Book Review: Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan

Posted November 16, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

Book Review: Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan
Published by Berkley on May 5, 2020
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: the library

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
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Also by this author: Air Bound, Rocky Mountain Miracle, Power Game, Earth Bound, Spider Game, "Dark Crime", Judgment Road, Toxic Game, Vengeance Road, Fire Bound, Bound Together, Shadow Warrior, Leopard's Wrath, Wild Cat, Cat's Lair, Vendetta Road, Lethal Game, Desolation Road, Magic in the Wind, Oceans of Fire, Twilight Before Christmas, Dangerous Tides, Leopard's Rage, Reckless Road

Fifth in the Shadow Riders paranormal romance series and revolving around the Ferraro family based in Chicago. The couple focus is on Taviano Ferraro and Nicoletta Gomez.

My Take

I’m missing the whole idea that the Ferraros are a crime family. Seems they’re more of a family passionate about righting wrongs…? Can anyone explain this to me??

I do love and adore how inclusive the Ferraros are, how caring and supportive, which somewhat offsets all the melodrama of Shadow Flight, melodrama that really slows down the pace.

Part of that caring shows in Taviano’s slow seduction of Nicoletta, as he makes such allowances for her traumatic past. That poor Nicoletta, to go from loving parents to those disgusting step-uncles…yuck!! It’s really done a number on her sense of self. How can a government agency allow this!??

It sure slowed Nicoletta down when it came to those three “friends”. How greedy can they get??? You’d think they would be more decent, especially after they confess their true problems to Nicoletta. I gotta confess, it seemed more as if Feehan was aiming for some effect, but I can’t figure it out. She painted those friends as such awful people and that flopped it over 180-degrees. And for what? For a few more pages?

That Nicoletta certainly got lucky that a social worker cared enough. Although I do wonder how that social worker knew to make those inquiries.

Ooh, that new negative about traveling via shadow makes for an intriguing weakness. And more foreshadowing for the next book. Hmmm, the idea of a reality show could well be a bit more foreshadowing.

There are two primary conflicts in this: Nicoletta angsting over her love for Taviano and the brutality she suffered with her step-uncles and Taviano’s taking Nicoletta through the shadows before she was trained. This last appeared to be overkill. Oy. Yep, we know all this through Feehan’s use of third person dual protagonist point-of-view from Nicoletta’s and Taviano’s perspectives. And they do go on and on and on at length.

Nicoletta is an ambitious girl who doesn’t want to let anyone down, anxious to help the people who helped her, and learn how to defend herself. I can’t blame her for being upset about that background check. We all want to be valued for ourselves and not our bloodline.

Taviano is pretty amazing with his interest in music and cooking, good with knives and electronics, and designing racing engines.

And we have to suffer through the meme of he-doesn’t-really-love-me. Which leads to the really annoying angst of not wanting the fancy wedding. Why wouldn’t she be wearing the gown Lucia would want to see her in?

Okay, I can appreciate the need for alibis, and it’s one heckuva way to acquire them, lol.

Eloisa is the poster mother for a woman who should never have been a mother. I do appreciate our time period where we can talk about traumas and abuses. Where we can get help to deal with our pasts. Now, if Eloisa would just do that…’cause I just don’t understand how a mother can treat her own children as Eloisa did…

Oh, YES. I love the verbal beat-down Nicoletta gives Eloisa! I cannot believe that Eloisa thought that a few years would absolve her of her cruelty???!

Action-wise, oh yeah, there’s plenty. Now, normally I love all that, ahem, violence, and Shadow Flight was rather tame. Oh, it was brutal all right, but kinda dull.

The Story

It’s been three years since Taviano rescued Nicoletta. A long three years in which she has screamed and twisted with anger in her struggle to get past the brutality she suffered with her step-uncles.

Nicoletta has also suffered over what she thought was her secret love for Taviano.

Seems that marriage, for a Ferraro, is forever.

The Characters

Nicoletta Gomez was saved from a lifetime of the worst brutality known to a woman. Lucia and Amo Fausti are her loving foster parents. Lucia’s Treasures is a clothing shop that sells unique fashions. Someone owns a flower shop, and some indications point to the Faustis and one to Theresa Vitale whose son, Bruno, took it over. Cencio had been the Faustis’ oldest son, friendly with Stefano as well as in the military along with him.

Nicoletta’s parents had been Leora Aita and Asce Archambault, a cousin of the French riders. Her stepfather, Desi Gomez, was an ex-member of the Demons. Desi’s brothers, Nicoletta’s step-uncles, were Cruz, Alejo, and Diego.

The Ferraros are…
…part of a worldwide group of shadow riders, who can use a shadow to transport themselves anywhere. Their mission is to execute those who do wrong. The family based in Chicago has the bitchy, cold Eloisa for their mother. Phillip had been their jerk of a lazy, philandering father. Henry grew up with the family and works on their cars. He also seems to be Eloisa’s lover, and he knows exactly how much interest Eloisa doesn’t have in her children.

Taviano Ferraro has his own sordid past that gives him great insight. He and his oldest brother, Stefano, saved Nicoletta that night. Stefano, the head of the Chicago family, is married to Francesca (Shadow Rider, 1), and they have a son Crispino “Cristo”.

