So this review is going to start off a bit rant-y.
I've come to realize over the past few weeks, that over the past few years (I'm 20) I've come to really appreciate and seek out complicated people with complicated stories, while not really having time for simple people with pampered, black-and-white lives. This applies in real life and in the TV shows I watch regularly. My Sunday night ritual consists of Game of Thrones and Mad Men, which always blow me away with their complex characters and situations. And tonight I read Fall the Shadow after watching those two, and I realized that is why I've fallen in love with your story all over again.
At the end of this chapter, I literally had the same letting-out-that-breath-I-didn't-realize-I-was-holding reaction that I had to those two hit shows, so congratulations to you for crafting such an amazing world.
The plot/romance thickens between Gabe and Jen! The funny thing is that while as a reader I should have a lot more sympathy for Gabe since he's been a main character forever, I find myself on Team Nick...which is shocking. I think it's the nostalgia for something simpler. Or perhaps it's the fact that I don't entirely understand Gabe. He and Cal have always been harder for me to understand, while I've always been able to relate to Toby and Tanith.
Jen's also really growing on me. The poor girl. I think she more than anyone is such a strong, strong character in the silent sort of way that everyone respects but very few characters/people understand. Gabe loves her, so he tries to be there for her, but the hard, numerous decisions that she needs to make at 18/19...I'm in awe.
And we end the chapter with another cliffhanger :P I'm guessing that Gabe foresees a major massacre if they try to go after Lestrange? Hopefully, he stops them. I don't think my heart could take a massacre.
Author's Response: I don't mind a rant to my benefit. ;) I can only be flattered at being compared to the likes of these shows, though I can't deny those sorts of stories have impacted me as a writer over time (and those stories in particular, having been a George RR Martin fan for some 10 years). But I certainly prefer complicated characters in complicated situations; while the war against Voldemort is rather black-and-white, trying to survive in it, and to win in it, is NOT, and I am trying to capture a smidgeon of those moral and emotional challenges.
It's nice that Nick gets some love! He's so obviously the underdog, I think, and while I've portrayed him as occasionally unpleasant, I think it helps that Gabriel is no victim either, and we've seen him be quite nasty, so it stops Nick from being villainised. We know Gabe can give as good as he gets. So they're on even footing, and that makes Gabriel great but complicated, while Nick's just the simple guy in the difficult world trying to hang on to the girl he's loved for a long time.
Jen is the secret star of Falls the Shadow, I think. It wasn't intentional, but she's a real hero, doing the things she's done, making the difference she's made, at such a young age with such a tough time.
We'll see what Gabe sees soon enough. I shall try to not brutally kill my entire cast, however!
Thanks for reviewing, and many thanks for your kind words! They are sincerely appreciated.