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The Timely Death Trilogy #1

Minutes Before Sunset

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She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

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.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

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.

247 pages, Paperback

First published April 28, 2013

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About the author

Shannon A. Thompson

16 books317 followers
Shannon A. Thompson is a children's author, librarian, and habitual chatterbox. She is represented by Marietta Zacker at Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson is the best-selling author of the Timely Death trilogy and the Bad Bloods series. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching KDramas in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at www.ShannonAThompson.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 152 reviews
Profile Image for Fran.
764 reviews85 followers
February 26, 2014

I was falling in love with her, and she was falling in love with me. It was fated, decided before any of us were born, and I hated it as much as I loved it. I could barely stand it.

Well, I'm not really sure what surprised me more - the fact that I loved this more than I honestly thought I would or that none of my book friends have read this or even added this to their TBR lists. Especially since I felt like this gave off a little bit of a Daemon Black and Katy Swartz vibe (you know, from the Lux series, which is totally one of my all-time favorites).

Minutes Before Sunset is the first installment of what I'm pretty sure is going to be an awesome trilogy. It's about a "Prophecy" which talks about the Ultimate Battle between the Light and Dark, only this time, the Dark is actually the good side and the Light is the one that's evil. Eric Welborn, the 17-year-old brooding Prince of Shades - the First Descendant - from the Dark community is destined to battle the Second Descendant, who comes from the Light camp, on his 18th birthday. Think Harry Potter and it's basically the same scenario: "neither can live while the other survives".

Now what I love most about this book, and practically in any other book, is the kick-ass heroine. I can always appreciate a female character whose purpose is not only to look cute and pretty in the arms of her leading man but to actually show some attitude and who knows how to fight back. Jessica "Jess" Taylor is typically the mysterious new girl in school just like Katy and Bella Swan were. Also, just like them, she ends up being paired with Eric, the equally mysterious and jerk of a guy that Daemon and Edward Cullen were like too, for a schoolwork. With that in mind, you're probably wondering what is Jessica's significance in all of this and if I'm comparing her to Katy and Bella, she surely has a much more important role here, right? Well, my question is: What's up with high school students these days because they seem to be always responsible for the fate of the universe?

When everything was right, something was bound to go wrong.

However, as much as I enjoyed reading this, I had to give this only a 4-star rating because of a couple of issues. First, I felt like some of the explanations and the background stories weren't enough for me to fully comprehend the whole picture. I mean, it wasn't like I got confused or anything big like that but I guess it's just me and my need for more detailed descriptions sometimes. Second, I understand that this is of the Young Adult genre but I kind of wanted there to have been more sexual tension between Eric and Jessica. I really loved them both but I wished that there would have been more intensity between them and a little bit more angst perhaps. Having said that, these were definitely not deal breakers at all, neither were the clichés I mentioned. In fact, I had issues with Obsidian too and I gave that 4 stars as well but the next three books of that series I had each given a 5 so I'm confident that this will also be the case this time.

One moment of true happiness was worth all the moments of pain.

All in all, this was a very entertaining read. It was fast-paced and if not for work, I would have finished it in one sitting. Thank you, Shannon A. Thompson, for introducing me to this whole new world. It's honestly a gem! (P.S. Please let the second book come out sooner! Please please. My heart is breaking already because of you-know-what.)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

***Check out my blog: Press Pause, Fast Forward
Profile Image for Berls.
1,028 reviews38 followers
February 20, 2017
*I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*

My Initial Reaction...
I am so incredibly glad that I found this series so close to the release of the next book. Minutes Before Sunset is a fresh young adult fantasy that I can’t wait to read more of.

The Story...
I usually talk about characters first because they are immensely more important to me than the story. But I think it will make more sense if I explain the really pretty fantastic world Shannon has created first. Problem is, I can hardly do it justice in a review so you seriously just have to read this book.

This is a world of Dark and Light – but contrary to popular perceptions, the Dark is good and the Light is bad. The Dark, represented by a group of people called Shades is a bit weaker than the Light because they only have their power at night. There is a prophecy that tells of two descendants – A Shade and A Light – who will fight each other and the result of that epic battle will bring about the survival of one of the two (and we’re rooting for the Shades).

The coolest thing about this world though is that the Shades and Lights walk around looking like normal humans most the time. At night the Shades get their power and, if they so choose, transform into their other form. Lights can do the same, though they have their power during the day as well. Anyway, their other form comes with a completely different identity. They look completely different – height, eyes, hair, clothes, EVERYTHING changes. They even have different names. And they guard their human identities fiercely. This added such an incredible element to the story because you never really know a person. Is s/he a Shade or a Light or just human? I was constantly trying to figure out who people were and it was maddening in the best way!

Since the characters are such a mysterious element it makes this such a hard book to review though. There’s a love story element – and it’s fantastic! – but I can’t really tell you anything else about it because it’s caught up in characters that I can’t explain without ruining fantastic elements in the story.

The Characters...
Okay – so that last explanation might make clear why I felt like the story needed to come first for this review. It also is why I’m not going to say too much about their characters. I don’t want to ruin any element of this amazing part of Minutes Before Sunset. I have to say that characters having two identities sounds like it could be really confusing. And I might do a bad job writing about it here, but Shannon does a great job. I was never once confused about who was who (except when I was supposed to be, of course).

There’s only a couple characters that we know from the start in both their human and shade forms and they’re all closely associated with Eric/Shoman. Minutes Before Sunset is told in part from his point of view. Anyway Shoman, Eric’s Shade form, is a name he received when he came of age as all Shades do – and when he received the name he was fated for it revealed him to be the first descendant. And it utterly changed Shoman’s life. Here’s this teenage boy – he’s 17 when we meet him – with the weight of his entire species on his shoulder. And somewhere, possibly at his very school, the second descendant is growing up with the same weight. And maybe he’ll have to kill him. Needless to say, Eric gets a bit distant and becomes a bit estranged from his classmates. It’s the closest we get to teenage angst in Minutes Before Sunset and it didn’t bother me at all. It felt appropriate.