Emmanuelle is their sister, heartbroken due to a cruel past with Valentino Saldi. The brothers include Ricco, who has a passion for Shibari, and is married to Mariko, another trained rider (Shadow Reaper, 2). Vittorio, who’s married to Grace (Shadow Warrior, 4), trains Nicoletta on speed and how to throw a proper punch and kick with maximum power. Giovanni is married to Sasha (Shadow Keeper, 3), who is amazing with electronics. Sasha works with Rigina and Rosina Greco, investigators for the Ferraros. Ettore was the brother who didn’t survive the shadows.

Demetrio and Drago Palagonia are second cousins and trained bodyguards. Franco is the family pilot. Elie Archambault is a great trainer due to his speed. Primarily a rider, he takes side jobs as a bodyguard. Emilio Gallo is another cousin. Sasha’s brother, Sandlin, has a brain injury that’s killing him. Dr Elliot is a pioneer in the field of head trauma. Katie Branscomb works with Grace to plan the wedding and Eloisa’s charity event.

The LA Ferraros include Marzio, Tore, and their baby sister, Velia; Severino is the head of this branch of the family. I’m not sure if the lightning fast Maximino, the direct Remigio, and the graceful Vico (definitely a Chicago Ferraro cousin) are brothers or cousins.

The New York Ferraros include Damian Ferraro, a talented jeweler; Salvatore, who is women-shy; Lucca, who is the player; and, Geno, who is too tough, are brothers.

Alfieri Ferraro is their uncle and a member of the Ferraro international council.

The Archambaults are…
…a prestigious shadow rider family in France renowned for their psychic talents. They are also the only family sanctioned to kill riders for breaking their laws. Marcellus says Nicoletta is a treasure.

Kain Diakos is a performer whom Nicoletta and her friends adore. Pia Basso has a huge birthday wish. Bianca is Pia’s sister; she’s brokenhearted over Enzo Gallo. Clariss Naples is the third friend. Dario Bosco had wanted to claim Nicoletta. Tito Petrov is the son of (and a co-owner with his father) of Taviano’s favorite pizzeria, Petrov’s. Berta is a waitress there. Pietro Masci owns a popular deli.

Shadow riders travel using shadows, which means they can travel very quickly throughout an area totally unseen. There are brutal negatives to it. Former riders become greeters. Other family members may be investigators.

The Demons are…
…a bloody gang based in New York City that revels in human trafficking, drugs, and gunrunning. Benito Valdez is their nutjob of a boss with an unholy passion for Nicoletta. Armando Lupez is his second-in-command. Armando’s team includes Jorge and Rocko.

In LA, Iker is the vice-president of the Demons; Tonio Valdez, one of Benito’s brothers, is in charge. Gang members include Santiago, Armando, Carlos, the driven Victor, Danny, and Zeus. The St Louis Demons include Emidio as the boss, Aleto, Blas, Cleto, Juan, Marcos, Carlos, and Don. From Detroit?? comes Ed, who is their leader, and is accompanied by Carl, Thomas, Adan, Moe, Deke, Berto, David, Hugo, Moe, Boz, and Benja. The Demons from Oklahoma City are ruled by Joaquin Valdez and the team he sends includes Brio, Cruz, the annoying Eber, Lon, and Ed. The Demons from Camden, New Jersey, are led by Thiago Valdez, another of Benito’s brothers. Those poor Chicago Demons, so used to having the upperhand, aren’t doing too well against the well-established gangs. Of the fourteen men they have left, three are wounded. Bario is their leader and the remaining team includes Alan, Hector, Angel, Felix, Ivan, Leo, Elias, Luis, Omar, and Pablo.

The Saldi Family is…
…the Ferraros’ enemy from back in the day. In Sicily, they had been the ruling crime family. Yeah, those Saldis really weren’t nice…

The Cover and Title

The cover is fast with its collage of lit-up buildings jumbled together, the plane in the background with the pink and purple lights to the right of the besuited Taviano looking out at us as he adjusts his cufflink. Below him is a blur of turquoise, yellow, and white streaking from left to right. An info blurb is at the top in white with the author’s name in a black-shadowed lime green across Taviano’s forehead. Level with his bent forearm is the series info in turquoise below which is the title in white.

The title reflects the inciting incident, the Shadow Flight that brings Nicoletta and Taviano together.

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4 responses to “Book Review: Shadow Flight by Christine Feehan

  1. RO

    I have been a die hard fan of Feehan from way back in the day when I read her first Carpathian novel, and she’s an awesome writer, but I haven’t heard many good things about the Shadow Riders series. I love that authors reinvent themselves to provide fans with new material (Nora Roberts, Christina Dodd, etc), but I’m not real sure about this one. Thanks for the awesome review. Hugs, RO

    • Thanks, RO. I too started out as a fan of both the Carpathian and her Ghostwalker series, but Feehan doesn’t always make a hit. This series has been interesting, but it’s such a hit-me-over-the-head series.

    • As I mentioned to RO, Shadow Riders bludgeons you over the head. The series has an interesting premise, but if you struggle to find time read…go somewhere else…

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