Author: Santino and Ais
Genre: Romantic suspense, Dystopia, M/M
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My rating: 4 Stars
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In the Company of Shadows is a series about two people who are thrown together as partners in a secret agency; their mission is to disband rebels who have propagated in a post-war future, but they have to deal with everything that comes with an unlikely partnership as well.
Miscommunication, periods of distance, fleeting smiles and learning to trust someone when a person can't even trust himself, these are what they struggle with while still trying to do their jobs. One is a psychopath, called a murderer and monster and generally deemed subhuman by nearly everyone who knows of him; the other is an introvert, cold and emotionless and so lost in thoughts that he would agree that he can be called a monster of inhumanity. But what makes a person human; is it humanity, compassion, or is it simply the ability to reason? Can a monster be human, and general humanity breed monsters?
While they learn about each other, they learn about themselves; where their loyalty and morality lies, and how learning to trust another person can be incredibly difficult, bittersweet, and rewarding all at the same time. Join Hsin Liu Vega (aka "Sin") and Boyd Beaulieu as they struggle to find where they fit in a world slowly recovering from war.
This is the unedited version, so it's much longer and wordy than book 1. It took me some time to read it but I really enjoyed it.
I found it a bit slow, especially at the beginning. I found it too introspective and the inability of Boyd and Sin to really talk to each other, though understandable given their background and current situaiton, was really frustrating.
Boyd and Sin go through a lot here; though they are separated most of the time and their relationship hits an all-time low here. I feel so much for Sin that I'm ready to accept/excuse his behaviour no matter how inappropriate it was. Boyd, on the other hand, made some spectacular msitakes. I realize he meant well and he needed to take care of himself, but his actions did make me so angry and sad. I 'm struggling with myself to forgive him.
I love how emotionally invested I'm in everyone we meet in this series. The authors introduce a lot of new characters in this installment and they have quickly warmed their way into my heart as well (Kassian, especially but also Cade and Emma and the rest of their group). We see some old secondary characters in a new light - Ryan, Ann, Carhart and I particularly appreciate how multilayered the both the plot and characters are becoming.
Ais and Santino make a perfect blend of compicated relationships, interesting plot full of unexpected turns and lots of action and heartbreaking moments of honesty and intimacy. It feels like a truly epic story, painfully real despite the dystopian setting.
This whole series is available for free on http://www.inthecompanyofshadows.com/