Jessica, the other point of view in Minutes Before Sunset, is an adopted orphan who’s just moved to town and is in Eric’s homeroom/science class. They get forced into being lab partners and Jessica – who needs good grades before her parents will let her research about her real parents who lived in this town when she was a baby – is not about to let him get away with not doing his part. I loved seeing them interact and Jessica has just the right amount of spunk. Shannon is genius about when she lets us see the story from Jessica’s point of view, because it leaves you wondering about Jessica's other identity. Like Eric/Shoman, you have no idea who she actually is, even though you spend time in her head.

Concluding Sentiments...
Minutes Before Sunset kept me guessing from beginning to end! The characters are fantastic, the world building is complex and exciting, and the plot itself was engrossing. I even had serious moments of heartbreak and tears. I cannot wait to read the next book.

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Profile Image for Nada Faris.
Author 4 books48 followers
May 28, 2013
The story is told in two point of views.

The first is through the POV of Eric Wellborn, the son of the King of Shades, the first descendant mentioned in the “Prophecy.” Seventeen-year-old Eric has superpowers that were passed on to him by bloodline, which were activated at the age of thirteen, when he took part in his naming ceremony. The naming is important because it signals the end of naivety and the beginning of adulthood, responsibility, and duty—if Eric even lives long enough to accomplish it.

Eric tells us early on that he was raised with three principles:

To fight.
To conceal his identity
And to win, that is, to murder.

And why? Because a war is brewing.

As a human, Eric meets Jessica the new girl in town: the other POV of the story. She and Eric don’t seem to get along very well in their human forms. As Shades, on the other hand, who are not allowed to expose their identities to one another, they develop a strong attraction.

This story has twists and turns (even the Prophecy changes). It’s got magical powers, romance, and some funny moments. As a young adult novel, it will satisfy its readers.

All in all, the first book in A Timely Death series, was promising. It sets the stage for more conflict. Seconds Before Sunrise, Book 2 of the series, is scheduled for release in fall 2013.
Profile Image for Joe Hinojosa.
29 reviews2 followers
July 17, 2013
Coming of age stories are nothing new. Neither are stories of love and of prophecies, so why bother reading this one?

Shannon A. Thompson has given a refreshing twist to the genre. We explore the story through the eyes off two different principal characters, neither of which begin the story knowing the other, but who come together in spite of outside influences trying to prevent this from happening.

We see in our primary hero a desire to fulfill his destiny, but also some bitterness to be marked in this way. His very nature is not human, although he must act so to keep up appearances.

It's our second character that brings the ancient prophecy into fulfillment. It's the love that they share than jeopardizes our hero's mission to defeat their enemy, once and for all.

This is a wonderful story, one that will continue through two more books. I've rated this five stars, because I enjoyed it tremendously, and I can't wait for the next one to come out!
Profile Image for Merril Anil.
806 reviews72 followers
September 11, 2014
A rare among Generic

All it needs is a bit of spark to make even the smallest of star to shine brightly amidst millions of them

First of all a huge hug and thanks to the author for providing me a copy of the book and Bravo on another superb work that has blown out my mind completely. Thank you. Thank you and Thank you

Let’s begin with a bit of honesty and a bit of rant sorry bare with me a little here

When I started reading this book, I was like “Here we go again with another paranormal romance “The story follows the same track of very other paranormal books which is to say that it was a match made in science lab just like twilight, hush hush and many others whose name I can’t recall now

After reading so many of these young adult/ paranormal romances, i have finally realized that every trouble arises from that dreaded little lab assignment where you are partnered with that little mysterious brooder aka your soul mate. So guys a fair warning for all those who are still in school. Never take on a mysterious guy at the back bench for your lab partner especially if you are the new girl in town to avoid heartbreak or any paranormal near death experience. The guy could be anything from a fallen angel to demon to a superhero. So beg, cry, crawl or pull your hair till you go bald or even use artillery but never ever go for that mysterious guy. Oh by the way don’t bother asking the teacher because those things never work anyways. Practically every paranormal romance is a match made in school project starting with that lab partner. All these teachers seem to be the perfect match makers.

All i ever got for a lab partner in school was a pigtail nerd with big glasses and preferred playing with the beakers and test tubes and chit chatting in between her naps. My match never got made in those school labs...Guess my teachers were not that big on match making

So end of ranting and back to review

At the beginning, i was getting nervous about surviving another high school paranormal romance but to be honest i kind of started blending into the story after a while (and no i m not saying this for the sake of being nice to the author).

The book starts with the traditional track of new girl in town, boy with powers, lab assignment, and start of a beautiful friendship. This is where I am going to explain my heading to this review “ A rare among Generic”. Yes, the above factors are all there in the book just like million other books but interestingly these factors are only there in the passing and the entire story is happening somewhere else which makes this book stand out in spite of using these basic plot structures. The lab and assignment is no way the core of the book which makes it rare in a generic story line.

So if you think, that just like Edward and Bella started dating around that apple and biology lab in twilight, the characters in this book too are going to dance around the lab and doing assignments, blooming their eternal love, and saying “ I m the world’s deadliest predator” then you are in for a shock.

And before you team Edward and team Jacob gang up to kill me, let me clarify that twilight is my religion and Stephanie meyer, my god. So don’t kill me

Anyways back to review

To make it challenging there is an element of suspense which is in plain sight but still veiled enough to keep you making assumptions as to where the story is going but also makes you think twice at the next moment. This in itself makes the book spicier and captivating. The paranormal world is high enough to keep the whole plot busy and active away from the usual high school dramas and teen stuffs
The book starts with your usual theme of new girl in town, lab assignment and a lab partner but that is nowhere near to the real story and that is what makes this book worthy and refreshing. The lab assignment stuff is just a passing element in the story.

