Book Review: Finding Esta by Shah Wharton ( + Giveaway!)

This is a bit different to my last few book reviews. To celebrate the release of the new edition of Finding Esta, her debut novel, Shah Wharton is hosting a giveaway. There are ten copies up for grabs. Read my review, read what others have said and then click the link if you want to go into the running. (At least, I hope everyone else can see the link; my browser is telling me to enable Javascript, which I’m reasonably sure is already enabled =\ )

Title: Finding Esta
Author: Shah Warton
Genre: Paranormal romance (/sci-fi?)
Format: E-book, also available in print, see further down for links.
Date Read: 29/01/2014 – 18/02/2014
Rating: ★★★


I’m going to start with a confession: I’m not usually a reader of paranormal romance. There are usually too many sexy but mysterious leading men and curvacious bombshells for leading ladies. Were I more into this, I’m fairly sure Finding Esta would get more stars from me, as I’m pretty sure it ticks a lot of the right boxes for it’s genre.


Luna is an empath with a touch of psychic ability. She can read people’s auras but physical touch is usually accompanied by intense physical pain. She’s also extensively photosensitive; just a few minutes in the sun and she’s breaking out in blisters.

This all changes, however, on a trip to Cornwall to investigate the disappearance of a baby, Esta Whelan, twenty years earlier. This leads to far more than Luna ever expected, as she begins to learn of her true nature and heritage (or does she?).

Being the first in the Supes series, there is a lot of world-building and exposition going on. There are several supernatural races and their respective mythologies to introduce. It did take a little while for the story to get started, and I only really thought the plot started to get going around 70% of the way through, when Luna leaves the house where she’s been the past several weeks and starts learning that maybe things up until then had been a bit too good to be true. While there’s probably no way to do it with cutting out a lot of the aforementioned world-building and character introductions, I felt this part of the plot should have happened much earlier.

I thought Luna was a pretty decent character and I enjoyed learning of her true nature along with her. However, her constant lusting after the two the love interests got a bit annoying after a while (like I said, not really a PR reader). Abby, the first of these, is sweet and well-meaning enough, but his gushing got old pretty quickly, and I usually wanted Luna to shove him off the bed when he frequently said insensitive things (like I said, he was well-meaning, but that doesn’t excuse it…). The second guy was a bit more my type; while Luna is still very attracted to him, they start out on a much more friendly basis. My favourite character was Flo, the Shadow who mostly lives in Luna’s head, she was really snarky and fun and I would hope that we get to see more of her in the sequels.

I did find it interesting the way the author blended the fantasy elements with some sci-fi, though sometimes it did make me wonder what genre I was reading. Spoiler [highlight text to view]: Alien vampires with magical abilities? Not something you see every day. Having said that, kudos to the author for trying it. The idea grew on me, actually, and they stop mentioning their spaceship and things after a while, so it becomes just a fact at the back of your mind that the Mimicanes are this alien species stranded on earth.

Conclusion: while I felt that the story could probably be tighter, I didn’t dislike it. I think now that the main series arc has been established, the rest of the series will probably be more engaging. Here is what others have to say (people who are probably more into this genre than I).

“The true source of her empathy is mind-blowing.” By Book Reviewer: Wandalyn Thomas

“It’s a great tale that’s part Nancy Drew, part Harry Dresden, and part Underworld, with a dash of Weapon X thrown in for good measure.” By Author: Tom Winship

“Be ready for things you will not expect.” By Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

“Finding Esta is an urban fantasy tale with a riveting plot that hooked me from the very first page. It is the firs installment of Shah Wharton’s Supes series and cleverly weaves both mystery novel and supernatural tale together. By Valerie S. Fowler: Book Reviewer

“Can’t wait for the next one. Truly amazing story best book I’ve read in a long time I hope the next one comes soon.” By Wrainbeau: Book Reviewer

eBook Edition | and internationally.

Barnes & Noble | KOBO | Sony| iBOOKS SMASHWORDS

Print Edition

Amazon | Amazon France | Amazon Germany | Amazon Italy |

Amazon Spain | Amazon United Kingdom



Amazon Author Page (US) | Amazon Author Page (UK) |

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Finding Esta by Shah Wharton ( + Giveaway!)

  1. Shah Wharton says:

    Gutted you didn’t love it, but you can’t please everyone (I wish). I really appreciate your feedback though. It’s so interesting how each person can judge the same words so differently. Funny you should look at it as PR for example, as no one else has (or they haven’t said so in their review). Luna’s indiscriminate lust came from a general heightening of senses (due to metamorphosis) – difficult to handle as a virgin cast into an alien supernatural community. But Luna was good – no sex at all.

    I’m not a major fan of PR (though there are exceptions) myself, but I can enjoy a background romance element in most genres. It’s true Finding Esta isn’t easily categorised. It’s paranormal mystery to me, PR to you. The over arching opinion so far has been that it is a blend between urban fantasy and paranormal mystery.

    Thanks so much for giving it a go, Emily. It isn’t a quick read so I do appreciate your time. X


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