Author: Cassandra Giovanni
Released: 29th October 2012
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read In Between Seasons by Cassandra Giovanni a while back, I was eager to see what more she had in store with Walking in the Shadows. Let me tell you, this was not as good as IBS. It was better. Giovanni has emerged again, this time with a (dare I say it) more compelling romance, an intriguing plotline, and a story that is overall much more well—rounded.
Abigail Martin is a girl who now spends her life as Vera MacIntyre under the witness protection programme. With her parents murdered by a serial killer who seems to have an unhealthy appreciation for Crimson Reign, the new vampire saga, it wasn’t safe for her to remain where she was and so moved state. Now she’s at school, shocked by the fact that the guy she fell in love with just before term started is the guy who’s now her British Lit teacher. As if her day-to-day life wasn’t difficult enough, now she has to make sure that no-one ever finds out about them. It’s not long, however, until her life is even more threatened by the re-emergence of the serial killer.
I know what you’re thinking. Student-teacher relationship? So not gonna work. Or if it’s not that, then it’s about the vampire saga thing. Am I right? While those are totally understandable concerns, reading the book makes you realise that in this case, they’re unwarranted.
Abigail (or Vera) was such a remarkable protag. A lot of the scenes in this book take place in her Brit Lit class, which of course meant that I was taken in from the start, me being a Brit myself and lover of literature and all. This girl likes Austen and Wuthering Heights, for crying out loud. I loved seeing all the insights she had to all the texts they studied. But, student fandom aside, she really grew as a character. From the start she was strong, coping with a life your average teenager wouldn’t know how to; she was a lot older than her years. Equally, she was vulnerable. I loved seeing her grow from this girl who kept everything in to someone who learned how to let people in. She was more open with her emotions and actually grew to remember how to laugh and relax again, and it was incredibly endearing.
‘I am threatened by the resolve that you are my soul. You are my being, you are every breath I take, you are my home. The sweetest sin.’
Tad Knightley actually isn’t that much older than Abbi. There was something about the two of them that just clicked, and the fact that she both acted and looked older than her years definitely helped. I did grow a little frustrated with him at times. While Abbi was being much more cautious and telling him to be more careful because of the consequences should anyone find out about them, he was doing the opposite and telling her he didn’t care because he couldn’t keep pretending. But for all that, he was so sweet, and quite frankly he turned my heart to mush. It’s become apparent to me that Giovanni knows how to write an addictive romance. As was the case in IBS, perhaps more so, I was totally, 100% rooting for these two, constantly worried about who might find out about their relationship and wanting nothing but good things for them.
This is very much a character-driven book, but there were some other plot additions. The murder plotline didn’t start to come in until a little later, but it was definitely there in sufficient quantity. I was intrigued by the idea of a serial killer obsessed by vampires; admittedly, when the murderer was revealed at the end and there was a certain scene between said murderer and Abbi, I was a little sceptical. It did feel quite stupid, quite unbelievable to be honest, and I laughed at the ridiculousness of it. But it did also remind me of an article I read a few months back of a real case of wannabe vampirism, so I guess it’s possible. It was so sad to see both the physical and emotional impact it had on Abbi.
Overall, this was a highly compelling book. I loved the development of the characters and how they were well-rounded; I loved the flow. I especially loved the romantic plotline between Tad and Abbi. I was honestly just glued to my seat, wanting to read more about the both of them, both individually and as a couple. There was a beautiful mix of banter and seriousness. If you’re an unashamed romance junkie like I am, I can definitely recommend this.
A huge thank you to the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.