The whole paranormal world is well explained and the basics of this world are sharp and clear for you to understand its nuisances and this becomes an advantage to get yourself involved in the story. There are no overflowing emotional dramas or teen love, although it is not fully devoid of it. Just in bearable proportions. Language and narration is spot on.

Do not skip over this book thinking that it is another paranormal romance, if you want to read a quick, interesting plot with a whole new captive world of shades and light. The core of the story may be romance but the book is not all about it and that makes it worthy enough for me.

How was it?

Profile Image for Angie.
13 reviews
June 1, 2013

Wait…the Light is evil?


Eric: What a breath of fresh air. The ability to come from a guy’s perspective and make it actually sound like a guy is one that I feel is pretty hard to come by nowadays. Thompson captures Eric’s voice so well! He’s not perfect—far from it—he’s full of churning emotions and teenage angst, which is only magnified by the fact that he has his whole world on his shoulders. How would you like to come home to “Son, are you ready to fight an epic battle to save all of your kind?” rather than a simple “How was your day?” Maybe all of that is why I love him. His attitude is a façade that conceals his caring and honorable side. Not to mention that he is not only HOT, but super sweet. Like, if I lived in Hayworth (the town in which the novel takes place), I would be sending him googly eyes all day, every day. Lastly and most importantly, he grows and transforms immensely as he finds out more about himself. That’s probably what I loved most about the entire novel. Eric at the end is a completely different person than Eric at the beginning. Well, that, and his hilarious sarcasm.

Jessica: I like her. I don’t love her and I don’t relate to her very much, but maybe that’s a personal problem. I snagged a few glimpses into her emotions and her life throughout the book, but I didn’t really hear her voice really speak out until the end. There were many moments in which I felt like she was two completely different people. Certain events in her life don’t seem to affect other parts of her life like they do Eric. I did, however, LOVE her backbone. When people are rude to her, she doesn’t take it. This girl has her self-respect and self-confidence in control! Many female protagonists nowadays, although beautiful, constantly bring up their insecurities. It’s good, because, let’s face it, high school/college girls can relate, but I loved seeing Jessica’s comfort in her own skin.

The World—

WHAT? The guys that come out at night are the good ones? Mind. Blown. I do hope she elaborates more on the Light/Dark history in Seconds Before Sunrise, as there are some unanswered questions on how the Lights/Darks came into being, why their clans hate one another, etc. I cannot express how much I love Thompson’s explanations as to how these supernatural creatures live side-by-side with humans. They shift into two different forms? You’ll have to read the book in order to find out more, but I will say that Thompson’s world of “shades,” “Lights,” powers, hierarchy, shape-shifting, and foretold epic battles has its coolness factor down.

Final Thoughts—(READ ME)

Housekeeping: multiple small grammar/spelling mistakes. While they bothered me, they didn’t take away from the story, so if you’re not a grammar Nazi like I am, you’re good!
Thompson’s reversal of the Light/Dark archetypes is really interesting and wonderfully unnerving and seeing the two extremes come face to face during intense battle scenes only highlighted the genius of this role reversal. HOLY DRAMATIC IRONY. For the majority of the novel, my mind was screaming “OMG listen to me! I know stuff you don’t!” and it was oh, so good. Thompson’s use of dramatic irony kept me on my toes, just waiting to see when the characters would figure out things. Also, Thompson sketches in her foreshadowing beautifully. I cannot wait to find out what’s in store for Eric and Jessica in Seconds Before Sunrise. The romance is genuine and did not have raging teenage hormones; instead, it shows that…(ahh, best part. You’ll have to read it!)

Memorable Quotes—

“You’re either very brave or very foolish.” “What’s the difference?”
“She reminded me of what it was like to believe in something.”
“He was beyond intimidating. He was overwhelming.”

The author provided me a free eBook in exchange for an honest review.
383 reviews6 followers
June 5, 2013
Epic Battle between Light and Dark – Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Minutes Before Sunset is the first book in Shannon A Thompson’s Timely Death Trilogy which tells of the elemental power struggle between Dark and Light. It is an amazingly well crafted and multifaceted novel with a fantastic hero and heroine and memorable supporting characters.

In Minutes Before Sunset, seventeen year old Eric Welborn lives in the Midwest town of Hayworth. Eric is a shade, not just any shade, but a descendant, destined by prophecy to battle with the descendant of Light, ancient enemies of the Dark, when he is eighteen, in a battle that will decide the fate of many. Eric has been rocked by tragedy in his life and his obligations weigh heavily on his shoulders, making him a loner, who fears to care for anyone, lest they be taken away from him. However, two encounters are about to change his life – one with Jessica Taylor, a new student at his high school and another, with a powerful, nameless shade, ignorant of her birthright and as such vulnerable to not only his shade community who do not trust outsiders, but also to the Light. He breaks the rules by not reporting her to his Elders and trains her to develop and control her powers, but cannot reveal all his secrets to her.

Jessica Taylor has moved to Hayworth with her adoptive parents, committed to finding out about her deceased biological family who were local to the town. To garner help from her adoptive parents in this quest they require her to obtain perfect grades. This task appears impossible as she is paired with the taciturn Eric Welborn on a key science project. Eric is distant and preoccupied, often skipping class and is disinterested in completing the project with her. However, not only will Jessica not fail her science project, but she also wants to find out more about his secrets and at the same time feels drawn to him.

