First of all, let me please say that after reading all of Shrum's other work, this one took me by surprise. It wasn't what I expected at all. Having said that, it is my favorite piece of her work so far.
This book begins the tale of a young woman, Lou (mid 20's) who has the power to travel from place to place <Spoiler>via the dark. There is also a special place that she can go to by travelling through water. While others share her ability to travel through dark, water travel is unique to Lou. At first I was confused as to why the character has to have two powers when one seemed to do the job as it were, but it became slightly more obvious as I read the book. </spoiler> I think that as the series progresses we will learn more even more about that.
Lou is hard-core. I absolutely LOVE that. There is none of that wishy washy stuff that happens with a lot of female characters now. She doesn't kick butt in one scene and then curl up with a bucket of ice cream sniveling at a romantic comedy in the next. She's tough, she's a bit mean and she's quite possibly a bit psychotic and I really REALLY hope she stays that way. Oh course she'll have to open up a wee bit if we are ever going to get to know her but I hope she never loses her dark edge.
As for all the side characters, I really liked them all. Yah, they could have been a bit better developed but again, this is a series and that will all come with time. I enjoyed them all and look forward to learning more about each of them as the series unfolds.
My only hesitation with this book is the possible love interest(s) that is/are developing. Please please PLEASE don't let this turn into ANOTHER love triangle. I absolutely HATE love triangles almost as much as I HATE the strong female lead going ga-ga over the bad guy (the other possible outcome here). No, no, no. Lou seems like someone who is so broken that she will never have a real relationship. She might have a string of flings but never anything real, and certainly nothing as emotionally complicated as a love triangle or a bad-boy lover. Hopefully Shrum will surprise me and avoid these potential disasters.
Overall, the book was amazing. My gauge of how good a book is is by how much I want to read more. This book, these characters, this whole unique premise.....I DESPERATELY want more. So yeah, I can NOT wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of paranormal mixed in with their mystery. Enjoy!