Book Review: Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson (3/5)

7 Mar

I’ve been holding on to this book for far too long. I won it in a giveaway on the author’s blog but haven’t found time to read it for years. My recent push to read my TBR has been working and I finally grabbed it and gave it a go.

Cover image via Goodreads

Minutes Before Sunset (The Timely Death Trilogy #1) by Shannon A. Thompson

Summary from Goodreads:

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

Disclaimer: My copy is one of the original 2013 publications. I’m not sure what changes were made between the 2013 publication and the re-release in 2015. Some of the content of my review may not be relevant to the most recent release.

I feel like I need to preface this review by saying I never read Twilight. I was never interested in the paranormal romance field. The closest I ever got was The Diviners and I read that because of the 1920s setting (though I enjoyed it a lot!). This isn’t a genre I have a lot of interest in and I’m not the target audience by far. I found the world confusing. I was often confused by the characters with two names (they have a human and a shade name) and it took me a while to know who was who and when. I was confused about how their shade powers worked and who had what abilities and what happened when things went wrong. It wasn’t clear to me why the light were so much more powerful or if that was just my perspective. Overall, I think there could have been a lot more backstory to make this story easier to digest.

Some of the characters were more believable than others. Jessica seemed to be very simple with low motivation and her emotions were predictable. Eric, on the other hand, was much more complex and seemed to be grappling with a lot of emotions and motivations simultaneously. I didn’t see what attracted them to each other because their relationship was filled with secrets yet they claimed to trust each other. I think a few more scenes could have made this stronger and more believable.

I wanted to know more about Pierce. His transformation between shade and human was very stark and I felt like it would have affected his personality in one or both forms. It would have been cool to explore that more and get to know him better.

I went to college in a town I didn’t know without knowing anyone so I could understand Jessica’s instant attraction to the first people who talked to her. I remained friends with those people for four years. I didn’t understand what Robb and Crystal really wanted out of their friendship, but I felt like there was something more behind why they roped Jessica into their group. Maybe that’s to be revealed in later installments in the series.

Shannon A. Thompson
Image via Amazon

I thought the descriptions of Prom were very true to my memories. It was always made into such a bit deal and it was such a superficial moment that was never what you wanted it to be. Jessica’s experience seemed pretty typical of what I recall. Maybe a little more ‘Prince Charming’ than I had, though.

The final battle seemed to end really quickly, to the point where I re-read a few pages because I thought I missed something. I understand that it was a small battle as the plot progresses toward its finale in book three, but the abruptness of its end was unsatisfying and I was confused about what had happened.

There wasn’t a clear theme to me in this book. Love was clearly something important to Jessica and Eric but it was unclear to me if this love was genuine or if it was the result of a prophecy that involved the two of them. Were they in love because the prophecy said they would be? With how quickly it developed, I really questioned how it would survive the action that’s sure to come in the next two books. I wish it had been parallelled in another couple, parents or allies in the fight because the theme wasn’t well emphasized.

Writer’s Takeaway: I thought a lot about my book while I was reading this one. I also have a teenage romance that builds. It helped me see where I thought there were strengths or weaknesses in this book and think about how I could use that to improve my own book. One of the big criticisms I had was that the romance between my two characters is implied for too long before it’s brought to the forefront of the book. Reading this, I thought where the romance could have been built more and it helped me see how I could build my own better.

This book didn’t really entice me to give paranormal romance a try. I’ll stick with what I’ve enjoyed before. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Cover Reveal: Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson | Note to Selph
Review: Minutes Before Sunset (The Timely Death Trilogy #1) | Real Rad Reads
Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson | The Modest Verge
Book Review: Minutes Before Sunset (The Timely Death Trilogy #1) by Shannon A Thompson | Press Pause Fast Forward


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