As the battle between Light and Dark approaches Eric must devote more time to his training and remain focused. However, his thoughts often stray to the nameless shade, who grows more and more powerful and he is also distracted by Jessica, who piques his human side. Key players in the Light close in on Eric and he must protect those he cares about and keep himself alive until the battle commences, a battle he fears that he is destined to lose. Yet when he discovers that the Dark Elders have lied by omission about key elements of the prophecy, he feels deceived and the events which ensue threaten dire consequence for all he holds dear.

The cast of supporting characters is strong, from the adults to Eric and Jessica’s fellow pupils. The fact that neither the shades nor the Light recognise each other easily in their human form adds an element of mystery to the plot and we as reader are therefore not party to the secret identity of many characters. We can only guess at their true nature and I am sure that the author will reveal more in subsequent books in the trilogy.

Minutes Before Sunset is an original and compulsive read. The tale is told in the first person, with chapters told from the perspective of Eric and Jessica. This is effective in terms of both advancing the plot and giving depth to the characters. I particularly enjoyed the maturity and selflessness of the hero and heroine, Eric and Jessica, and found their growing attraction and love for one another both believable and sweet. The novel ends in such a way that I am chomping at the bit to read the next instalment.

Minutes Before Sunset is a magical, if slightly dark tale, containing romance and adventure, which explores fate and free will and self-sacrifice. I recommend it to readers of both adult and young adult paranormal romance.
Profile Image for jenn.
694 reviews310 followers
March 24, 2016
***3.5 Shady Stars***

I can honestly say that I haven't read a book with Shades in it except the series Eragon.

This was a good book, though even with the high school drama, it was a fast pace read. I can tell you the author was good at hiding plot twists and even was able to surprise me with them. So on and forward then.

Meet Eric Welborn, he isn't completely human, and not the only shade. He has one year left before his eighteenth birthday before he has to win a long-raging war for him and Dark Shades everywhere.

But then this new girl starts at his high school.
And bum bum bum.... almost insta-love?

One night while playing around with his guard, Eric meets a nameless shade, one that he's never met before, 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 (Jess) Taylor moves to Hayworth. She finds out that this town has information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: that she get perfect grades. On her first day she in science class (Sounds like these science classes are the way to meet a non-human. *coughtwilightcough*) Jess assigned as Eric's class partner who seems to be a loner with no friends.

Being assigned as his lab partner for a science project, Jess finds that he won't help her, let alone talk to her in order to complete the science project so that she might get a good grade and find out more about her parents.

But she's determined to change him.

Again with the Twilight likeness.

It's annoying as they only are ever in science class and none other. Irritating it is.

Going over the story really would just give everything away. It's a simple book with a quiet a bit of detail.
Profile Image for Samantha.
2,685 reviews20 followers
November 2, 2013
I got this book in exchange for an honest review and who doesn't love free books? What makes it better is when the book actually turns out to be simply wonderful! Minutes Before Sunset was not like your everyday paranormal story. It was different and so refreshing to read.

I will be honest, it was slow getting into it however that could have been due to just being tired, the book hangover I was suffering from another book, I mean seriously it could have been just me but once things started moving I didn't want to put it down.

We have Shoman/Eric who is a Shade. Now I have not read many stories of Shades but I have to say this is my favorite so far. Eric is one of the highest ranking Shades, a First Descendant. Thanks to past events he just doesn't care about anything. But who could blame him?

Then we Jessica. She is moving back to town after her parents died and she was adopted. She is a human who wants to know more about what really happened to her real parents. What happens when these two meet? Well in his human form Eric stays away from everyone. He doesn't get involved with school, and simply has become a loner.

Jessica gets picked up by Crystal and Robb who introduce her to school and to my tried to run her life as far as who she talked to, what she did, and so on but mostly it was Crystal.

Throughout this book we follow Jessica's struggle to handle school work, the search for her parents, adjusting to a new school, handling her run ins and school projects with Eric, and discovering who she really is.

Eric is preparing for the Ultimate battle between Dark and Light in just a few months. What he never expected was to meet a mysterious Shade who doesn't know what she is, who her parents are, and what she is capable of. He knows that he needs to report her to the Elders but doesn't want to because outside Shades have to be killed. What is he going to do? What happens when he finds out who this Shade really is? What will happen when he finds out there is more to this war than he was told? And how will he handle being able to feel again and has to lose what he wants to the most to keep everyone safe? If you want to know seriously pick up the book and find out. It is soooo worth it!
Profile Image for Kristy Gillespie.
Author 5 books53 followers
May 19, 2013
“Minutes Before Sunset,” the first book of the Timely Death Series, flips the “Dark is Evil/ Light is Good” archetype.

Seventeen-year-old Shoman (known as Eric to the surrounding humans) is a Shade, a descendant of the dark side, and his eighteenth birthday is fast approaching. But instead of cake, ice cream, and balloons, Shoman will fight Darthon, the descendant of the dark, and only one of them will survive.

To complicate matters, Shoman meets a mysterious girl who he assumes is a Shade, and he can’t seem to stay away from her even though: “Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificate selfishly and without control.”

Shoman and the nameless Shade fall in love slowly and naturally. According to Shoman, “I loved how she curled up under my arm, how she seemed to fit into the space as if it was meant for her.”

I won’t give away the ending but I will say that it reminds me a bit of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” which is one of my favorite movies.

I can’t wait to read the sequel, “Seconds Before Sunrise,” (Fall of 2013).

Check out Shannon Thompson’s insightful blog:

Profile Image for Katie Harder-schauer.
786 reviews51 followers
December 4, 2013
For the first time in a while, I read the author blurb at the end of this book, and I wish I hadn't. All I'm going to say on that score is EMAW! If Ms. Thompson reads this, she should understand. However, I'm not going to hold that against her, too much.

