I'm not sure I've ever closed a book and felt as satisfied as I did after finishing SHINE and as the reigning Irish Princess *glares* (I swear I'm not bitter.) so nicely recaps in today's post, things are as they should be.
*waves* Hello fellow Team Kilt-ers! Can you believe we’re here at the end of this incredible story? (Well, except for Logan’s short story, “Bridge”; Zachary’s novella “Shattered”; and Martin’s as-yet-untitled story, all of which I just know you’re looking forward to just as much as I am!) I hope you’ve enjoyed this roller coaster of emotion that Jeri has taken us on with Shade, Shift, and Shine.
I guess before I get too much further into this, I should tell you a little bit about myself. I’m Judy and I currently live in Columbia, Missouri. My heart is still in Michigan, though. Or maybe Cape Cod. Or Scotland (even though I’ve never been there, I’m pretty sure it’ll capture my heart in so many ways). Or possibly on the road with those Scottish lads, Frightened Rabbit. (Seriously, if you ever have a chance to see them live, DO IT. I’ve seen them four times and I swear they’re better each time.) But I digress. I’m addicted to tea and books. And music. I’m a cat person and, as of last Thursday, I have a new kitty in my life. She’s a gray/white tabby and is the cuddliest cat I’ve ever owned. We are currently in negotiations for a name for her because I haven’t found one that means “she who lies down wherever she is (even if it’s on my face) and purrs her heart out*. Online I mainly hang out on Twitter (@shellseeker93).
I learned about the SHADE books because I was following Rachel Vincent on Twitter during Zach and Tod’s YA Crush Tourney match and saw her convos back and forth with Jeri. I read the snippets from SHINE that Jeri posted and knew I had to know more about this world.
I first met Jeri in person in October of 2011 at the Northwest Book Fest in Seattle, but there were like a million and one people there, and I was at the tail end of the line so it was more of a “drive-by” meeting. It wasn’t until May 2012 at Team Kilt Con 1.0 that I REALLY met her. Not only does she write incredible books, but she’s a fun and awesome person in real life, and I feel lucky to call her a friend.
Let’s see … what else? Oh yeah, I hold the title of Irish Princess for winning the SHADE Jeopardy game last year at Team Kilt Con.
But enough about me. Before I move on though, I want to give a HUGE thank you to Jeri for writing these incredible books, without which I would never have met all the amazing friends I’ve made through #TeamKilt! And to the fantastical peeps at Kilt & Keeley for hosting this read-along, giving us all a reason to re-read the books (not that we really needed a reason) as well as the hundreds of millions of other things they do for #TeamKilt! J
Beware, this is NOT a spoiler-free zone.
I asked for this part of the read-along mostly because it has one of my favorite scenes in it: the wishing tree and the shoelace. But also because when I started to read SHINE the first time, Logan still had my heart. Jeri told me once that by the end of SHINE, Zach would possess my heart. She was right. These chapters contain some of my favorite Zach scenes.
What I’d forgotten, though, was that there’s a lot of scary, edge-of-your-seat action that takes place from the calm and peace of the fairy tree to the end.
- Aura being taken over by shades
“The shades were a powerful, painful presence, but they didn’t control me. I wasn’t a shade. I had a living body and soul, both of which were in tune with Zachary.”
- Zach and Aura getting kidnapped and almost murdered by fanatical Children of the Sun cult members. I love Aura’s thoughts when Nuala calls on the power of the oak to give them strength:
“My anger surged. The strength of the oak is mine, you bastards. Zachary gave it to me when I had none of my own.”
Yeah! Take that you crazy people!
- The nightmare Zachary has in the hotel in Warrenpoint when Aura finally finds out what Zachary went through those eight weeks he was held at Area 3A.
“‘Aura, I would’ve stayed there forever—I would’ve died—to keep you from that fate.’
I clutched my pillow so hard my fingers cramped. I wouldn’t have survived that kind of torture. He’d saved my life, and nearly lost his mind doing it.”
- Aura realizing that when she couldn’t stand to be around Zach because of the shades, she was making his worst fears come to life (this broke my heart so much).
“I thought of all the hours during the last two days when I wouldn’t let him touch me, for the sake of ghosts and shades, and how he’d tried so hard to hold on to me yesterday.
Without knowing it, I’d made him relive his torture.”
- Zachary getting shot
But then there’re the good things that happen, too:
- The giving of the birthday presents. Seeing what they each got the other made me realize just how much Zach and Aura belong together.
- The scene in the hotel after Zachary and Aura escape from the crazy people.
“Now that the shades are gone from inside you, d’ye think we could end this not-touching-each-other shite? It’s frankly killing me, as sure as any knife.”
“With my hands in his grasp and his name on my lips, I could believe that nothing—not even time itself—could tear us apart.”
- Aura telling Zach that he’ll never be alone again after he tells her what happened in 3A.
“I couldn’t leave him without ripping my own soul in half.
I laid my head on the pillow next to him and wrapped my arms around his body, careful of the bandages. ‘I’ll stay.’
He let out a hard breath. ‘Aura, are you sure that’s what you want?’
‘I’ve never been so sure of anything.’ I pressed my forehead to his. ‘I promise you’ll never be alone again.’”
- Zachary picking up the gun and threatening Timian. (Ok, that was kind of scary too, but how awesome was Zach here? Standing up for the people he loves.)
- Òran Mór when Martin and all of Zach’s mates swoop in all James Bond-like and fight off the evil Nighthawk guys. *fist bump*
- Dylan and Megan are together!
- Aura finds out what Logan asked Zach to wish for him: “Let Aura find peace, but not the boring, heavenly kind of peace that I have now. Let her have the crazy, burning peace that comes from following her heart.” I love that while Aura was wishing that Zach could find peace, Logan – through Zach – was wishing the same thing for her.
- Aura discovers while waiting for her flight to Glasgow that she and Zachary really had ended the Shift, just not the way they’d expected.
- Aura and Zach, together in Glasgow, where they belong.
My mother was wrong. People do return. My dad did, if only for a while. Even though he hadn’t promised.
And I returned to Zachary. Because I promised, and because I wanted to.”
What is your favorite scene from these last chapters of SHINE?
What do you think about how the Shift ended?