Without a Trace (Shadows of London #5) by Ariana Nash | Book Review

Alexander Kempthorne has one more secret to tell, but it could cost him everything. Including Dom.

The windswept Scottish Highlands.

Everything has changed.

With new names and new lives, Dom and Kempthorne should be living their happy ending, but it’s not over yet.

Kage Mitchell knows they’re alive and he’s discovered the single most devastating secret Kempthorne has yet to tell Dom.

There is no other option. Kage Mitchell must die.

But he’s the least of Kempthorne’s concerns. With their identities revealed, and a war brewing between latents and normals, the shadows are on the rise once again, and an old threat awakens beneath London. A threat that could change latents, and the world, forever.

Kempthorne has spent his whole life running from his past. But now, the past is back, and alone, Kempthorne’s not strong enough to win this fight. When the terrible truth is revealed, will Dom forgive him enough to fight with him?

The Shadows of London series comes to its climatic finale in Without a Trace.


Please note, the Shadows of London series is set in London and the characters are all British (so is the author). Although the series has been edited in US English for the US market, to include US spelling and grammar, many English slang words and spelling remain as part of the character of the work.

Series reading order:

Twisted Pretty Things
Tide of Tricks
Trial by Fire
Truth or Dare
Without a Trace

How was it?

I read this book too fast. Part of it was because I was eager to see it unfold but then it quickly became a way to skim over the infuriating parts of this novel. I wanted to reread and revise this review but this is long overdue.

I picked up Twisted Pretty Thing for its cover knowing it was an Urban Fantasy story and I ended up liking how weird magic is in that world while not rooting for Dom and Kempthorne. Tide of Tricks did not help in that matter, Kempthorne drove me mad and Dom annoyed me yet I still liked the story. When Trial by Fire came around Kempthorne kind of became my boy and the sexual tension with Dom became amazing. Truth or Dare is when the overall story really hit its stride for me, I really enjoyed the ride and probably would have been fine if it was the last entry in the series.

So you can imagine my surprise when I’m in the first chapters of this novel and the same type of sh!t is back, half-truths, overreactions, poor decision-making, and a whole lot of drama. Coming from that fourth book high I had forgotten the way these characters always tend to decide not to talk about important pieces of information to each other, it’s infuriating. After five books this really gets old.
After going through the trouble of faking their deaths and attempting a quiet and normal life in Scotland, Kempthorne is still keeping f’ing secrets. I understand the story needed a catalyst but couldn’t it be something else? Or this exact secret but not held by Alex?

Anyway, that was just the set-up for what ended up being a fast-paced novel with an interesting plot and a LOT of action. Like some of the previous books, the story was great but the main characters were f’ing it up for me. It got to a point when I questioned why they even try to be together. At the beginning of the series, I wasn’t rooting for Kempthorne AND I didn’t trust Kage, despite the fact that he seemed to be the better guy. In this entry, Kage is off the rails and I loved it, well I wasn’t mad at it. His motivations didn’t completely make sense to me but I have to give him credit, he made for a great antagonist. The book is pretty much all suspense, tension, and excitement with the roller-coaster ride that comes with it all.

So the whole Shadows of London series is quite the wild ride with a somewhat dysfunctional duo smack in the middle of it but the action and the thrills are there with a solid world-building that has a lot to offer.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Without a Trace is available on The Book Depository and other book retailers near you.

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