This book was excellently written, and she has a great talent. I got to feel a little like Sherlock Holmes trying to unravel a mystery, figuring out who is who in the real world and the Light and Dark world (I think I've got it mostly figured out too, but Ms. Thompson may surprise me in the sequel). I love how this book makes me see the big bad dark in a whole new light, and I'm hoping to learn more about the light in the sequel. In reality I would be happiest if this book were like 700 pages long and contained the entire series, because I really don't want to wait until March for the next book. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone that likes YA paranormal books, and will be encouraging my children to read them (assuming they are into paranormal books) when they reach an appropriate age (at least 10.)
Profile Image for T.B. Markinson.
Author 57 books810 followers
October 11, 2013
Jessica is the new girl in high school. Eric is the brooding teen that everyone stays away from. When they are paired to be lab partners in chemistry the reader senses sparks will fly. But this novel isn't just a teen romance. Eric has a secret. He’s a Shade who will have to battle his nemesis on his 18th birthday. There will only be one survivor. Jessica is adopted and is searching for clues about her parents and her past. Two teens with a secret past … can you feel the suspense?

This tale, the first in the Timely Death Series, is a good beginning. There’s romance, action, brooding teens, and some twists and turns. Both characters are likable, even Eric. I say that because he comes across as gruff and unfeeling. But he was raised to be a warrior. Seeing his softer side come out is fun.

When I finished the book I was slightly disappointed. Not by the story, but the next book is not released yet. Hopefully soon.
Profile Image for Shannon Thompson.
Author 16 books317 followers
April 22, 2017
As the author, I wanted to thank everyone that has read “Minutes Before Sunset” as well as those interested in the trilogy. If you are on the fence about reading it, feel free to message me with questions or comments. A special thank you goes out to those who have written reviews and rated the novel. I cannot thank you enough for your encouraging support.

May your words always inspire writers to continue with their dreams.

Shannon A Thompson


If you’re looking for the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise can be found here:

Check out the extras here:
Profile Image for Runningrabbit.
1,385 reviews93 followers
August 24, 2015
FREE on Amazon. Check out loads more paranormal reads on https://www.facebook.com/ParanormalBo...

I enjoyed this except for the ending, which was a ‘been there done that’. A bit lame. I most assuredly didn’t want a cliffhanger, but I would have appreciated something a bit more creative.

The character was likable enough, credible and rather ordinary despite the usual pariah status. Yep, been there done that. Tall dark and sultry was there. Yep, been there done that.

The ‘war’ status, although another usual step, was lifted a little by some of the circumstances which although a used theme, took a slight step away, but certainly not a jump.

I will probably(?) do the next novel, but I predict a fair jot of skimming.
Profile Image for Sorin Suciu.
Author 3 books33 followers
August 1, 2013
You know you are reading a good romance novel when you feel compelled to shout “Kiss her, you fool!” at every other page. It gets even better when you want to add “Her too, you blind fool!”

Minutes Before Sunset gives you just that, but it doesn’t stop there. Instead, it weaves a fast-paced and well-written fantasy plot around it, then carefully wraps the story in shrouds of mystery, and ties ribbons of Light and Dark around the whole package.

Shannon joggles cleverly with the first-person view between her two main characters, making it impossible not to become intimately involved with them, projecting their tumultuous ups and downs as your own.
Profile Image for Douglas McLeod.
Author 12 books22 followers
August 2, 2013
This was given as a gift from the author.

I must confess, I haven't read many paranormal books before, but this one was interesting and compelling. The chapters told the story from either of the two main characters' perspectives. While they tended to differ from the usual format of stories I read, I felt it had a good enough flow. I'm interested in picking up the second book in the trilogy.
Profile Image for Ky Grabowski.
Author 1 book29 followers
September 22, 2013

** spoiler alert **

May Contain Spoilers!

Minutes Before Sunset

By; Shannon A, Thompson

Review by; Ky Grabowski

The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There’s no better place to start than the beginning where the heart is hurt among family. In Hayworth Kansas we meet Eric Wellborn an outcast whose prophecy only can result in death. He’s an heir, he’s intelligent, and he’s a powerful Shade but he’s damaged from losing some of the most important people to him then you add the big battle he has to fight in – if he lives that long. Eric then finds himself in a dangerous situation when the new girl Jessica arrives into town. A character that’s just as lost, damaged & in need of answers as Eric is.

Shannon has created two main characters Jessica & Eric who complement each other as you will see when you read from each perspective. She gives us different insights as we read on without making it difficult to follow. I completely loved the flip from each character. It added great detail to the story. The transition of different perspectives gave the story the ability to move along without too many bumps in the road.

As we read on you learn about the dark & the light very quickly as Eric explains their history as far as he knows it & his prophecy. We find out why they the Shade’s & the Lights no longer work together & why they are out to kill each other.

When we get back to Eric we find out he’s a powerful shade & among his abilities is to sense people, something he uses to find Camille a half breed & his guardian but instead he finds another shade. She doesn’t know what she is or what to do with herself.

He keeps this a secret but it continues to nag at him – who is this girl he found & why was she somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be? Of course she’s an important figure in the book but Shannon’s twist with this character was well done. I found myself hoping for the best.

A part of the book I really liked was the naming ceremony that is held when kids turn of age to receive their powers. A big part of the Shade’s history. The ceremony is not all it’s shown to be with glitter and crowns. Eric shares his thoughts while watching it all unfold & he makes note that what was in store for the future was far from something to celebrate. They had responsibilities and a lot of pressure comes with that.

Why do I think something as simple as their naming ceremonies are important? It’s a reminder of innocence.

Eric talks about how happy the children are running around, testing their powers & there’s this sense of invincibility. It’s a coming of age for these kids. It’s like when we graduate that final year of elementary school and we’re heading into high school that coming fall. We’re excited, we’re scared but most of all after that ceremony, after the summer ends it’s a new journey we’re taking. Sometimes we feel invincible and we are trying to figure out who we are & most of all we’re trying to find where we belong. Exactly like the naming ceremony.

