Apr 6, 2021

Review--In the Shadows by Jill Nolan


I saw a man die. I watched as the last of his blood was drained from his body through the bite wound in his neck.

I tried to stay hidden, but the killer's eyes found mine through the darkness. Massive bat-like wings unfurled behind him, marking him as something distinctly not-human.

That night, I got a glimpse of what hunts in the shadows. It was the first time I've felt true terror, though it wouldn't be my last.

He's coming for me...

And where he goes, death follows.

While living in Wisconsin Dells for a summer internship, twenty-one-year-old Keegan Alkorn discovers the existence of the supernatural in the form of a vampire with a dark past and a lost vengeance.

As she learns more about the enigmatic man within the creature, she realizes that there is much more to him than the monster he first appeared to be.

But a vampire is a killer by nature. Falling for him could prove far more costly than she imagined. 


I finally found time to read Jill Nolan's In the Shadows, a Paranormal New Adult read that was just what the doctor ordered! I love a good paranormal read and this one satisfied my cravings! That it was a New Adult was icing on the cake, I feel like this is a genre you don't see all too often for some reason. Jill brings us a new kind of vampire to the paranormal world and I found them to be just as enticing as our classic!

The story starts off like any other. It's a summer break and college student Keegan Alkorn is partaking in an internship with her best friend Allison, and it's not long at all before they meet two guys in the Wisconsin Dells. Nic is your basic mysterious man of mystery and Keegan is drawn to him. But are you ready for the kicker? He's not who we think he is.

Then one night while partying with her new friends, Keegan witnesses something otherworldly, she sees a vampire killing a guy. Terrified that she might be next she's not sure what to do before the vampire takes off in flight, because yes, he can fly! He's like a humanoid gargoyle, big bat wings, truly a unique vampire if I ever read one. Keegan is left in a fit of fright for days believing the vampire will kill her, but fate has other things in store for her. A dangerous encounter will throw her right back into the vampire's path but instead of killing her or letting her die, he saves her.

It's not long at all before Keegan starts to see the vampire differently and it's not long before she figures out who he is. For this vampire does not look the same when he "plays human." This type of vampire has a human disguise and then morphs into a vampire body with fangs, black eyes, slightly adjusted facial features, and of course, the wings. I mention all this because usually you'd think, how can she not tell who the vampire is? Well, this is no Buffy or True Blood style vampire where facial features are still identifiable, this is a whole new bag!

Soon Keegan and the vampire (because yes, I'm not going to confirm or deny who said vampire is. The reality of it really threw me through a loop too!) begin a whirlwind romance kept in secret. They do begin seeing each other somewhat publicly in the light of day too becoming a sort of "it" couple.

But there's more than meets the eye in the Dells. More than just one vampire haunting the town. There's a lot more to this world than we could ever know. Jill Nolan really knows how to build up a good story here! I'll admit that sometimes the delivery was a little wavy, like you couldn't quite grasp what was happening, but eventually things leveled out to a more acceptable level.

Also true, I felt like some of the shocking revelations were almost a little too shocking. Like they were so overly shocking just for the shock effect itself. There was something a little unrealistic about them. Which coming from a paranormal novel does seem like an oxymoron, but the reveals seemed a little too cheesy almost rather than natural. The flow wasn't quite smooth, if you get what I'm trying to come across without giving too spoilery of an example.

What surprised me even more was the ending. I mean the outcome of the mysterious thing wreaking havoc among town wasn't as shocking as to be expected, but the aftermath of that. I was almost expecting a cleaner, happier ending since this is a standalone but we get is something a bit messier and more complicated than that and I positively LOVED that! Yes, clean, happy endings are nice, but there was something refreshing about this complicated mess Keegan found herself in. It was utterly shocking to say the least. But never fear, there's no tragic or cliffhanger ending here, it just wasn't the smooth easy slide into home base. 

In the Shadows was an outstanding Paranormal New Adult read! I truly think we need more exploration into this genre. Perhaps there are more Contemporary New Adults out there than there are Paranormal ones, but there is definitely ample storytelling material in this genre level. Jill Nolan makes a nice place for herself with authors like Alyssa Rose Ivy! I truly hope this won't be the last we see of her! This is a must read for those wanting to give this underrated genre a try!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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