One of these days, the Rafa in a book will refer to a capri pant wearing, wedgie picking Spaniard and not an angel. On second thought, I'm cool with the gorgeous, heavenly version. Shadows was a solid introduction to the Rephaim series and to debut author Paula Weston. It had an engaging cast of characters, including a loyal friend named MAGGIE :), and plenty of action and mystery to keep you on your toes until the end of the book. Did I mention the angel pashing? If I didn't, it's only because I'm not sure I'm using the term correctly. To put it in inelegant American terms, there's hot and heavy tongue action! The short chapters, headed with progressively funnier titles, keep the story moving briskly. So... why only 3 stars? Even though 3 stars means a solid GOOD, I feel like it's become the rating equivalent of kissing your cousin. Of course, some people (ANGIE!) would be alllllll about that. So here's the thing. Gaby finds out early on that angels, hellions (HELLIONS), you name it, are after her. This is when the fight-or-flight instinct usually kicks in for people. Gaby chooses Door #3: stay and do nothing. Now "stay and do nothing" wasn't just left out of fight-or-flight because it doesn't fit the rhyme scheme. It's DUMB. For me, it's so dumb that I don't feel sorry for you when the shit hits the fan and whips back all over your face. Is it any surprise they're snatching your people up??I couldn't help but compare Shadows to another angel book, Angelfall, and Gaby to Penryn. Because What Would Penryn Do? Penryn would kick ass.While I liked the first half of the story, I was also really ambivalent towards it because Gaby's decisions, while understandable, still annoyed me. However, and this is a testament to Paula Weston's writing, Gaby wasn't unlikable, which kept me reading. And I'm glad because the story really picks up. I couldn't put down the last 1/4 of the book and can't wait to read Book 2. Shadows has a great mix of plot and action. I think this is going to be an exciting series, and one that will definitely find its audience.Rating: I initially planned on giving this 3 stars, which is what I gave Divergent, but I actually plan on reading the sequel to this one, so I'm bumping it up to 3.5 stars.Noelle's fantastic review of Shadows is on Young Adult Anonymous.