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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
In Gathering Shade by Natalie J. Case is the second book in the Shades and Shadows series. After he's captured by the 8th Battalion, Mason Jerah knows they'll kill him. The last thing he expects is to be rescued by a group of Shadows. He's even more surprised when one of the Shadows, Alaric, refuses to leave him behind, no matter the risks. Meanwhile, Raven Ivany is investigating a series of murders that have been made to look like a Shade is responsible. During her investigation, she meets a teenage girl called Zero whose connection to the hatred and violence the 8th Battalion is spreading may provide them with answers they're looking for.
Natalie J. Case brings these characters to life with such emotion and sparks of personality, with so many layers that they come alive on the page, completely enrapturing you by their story. The relationship between Alaric and Mason is charming, flirty, and romantic, providing a safe haven in the story with quiet and sweet moments that give a nice breather from the times of danger. While the outside world becomes more and more dangerous, threatening to invade the safe haven Alaric and his people have created, their love becomes deeper and more serious. It's so easy to fall completely in love with them.
Case frames this world in a scarily realistic way with threats that make you see reality. The world these characters live in is full of hatred and violence, just with magical touches added in that give it another layer. The end will make you desperate for more, to see where this journey is going, and how there could be any number of possible remedies for how it ends. A truly addictive and emotional read, In Gathering Shade is even better than Through Shade and Shadow, a remarkable story with characters that are charming, flawed, and so incredible that you'll never want their story to end.