Shannon gives us detailed descriptions of the scenery, the homes they live in and what they look like which I enjoyed. I appreciate that Shannon reminded us of what the characters looked like throughout the novel because with so many characters coming in and out it can be hard to keep track sometimes. I like that I was able to picture the story in my mind and see what Shannon created. I very much like visuals because it helps me as a reader connect to something.

Shannon’s ability to reveal answers that many authors often leave till the end is a great strength. I think it was also a risk that paid off. We know so much about the characters, the history and the future before we’re even half way in. Shannon touches on everything readers want and gives the illusion that the knowledge we’ve given is all we need. It’s far from that though – there’s a rich, capturing story following and don’t for one second assume you have all the answers.

As we read on I notice many changes from the characters Shade forms & their human counterparts. For instance, because they cannot reveal their human form to others it makes the relationship between Eric & Jessica interesting.

They don’t see eye to eye in their human forms, Jessica can hardly get Eric to speak to her let alone be around her. While in their Shade forms these two are very much glued to one another. I like the parallel that Shannon adds to the story by doing this because she explores how we act around others in different situations.

I truly got a good laugh at the differences Jessica & Eric have in their different forms when I read the book. I mean – we know who they are but they don’t so it gives us as the readers some humor to see how they treat each other because of this. It’s great to see how Jessica & Eric need each other but at the same time that them being together could be the death of them and result in the great battle heading a completely different direction.

Here’s another example of what makes this book so good.

There’s the relationship Eric shares with his step-mother & step-brother, which I find very human considering Eric isn’t. I think a lot of people whose families have come to have step’s feel the same way Eric does at the beginning but it’s refreshing to see how he grows with this relationship. You get to see clearly how he feels, how he deals with it and Shannon even touches on how they feel or at least the adorably-annoying step brother.

Then there’s the relationship Eric shares with his guardian, Camille. I find that she is a wonderful addition to Eric. I like how she cares so much for him but at the same time Shannon shows that she too struggles with her own past and future. She’s just as lost and hopeful as everyone else in the story.

Shannon’s progress with the character development was brilliant. I feel she permitted the characters in Minutes before Sunset to shift in their personalities & grow with each other from being who they were at the start to who they started to become at the end. The progress was smooth & it felt completely right as you read.

The reason why I am fond that the characters didn’t go from black to white? Well it’s because the grey areas of people are the best parts – its messy, its trouble and it’s beautiful. I truly do look forward to the sequels to see how this story will progress. It’s engaging, believable and with each chapter you find yourself rooting for the characters and praying they make it out alive. I am intrigued to see how it all will end.

The only thing I wanted more of was more of the stories with the minor characters; I was curious to the subplots in this story and wanted to see how they would progress. I however believe Shannon will explore them more in the rest of the series considering how Minutes before sunset ended. How did it end? You’ll have to read it to find out why you need to read the sequels! It was a nice twist.

Shannon really impressed me with the way each relationship is diverse. Shannon’s writing style provides her readers the ability to connect with the characters. She creates an unique world that causes us to question everything and even while she gives us answers every few pages we’re still left with wonder.

Take your time when you read Minutes before Sunset so you can enjoy what Shannon adds all the way through. Shannon is able to capture simplicity in a potent way. She puts all her heart into her work and continues to give her readers only the best. I had a hard time putting away the book as I wanted to know what would happen next! There’s so much depth in each page – you need to see it rather than just read it. Shannon Thompson delivers a story that will have you begging for more!

Bravo Shannon Thompson! I wish you luck on your journey and hope you only continue to receive the recognition you deserve because you’re truly a gem!

- Ky Grabowski
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Michele.
Author 2 books9 followers
April 14, 2017

Beautifully written! I was drawn into their world immediately. It is full of surprising twists and hidden depths make this a must read!
Profile Image for Nicole.
449 reviews29 followers
May 22, 2013
The author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome to Hayworth, a nondescript Midwestern town that hides a secret of worldwide importance. Things are certainly not as they seem - Dark is good, Light is not, and the descendants of each are perched on the edge of the battle that will decide which side survives. Minutes Before Sunset sets the stage for this battle, introducing the reader to the primary characters and the central conflict of the planned trilogy.

Eric Welborn is the son of a prominent family in Hayworth - a family touched by repeated tragedy. The deaths of his mother and girlfriend - although years ago - continue to haunt Eric's every step. His vital role in the upcoming battle casts a long shadow, and his refusal to follow the rules may put his side in jeopardy.

Jessica Taylor has just moved back to Hayworth and wants to find out as much as she can about her birth parents. She makes a few close friends, but is thrown into partnership with Eric for a school project, which may ruin her grade and her chance to explore her past.

Underneath it all weaves the balance of power between the Light and the Dark; a balance that will be swayed by the appearance of a new shade with incredible strength that could win - or lose - the war for whoever can claim her.

I enjoyed Minutes Before Sunset. It was a quick read at 250 well-paced pages. The plot development and conflict develop smoothly with sufficient input from both sides of the story. The book alternates between the point of view of each of the main characters without a set pattern, and Ms. Thompson should be commended for her ability to create two characters that are similar enough to keep these sections from being disjointed, but different enough that the reader can tell in an instant who is speaking.

The romance aspect of the novel is more understated than most Young Adult novels - something I appreciated. There is enough to make it sweet without the characters' relationships becoming the central theme. The characters are well-developed and believable.

There were only two issues that I felt really took away from the book, and one of those is just a personal preference. I'll get that one out of the way first. I'm not a fan of coarse language in Young Adult novels. I'm not really a fan of coarse language in any novel to be completely honest. There were a few instances of cursing in Minutes Before Sunset, and I didn't feel like they were necessary. Ok, personal rant over. The other issue I had was more of a housekeeping concern - there are quite a few spelling errors, homonym confusions, and awkward word choices scattered through the book that a good proofreading should eliminate.

