The book: ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ by Shannon A. Thompson was published by AEC Stellar Publishing in March 2014 and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It is the second book in The Timely Death Trilogy.
The story: The prophesied battle between the Dark and the Light is on the horizon. The benevolent Dark's one hope for victory is the shade Shoman who lives and trains secretly among humans as the teenager Eric. But his heart is torn between his destiny and his love for Jessica, the mysterious third descendant who could be Eric's salvation or his doom.
Opening lines: ‘It was a humid night in August, and the river trickled past us as if most of the water had disintegrated during the previous months. It skimmed over the rocks, and I hesitated to add to the collection by tossing pebbles across the already waning surface. The darkness was enough.’
The review: ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ is the second book in a trilogy of young adult paranormal romance novels with fantasy elements. The story starts where the first book, 'Minutes Before Sunset,' ends.
With the final battle just months away, Eric struggles with the decision that erased his memory from Jessica's mind to protect her identity from the Light.
It's not easy for Eric who attends high school with Jessica and is forced to maintain a friendly distance while suppressing his desire for her. The most human moments in the book are Eric's reactions when other boys show interest in Jessica and he is helpless to intervene. Yes, Eric is the legendary first descendant, but he's also just a teenager in love.
Meanwhile, Jessica is having vivid nightmares that seem more real than her waking world, nightmares that are prodding her memory. She is determined to discover the meaning of her dreams. However, if Jessica solves the puzzle of her lost memory, she could irrevocably harm the Dark's chances for victory against the Light.
The author Thompson is a master of the quiet moments, small scenes with meaningful dialogue that naturally strengthen the bond between characters.
“Ever feel like people are making decisions for you?” Jessica asks Eric.
“All the time,” Eric replies.
It's a slyly sweet moment showing their deep connection even though Jessica does not realize it at the time.
Thompson explores the humanity of Eric and Jessica so thoroughly in ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ that the reader forgets the two teens are actually powerful supernatural beings.
Thompson also understands no matter how inevitable destinies, fates and prophecies are, when love is introduced into the equation, chaos often ensues.
Strong character development, a suspenseful climax and a potentially devastating twist of fate make ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ a welcome addition to the crowded field of young adult paranormal romance novels.
SPOILER ALERT: One of the pleasant surprises of 'Seconds Before Sunrise' is the climactic battle between Dark and Light actually happens in the book. Thompson doesn't save it for the final installment of the trilogy. It was unexpected. But so is the outcome of the battle.