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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Can a lion fall in love with a lamb? Jessica Jesinghaus in her paranormal story, From the Shadow, would definitely respond yes to this question. Jacob is a creature who turns into a ruthless, merciless savage once hunger strikes. He ceased to be a human being a long time ago. He hides himself away from humans and comes out only to satiate his hunger. He hates killing and feeding off human blood and flesh, but that's what truly satisfies him. One day, when he was out on his quest for another unaware prey, he noticed a woman who was with a group of friends and yet her eyes reflected loneliness. In that moment, Jacob felt something triggered inside him that he hadn't felt in a long time. However, he had no time to waste on calculating his feelings so he brushed those emotions aside and began doing what he did best -- killing and feeding. Only, when he approached this woman, Lynn, with every intention of killing her, he found something in her eyes that he hadn't seen in anybody's eyes in a long time; unlike others, whose eyes reflected terror and hatred for him, Lynn's eyes showed care and compassion. Even the thought of hurting her made him shiver. She stirred the need for a companion in his heart and he could not understand what kind of life would be possible with her. Regardless of the obvious complications, his strong desire to be with her got the better of him. He ignored all the possible consequences of this unique companionship and decided to cherish his time with her. Little did he know that his past would sneak up on him with every intention of snatching away his chance at happiness one more time.
The author's writing is extremely spellbinding. Jacob's hatred for himself every time he had to kill a human being is palpable. I could feel his helplessness as soon as he felt hunger strike. He had hoped to die of hunger, but the curse of immortality would not allow him to do that as well. So, here he was forever bound to kill others and hate himself for doing so. There are graphic descriptions of various acts of dismembering bodies limb by limb and then devouring them. These scenes are sure to produce goosebumps. With the book being categorized in the paranormal genre, such scenes are definitely expected. Amidst all the terror and violence, the romance between Jacob and Lynn is refreshing and a welcome change of emotions. Although Jacob appeared like a savage in the beginning, his character transitioned to an innocent and helpless creature as soon as he met Lynn. Their love story is quite gripping with Lynn embracing every element of Jacob's personality and Jacob trying to protect Lynn from any harm he or anyone else might cause. As soon as I got comfortable with the romance, the author cleverly brought the plot back to the dominant genre (paranormal) of From the Shadow.
The story developed beautifully from serious to light to serious again, yet the darkness kept floating on the horizon throughout the reading and I, as a reader, was completely aware that the misery of the characters was not over yet. All the characters are thoughtfully written. I was able to make a connection with each one of them. There are many flashbacks as the characters narrate what happened in the past. These flashbacks were both necessary and intriguing. I could not wait for the characters to get the justice they deserved, which kept me glued to my seat until reaching the last line of the last chapter. The emotions of the characters were conveyed beautifully to me and that enhanced the overall experience. If one reads closely, From the Shadow tries to reinstate the concept of giving second chances, forgiving oneself, and keeping the faith. These are really desirable attributes to have and Ms. Jesinghaus has done an incredible job of communicating these to her readers. This is a flawless read to me and it kept me fascinated until the end. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a gripping blend of romance and paranormal.