Minutes Before Sunset is the first book in Shannon A Thompson’s Timely Death Trilogy which tells of the elemental power struggle between Dark and Light. It is an amazingly well crafted and multifaceted novel with a fantastic hero and heroine and memorable supporting characters.
In Minutes Before Sunset, seventeen year old Eric Welborn lives in the Midwest town of Hayworth. Eric is a shade, not just any shade, but a descendant, destined by prophecy to battle with the descendant of Light, ancient enemies of the Dark, when he is eighteen, in a battle that will decide the fate of many. Eric has been rocked by tragedy in his life and his obligations weigh heavily on his shoulders, making him a loner, who fears to care for anyone, lest they be taken away from him. However, two encounters are about to change his life – one with Jessica Taylor, a new student at his high school and another, with a powerful, nameless shade, ignorant of her birthright and as such vulnerable to not only his shade community who do not trust outsiders, but also to the Light. He breaks the rules by not reporting her to his Elders and trains her to develop and control her powers, but cannot reveal all his secrets to her.
Jessica Taylor has moved to Hayworth with her adoptive parents, committed to finding out about her deceased biological family who were local to the town. To garner help from her adoptive parents in this quest they require her to obtain perfect grades. This task appears impossible as she is paired with the taciturn Eric Welborn on a key science project. Eric is distant and preoccupied, often skipping class and is disinterested in completing the project with her. However, not only will Jessica not fail her science project, but she also wants to find out more about his secrets and at the same time feels drawn to him.
As the battle between Light and Dark approaches Eric must devote more time to his training and remain focused. However, his thoughts often stray to the nameless shade, who grows more and more powerful and he is also distracted by Jessica, who piques his human side. Key players in the Light close in on Eric and he must protect those he cares about and keep himself alive until the battle commences, a battle he fears that he is destined to lose. Yet when he discovers that the Dark Elders have lied by omission about key elements of the prophecy, he feels deceived and the events which ensue threaten dire consequence for all he holds dear.
The cast of supporting characters is strong, from the adults to Eric and Jessica’s fellow pupils. The fact that neither the shades nor the Light recognise each other easily in their human form adds an element of mystery to the plot and we as reader are therefore not party to the secret identity of many characters. We can only guess at their true nature and I am sure that the author will reveal more in subsequent books in the trilogy.
Minutes Before Sunset is an original and compulsive read. The tale is told in the first person, with chapters told from the perspective of Eric and Jessica. This is effective in terms of both advancing the plot and giving depth to the characters. I particularly enjoyed the maturity and selflessness of the hero and heroine, Eric and Jessica, and found their growing attraction and love for one another both believable and sweet. The novel ends in such a way that I am chomping at the bit to read the next instalment.
Minutes Before Sunset is a magical, if slightly dark tale, containing romance and adventure, which explores fate and free will and self-sacrifice. I recommend it to readers of both adult and young adult paranormal romance.
To read author Shannon A Thompson’s author post, in which she talks about her inspiration behind the series, lease click here. Tina 🙂