelfall) have been some recent authors included in my repertoire for this, and Shannon’s name was added to the mix just last week after I read Minutes Before Sunset. In other words, I enjoyed this book. 🙂
I found the characters to be very unique, especially Eric. He was funny, oddly charming, and a breath of fresh air in the department of male protagonists and love interests. I found the concept of someone being the outcast in the school/classroom scene and being a chosen leader and a powerful magical being in a completely different world very interesting, and it just reinforced the moral written into this book: everyone has had something that’s happened to them or something they’re going through that nobody knows about, so it’s not a good idea to judge people right away when they act differently.
Shannon Thompson’s idea of a war between Light and Dark clans, neither one written off as the “enemy”, was fresh, unique, and engaging. Eric, a perfectly moral and just character, was from the “Dark” side, and he wasn’t evil, just because his being and name were associated with what is usually labeled as the side of the villains and antagonists, didn’t mean he was one himself. He was the chosen one for the “Dark” side, ready to fight in an epic battle with the “Light”, and I found myself wanting to know more about the prophecy, the clans, and how everything in this middle fantasy world came to be. Hopefully those elements will be explained in future installments!
On the note of romance, Shannon Thompson writes great tension and chemistry between her characters. She pays attention to all of the relationships: friendship, family, and love. I could sense that certain characters might grow in their relationship and become more than friends later.
Summing it up: With very creative ideas, nice pacing between the two protagonists in their alternating POVS, and chemistry that makes you swoon, I hope to be reading the sequel to Minutes Before Sunset soon.
My rating: 4 stars