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
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
FIND SHAH HERE