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Review: Shades of Gray (Jude Magdalyn #1) by L.M. Pruitt

Review: Shades of Gray (Jude Magdalyn #1) by L.M. Pruitt

by dg_mollyMay 6, 2012

TLDR Recap:

Orphaned, raised in a convent, and later, a teen on the streets, Jude Magdalyn is inventive with ways to make a buck. From holding down random odd jobs to posing as a tarot reading nun, she’ll do whatever it takes to get by and have a somewhat normal life. After a private card reading gone wrong, Jude finds herself immersed in a secret world full of magic, vampires, a looming war, and a choice between the affections of Williams and Theo, two men that couldn’t be more different than night and day. Shades of Gray is worth a look!

  • Title: Shades of Gray
  • Series: Jude Magdalyn #1
  • Author: L.M. Pruitt
  • Prominent Characters: Jude, Williams, Theo
  • Recommended Reader Age: 16+
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
  • Sexual Content Level: light

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***


Even though Jude spent most of her childhood in a Catholic orphanage, she’s definitely a product of the streets. Struggling for food and shelter on a daily basis left her cautious, dripping with witty sarcasm, and a much needed ability to compartmentalize. After leaving a private booking for a tarot reading with the feeling that she barely escaped with her life, Jude’s world is literally turned upside down.

Forced to leave her old life behind, Jude is immersed in a hidden supernatural world on the brink of war. The Covenant, a powerful group of individuals with magical abilities, reveals a prophecy that foretells Jude’s leadership of the organization and coming war. As she’s surrounded by people that have placed their hopes and beliefs in her abilities, Jude is burdened by a destiny she’s not sure she can fulfill.

At the inquest of her new role also come the affections of two very different men. Williams, a vampire, is the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. A man of few words, Williams is unforgettable from the time he walks onto the page. Theo, a member of the Covenant, has an at ease attitude and when paired with his silly sense of humor reveals an underlying sex appeal that levels out the competition for Jude’s heart.

As I began Shades of Gray, I was immediately hooked. Jude’s dry sense of humor and tough-girl attitude was completely believable. But, as I got further into the story it became apparent that there were some things missing. Jude’s introduction into the supernatural world was lackluster, i.e. no questioning or disbelief, just complete acceptance. Her love interests, Williams and Theo, were in a very brief competition for Jude’s affections and even though I don’t agree with the choice, the whole situation felt very rushed. These factors made the middle of the book a little hard going for me. However, the story does seem to come together at the end when the pace picks up and the action ensues.

Memorable Quotes:

Isn’t this the truth.

The moment I sat at the head of the table and took a good, long look at the three people making up the private, I knew taking this job was a mistake. They looked like nice, normal, sane people. I’d learned many years ago when people look that normal, they usually aren’t, not by a long shot.

Nuns…who’d have thought…

“Well, there was one time Sister Mary Penitent called me a sin-filled bastard, but it was slightly deserved.”

“What could you have possibly done to deserve such an epitaph?”

I glanced at the man who’d blurted out the question. Boy, really, since he looked younger than I did, despite the massive amount of weapons strapped to his body. I grinned, something I could never not do when the memory surfaced. “I’d just called her a stultifier of young minds and a harbinger of doom and misery. If memory recalls, she’d just finished ridiculing half my English class for their inability to understand the nuances of Shakespeare’s tragedies. All of them.”

If you liked Shades of Gray…

If you enjoyed Shades of Gray and are looking for more magical adventures with kick-ass heroines and don’t miss Hannah Jayne’s Under Wraps, a story of mystery, action, and suspense set in a supernatural San Franciso, or continue on with Jude’s story in Pruitt’s Shades of Desire.

Final Thoughts:

Although the plot is a little choppy, Pruitt compensates with characters that are well-rounded, humorous, and totally likeable. Shades of Gray turned out to be an enjoyable, easy read and is definitely worth a look!

Rating: Shades of Gray


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