Even without some minor tweaking, I highly recommend Minutes Before Sunset to anyone who enjoys Young Adult novels, light romance, paranormal characters, or just a good, quick read. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the series!
Profile Image for Melanie.
748 reviews23 followers
August 28, 2014
This book held my attention from the beginning! The story switches back and forth between Eric and Jessica. Eric is part of the Dark. In this book, Light is evil. There's a prophecy in the making between Light and Dark and Eric is a major part of it since he is a true descendant. There will be a big battle and it won't end until he kills the Light's true descendant (whose name is Darthon) or he is killed by Darthon. As a human, Eric is a loner at school and likes it that way.

Jessica has just moved to Hayworth. She was born there but was adopted when she was a baby and her parents moved away so she doesn't remember anything about it. Now that she's back, though, she can't stop thinking about her biological family and wants to find them. Her parents tell her she has to keep her grades up and she didn't think that would be a problem until Eric was assigned to be her science partner and he could care less about their grade.

I liked the interaction between Eric and Jessica. I loved Eric and was glad he wasn't portrayed as a total jerk. He's more absorbed in his role as a descendant than his life as a human (for good reason) which is why he doesn't interact with humans too much. They are transformed enough when they're in Light/Dark form that he doesn't know exactly who they are in human form, but he does figure that he must know some of them. That keeps him from becoming friends with too many people because he doesn't want to have to fight against his friends.

I also loved Jessica. She's trying to fit in at a new school. She makes friends with Robb and Crystal who used to be friends with Eric. She's intrigued with Eric but is also trying to keep her distance since he's not very friendly. She doesn't let him walk all over her, either, and stands up for herself when she needs to. Her second identity is more mysterious although it wasn't too difficult to figure out.

The characters in the book have a human identity and a Light or Dark identity so sometimes I was confused by the secondary characters as to who was who (I think this was really more a reflection on my not paying close enough attention when they were first introduced, though). The plot is pretty complex and I liked getting bits and pieces at a time. The second half of the book sped up quite a bit and the ending made me sad for now but I'm hopeful it will all end happily. I feel that there's so much more story to be told and think I have some identities figured out so I'm looking forward to reading the second book to see if I'm right!

Content: Mild swearing, kissing. Clean!

I received a copy of this book to review. My opinion is 100% my own.

Mel's Shelves
225 reviews15 followers
October 20, 2013
Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson was an awesome surprise. This story has everything a girl wants in a Young Adult novel -- a believable heroine, a sexy, mysterious love interest, a little bit of paranormal action and an amazing story of young love.

At first, I didn't know what to expect with this book, all I knew was the synopsis sounded awesome. However, within the first few pages it didn't matter; I was immediately sucked in and I didn't put the book down until I was finished. I loved this idea of Shades and Eric as this prophet dude. It was such an original idea. I haven't read anything like it before. There was this real, tangible danger throughout the entire story that kept me on the edge of my seat.

I loved the dynamic between Eric and Jessica, and I LOVED the whole concept at the end. Their love story was so sweet and real, and the sacrifices they made for each other was breathtaking. And that's what makes this book so good; the love between Eric and Jessica was completely believable. I was really invested in the story and the characters,

I loved that this story had good guys and villains with real consequences. The suspense from the looming "showdown" was killing me! I have to know what happens next! This story was just right: it wasn't too fluffy but wasn't too dark either. This book was brilliant, original and romantic. This is a timeless love story with incredible character growth, action and twists of fate.

The only complaint I have is the cover. I don't think it's a good representation of what the story is really about. With the shades and the badass-ness throughout, I think the cover could have more of an edge to reach the right target market. Regardless, the sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise will be out Fall 2013 and I have to get my hands on it. I loved the ending and how it created this conflict so Eric and Jessica have to fall in love all over again. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for an awesome paranormal romance. If this first book is any indication, I have a feeling this is going to be a great series.

STARS: 5 out of 5

Thank you Shannon A. Thompson for a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Read more reviews at Note To Selph Book Reviews.
137 reviews197 followers
February 15, 2014
***3.5 stars***

1) The concept of this book series is really interesting and not something I've really seen before. However, I never felt like I quite got a grasp of how the Shades and Lights worked.
2) The telling of the story from two POVs (Eric and Jessica) was really smart because both these characters had another identity. There was a constant build-up as both characters' lives (in Shade and Human form) became more and more connected. It was quite thrilling!
3) I quite liked all the characters in the book but I wasn't always too fond of Jessica as a possible female protagonist. She acted before she could think things through and this made her annoying at times.
4) Eric was really likeable. His character development, even though it is not dramatic, was still great to read about.
5) I felt like Jessica was a little bit too much. Not in her personality but the fact that she was this simple girl that had never fought in her life and then all of a sudden she was stronger than a trained man in combat. It was just a little bit too extreme and unrealistic.
4) The writing in this book was enjoyable and easy to read. I can't say that it was overly special as I felt as though descriptions were always quite simple and lacked any extra flair.
5) It was continuously entertaining and action packed. You're left with an overall pleasant ending but there are still some loose ends waiting to be tied in the next book.

Random comment: I was also confused as to how Jessica had a different appearance when she met Shoman (Eric's Shade form) because she didn't know she was a Shade and I didn't think she'd know how to change appearance. She'd never mentioned being able to do it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a lot! It was action packed and I really want to see what the next book has to offer.
Profile Image for Shana Festa.
Author 8 books141 followers
January 6, 2014
Forget what you know about the good guys and the bad guys. The good guy always wears white, the bad guy black…. Don’t go into the dark, it’s bad…. Stay in the light.

