The goals of breaking shackles and finding freedom drive this colourful and disgusting vision of Melbourne, where fae and vampires live among humans.
Soul-sucking succubus Jade goes to steal a soul – only someone else has beat her to it. Incubus Rajah is also seeking emancipation, and the two need four particular souls each to score their freedom. But chasing the same soul, they can’t both win, and when it comes to love, is it right to save yourself by damning your loved one?
I love my Melbourne as Shadowfae‘s setting! I don’t often go into the city, but I’ve been to the Arts Centre, the gaslight bursts outside Crown Casino, and Swanston Walk’s Starbucks, which all appear in the book. And even for the places I haven’t been, I can extrapolate what I’ve seen to easily imagine those I haven’t.
Erica Hayes has a psychedelic imagination that gives the Shadowfae world a vibrant splash, scenes and locations for which I’d love to see fan-art (I’m thinking oil paintings and digital works). The descriptions are inspired, and Chapter 4 in particular is beautifully written. Though it’s sad, even icky and slimy death is richly colourful.
There’s dark humour, but it fades as the characters fall in love and the stakes get higher. It’s an intriguing enough plot, but for reasons unknown I couldn’t quite connect with it and the characters. My distracting brain is probably to blame: Jade is predominantly, uh, wet, making me wonder if bacteria is blossoming, maybe some kind of fungus. Thoughts like that tend to spoil the mood, but the threesome scene is seriously sizzling and memorable. M/m and m/m/f action is hot!
And if you were wondering about the “disgusting” mention at the start of this review…Souls can come out in jizz, vomit and other bodily fluids. Jade has to drink those, then vomit them into soultraps. Yucky, but at least it’s better than “beautiful souls” or other such purple prose 😉