The story opens in a town where strange disappearances are rumored but dismissed as “old wives tales.” It becomes apparent very early on that the stories are very true. Dimitri travels and hunts with his brother, Trevaun, sometimes even making a game of it. During a challenge of who can kill the most, Dimitri abducts Ariana Dallenhauf upon her leaving a social event, and determines to make her his protégé.
When Ariana awakes to her new life, she finds it difficult to adjust. Although her abilities come oddly easy to her, some of which even Dimitri is astonished by; she has a hard time parting with her mortal life much to Dimitri’s annoyance. She soon discovers a whole new world before her, however, one that existed right beneath her nose that is as complex as it is frightening. But with Dimitri by her side to guide her, it’s bound to be an exciting, eye opening experience.
When Dimitri and Trevaun are summoned back to the d’Avange castle by their uncle, the Grand Ruler of the Vampire Realm, to investigate a possible conspiracy, Ariana soon learns there is more to her than meets the eye, and the source of uncovering the mystery lies at D’Avange castle.
I liked following along with Ariana as she tried to make sense of this new world she found herself in and of her instructor, Dimitri. It is obvious that he is a man hardened by his past. But as he and Ariana interact, a certain softness is revealed.
I also found myself a little on edge when it came to Trevaun and his wife, Katrine. They are a ruthless couple that takes utmost pleasure in scouting and killing their victims. I often times felt the panic of the couples they targeted when they found out they were staring down the mouths of predators and they were the prey. Since I love a little darkness in my reading, it was very entertaining!
Overall, the story had a bit of a jerky beginning, but was quickly found its footing. I felt it was a little slow paced, and at times a little too descriptive as far as detailing every step and movement each character made. But I enjoyed it nonetheless. Foote is very good at describing even the smallest detail, which transported me back in time and made it easy for me stay firmly rooted in the story. The story took some interesting and unexpected turns as well, including dark magic and demonic influences that melded nicely with the vampire lore. I highly enjoyed trying to unravel who was behind the conspiracy, feeling like a bit of a detective and suspecting everyone in play at one time or another. The action sequences were lovely and delightfully gruesome. But if you are expecting an epic love story, you won’t find it here. Instead, I found the connection between Dimitri and Ariana to be very fitting of the times and generally very sweet and endearing. In short, Dimitri is a complete gentleman, which I loved.
I recommend In Shadows to anyone looking for a story that combines mystery, revenge, love, friendship, and, of course, vampires. It’s truly an enjoyable read.
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