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Shadows on the Soul: Guardians of the Night Book 3    by Jenna Black order for
Shadows on the Soul
by Jenna Black
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

At the conclusion of Secrets in the Shadows, Gabriel defeats his mother for control of Baltimore and now plans to wreak vengeance on his father Eli, the Master of Philadelphia and the driving force behind the Guardians. As a 500-year-old born vampire, Gabriel has no equals other than his father. But he's confident that his plan to use his new fledging Jezebel, to infiltrate Eli's inner sanctum and begin planting seeds of doubt amongst the elder vampire's cadre of Guardians, will ultimately bring the old man to his knees and then allow Gabriel to move in and exact the final killing blow.

Through their maker/fledgling bond, Jez has the ability to invade Gabriel's thoughts and see even deeper into his troubled psyche. She helps him confront truths that he refuses to recognise about himself - and come to terms with his damaged relationships. Gabriel finds himself succumbing to Jezebel's increasing influence and her acceptance of what he is - and of his bloody past. Jez is ready to forgive him, but Gabriel isn't sure if he can forgive himself for all he's done in the name of vengeance. But any chance to find redemption and a new life with Jezebel may come too late once Gabriel learns that his mother and another of his old enemies have joined forces to destroy him.

Shadows on the Soul is the best of the Guardians series thus far. Gabriel - initially introduced as an incredibly flamboyant and somewhat over the top secondary villain - takes centre stage here as a vengeful and very angry anti-hero. Black does a fine job toning him down from a soulless Killer to a man whose dark and impenetrable veneer is showing definite cracks - especially once he discovers love. Black's vampire mythology also continues to expand and she does a very nice job juggling an increasingly complicated plot as well as her growing cast of characters. Vampire romance fans who haven't yet discovered the Guardians series should add it to the top of their paranormal reading list.

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