Shannon Thompson does an excellent job at character development. Their interactions are believable and the conversation flows easily. At first, I had a hard time liking Eric. He was so angsty and downtrodden about everything. But as the story develops you really get a feel as to why and as his character develops he turns into someone very likeable. Jessica is likeable from the beginning and you almost find yourself rooting for her to break through the walls that Eric has built around himself to keep everyone out. Her friends, on the other hand, I’m not sure that I ever really got to like them. Even though they are necessary for both the story and Jessica’s development.

I can’t wait to read the second book (and subsequently, the third) and maybe find out a little bit more about the Light. Perhaps find out more about the one who Eric will have to face during this epic battle. There are some great twists to the plot in Minutes Before Sunset and some paths that are completely predictable. But I do have to say that the paths that are predictable are still interesting. It’s not hard to figure out how Jessica fits into Eric’s life (now if I told you that would just give it all away!), but you still keep turning the pages to find out how it all works out.

This book ends with a huge cliffhanger! Thankfully the next book is due out in March and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Visit www.bookie-monster.com to read the full review by Desiree Putaski, member of The Bookie Monster team.
Profile Image for Kathryn Casna.
1 review2 followers
July 30, 2013
Eric Welborn lives a double life: by day, he's that quiet, weird kid that sits at the back of the class and doesn't do his homework; by night, he's a Shade, with the power to fly, teleport, and conjure a magical sword from thin air. His whole life he's lived with a prophesy that says only he can defeat the evil Light and save the world. With just one more year to prepare for a battle to the death, he meets a mysterious Shade who shouldn't even exist outside the Dark community. Going against every instinct--and breaking every rule--he decides to teach her to use her powers. But there's more to the prophesy than Eric knows, and what the Dark hasn't told him could put him and his secret friend in mortal danger.

The concept of Minutes Before Sunset is a breath of fresh air in a YA genre crowded with werewolves and vampires. Shannon A. Thompson artfully weaves two worlds together from two different perspectives: Eric's, and Jessica's. The result is well-rounded, in-depth characters, and a seamless story, while still retaining enough mystery to keep me wanting more. The down side was that sometimes it was a little frustrating having both perspectives and watching the characters struggle to put together clues about each other--kind of like watching someone walk into a dark room all by themselves in a horror flick. I wanted to scream at the characters to wake up and see the connections! There are some spelling and grammar mistakes, but not enough to be terribly distracting from the story. Overall, Minutes Before Sunset is definitely worth a read!
Profile Image for J.N..
1,343 reviews
October 31, 2013
Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would like this. But about 15% in, I was convinced that I was, in fact, going to like this. Paranormal/Supernatural Romances are usually a hit and a miss with me, but this one did a very good job with the genre.

Thompson's writing is strong. The only thing that I didn't like about it was it seemed like character's names were used too much in dialogue at times. The descriptions were also well done and it was easy to get a picture of the surroundings and characters.

While the story itself is interesting, it's really the characters that stood out most. The dual POV worked very well for this story. Even though it's obvious who the nameless shade is not too far from the beginning, that didn't detract from the story at all. Eric was likable despite his sullen demeanor because I could sympathize with him. I liked Jessica's streak of independence. The only thing I missed was that neither of the main characters seemed to have any interests besides things that dealt with the shades.

The story itself was easy to follow and engaging. I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for the next two books. Intrigued to see what will happen next.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author for this review. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.
Profile Image for Gregory Lamb.
Author 5 books41 followers
June 27, 2013
Five Stars -Surprisingly Good

Indie author, Shannon Thompson's first published novel is perfectly suited for young adult readers and shouldn't be overlooked by adults who enjoy a subtle paranormal romance. "Minutes" is the first volume of a three part series that takes place in a small town in middle America.

Hayworth High School students, Eric, Crystal, Robb, and newcomer Jessica seem ordinary enough, but Eric Welborn and Jessica Taylor are on a path of discovery in an alternative world where good and evil are about to clash. By night, Eric transforms into the "Shade," Shoman and prepares for the day he turns 18 and must battle a powerful warrior, Darthon, of the "Light." Readers will soon discover the predictable role Jessica plays in the story but Ms. Thompson lays out the plot in such a way that you'll keep turning the pages to find out what will happen next.

I loved the character development. I think young adult readers will be able to identify with them. I'm looking forward to reading the the other books in the series.

My Kindle review copy was given to me by the author through publisher AEC Stellar, Inc.
Profile Image for Brandt.
Author 49 books353 followers
September 10, 2016
This is a very well written novel that makes you not even notice the turning pages (or in the case of my kindle, tapping pages). In the crowded field of paranormal romance, Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson is a standout that deserves more attention. Aside from the intriguing story line, which you can read more about in the book’s description, I really liked the author’s crisp writing style –

“At night she looked like a light, and she retained the Light’s abilities. She could intercept their signals, sense them coming, and fight them with their own strength. In reality, her biggest flaw was her most powerful gift. Still, we never talked about it.”

The book is filled with authentic characters, Jessica, of course, was my favorite. And that authenticity anchors the paranormal aspects of the story to something that makes it all seem important and real. This is a fun book and I just found out the next one Seconds Before Sunrise has just been released – I can’t wait! Highly recommended 5-stars.
Profile Image for Jeff.
604 reviews10 followers
November 21, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The concept of writing from the first person for two different characters throughout the book was unique, at least to me. I admit I found it confusing at first, but once I got used to it, I really liked it. Following both Eric and Jessica, and their respective points of view was cool. The idea of having two main characters who are part of a species of people that transform back and forth between human and "shade" was also unique to me. I found the whole book to be refreshing and unique (I keep using that word). It kept me engaged all the way through. I can't recall ever being bored with the story.

I ran across an occasional editing mistake, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all. Shannon's writing style is clear and entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment of this series. I found myself disappointed when it ended. I truly want to know what happens to these characters.
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