Night Shadow, by Nora Roberts (Night Tales #2)

>> Friday, October 31, 2003

After reading Nora Roberts's Night Tales #1, I did something I almost never do and read #2, Night Shadow immediately afterwards.


.....a solitary figure shrouded in black walked the night, determined to awaken a terrified metropolis from the nightmare of crime. There was nothing -- no bullets, and certainly not legal technicalities -- that could deter the man they called Nemesis from his mission.

Deborah O'Roarke, an idealistic young prosecutor waging her own war against crime, owed Nemesis her very life. She shared his passion for justice, yet she could not accept his lawless methods. Still, though she fought her unwelcome desire for this disturbing stranger, she was unable to deny her longing to share the shadows that were his home....
Lots of fun! An A-.

Well, I must say I'm surprised that a romance novel with a hero who puts on a superhero costume and roams the streets fighting the forces of evil and crime worked so well ;-) It's especially surprising because the tone of the book wasn't at all campy, but serious.

Night Shadow felt very much like one of those superheroes comics. It's set in a city, Urbana, which is very, very Gotham (though the atmosphere was distinctly like the one of the city in that first Batman movie...). The hero, who is a millionaire in his regular life (yes, well, this is Nora Roberts, you know), has a "superpower" (being able to become invisible) and moonlights as a superhero. And the heroine. of course, is the serious sort, who keeps running into our hero in both his guises and is attracted to "both" men.

Gage's superpower is pretty well explained, as plausible as these things can be. However, I had to turn down my critical faculties a little: I could understand that he became invisible, but what happens to his clothes?? Ah, well, I just had to ignore this and enjoy the rest of the show :-)

The romance worked very well, too. This was very much an action-driven romance, but I enjoyed it, even though I usually much prefer character-driven stories. Maybe it was just that the action was so fascinating. Anyway, Roberts does a nice balancing act here, and Gage discloses his identity to Deborah just in time. Any more and it would have become irritating.

I very much liked the fact that the book dealt with the issue of vigilantism. It didn't have an obvious agenda, simply explored pros and cons, and I appreciated the fact that it was touched upon.


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