Umbra: Rae Else *Review*

The cover of Umbra by Rae Else is on the left side, superimposed on an image of mountains at sunset/sunrise. Added text says: This war will have consequences no one sees coming...

Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, NA Fantasy | Release Date: 5 May 2022 | Series: The Dark Between | Series Book: #3 | Pages: 321 | Indie Author | Review

“The truth was… she was a sheep in wolf’s clothing.”

Rae Else


I was recently lucky enough to dive back into the world of The Dark Between with an e-ARC of Umbra, and I’m telling you right now, Rae has utterly spoiled us with danger, emotion and rising tension within its pages. It’s *so* good. After the previous two books (Luna and Nox), I wondered what on earth could be next for our heroine, Jess. Jess has put her prison days behind her, and become the Rem Alpha so she can raise an army against Mara, Queen of the Unseelie. The Sidhe must be saved. The Gods have to be restored to their rightful place. And if that means the death of Jess? Well, that’s future Jess’ problem.

Within Umbra, we get a look into what happens when things are bigger than you. Would you stay and face not only your inner demons, but also defy those who love you? Or would you flee, hoping that this challenge could be fought by anyone else but you? Jess is getting increasingly lonely, and the darkness is drowning her… Will she break if it means the end of her relationship with Rune?

Cover of Umbra by Rae Else is to the right, superimposed over a black and white image of leaves with water droplets on them. Added text says: Jess knows she can't trust anyone... But what happens if she can't even trust herself?
Umbra grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. This series by Rae Else just keeps creating magic.

Happiness Boost:

I was mesmerised with how much more nuanced and increasingly fragile these characters could become, especially Jess and Rune. On top of that, Rae made sure that there were no easy answers in Umbra. It wasn’t as simple as getting from A to B, or that if they just did one thing everything else would be set to rights. Life doesn’t work that way for anyone I know, and I’m glad it wasn’t a walk in the park for these beautiful characters either.

I appreciated, so much, how delicately Jess’ mental health struggles were written. For quite a bit of Umbra, Jess feels so isolated in her quest that her thoughts are in a downward spiral. Rae writes with such care and compassion, even as she shows us how support can sustain those who are struggling. It doesn’t negate hardships, but it does make the journey more bearable.

Truthfully, Umbra continued to give me a champion that I can (and do) adore. Jess has come a long way from when we first met her in Luna. And personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled with this latest instalment to The Dark Between! We are thrown into a maelstrom, and Rae steers our ship with incredible skill and talent.


So having said all of that, I will just say, I *may* have dragged my feet in places while reading Umbra. But in all honesty, that’s just because my heart was breaking over something within its pages. No, I’m not telling you what that was. I just felt something was coming, and when it did, it took me a little while to forgive the amazing Rae Else for breaking my heart. Having said that though, we do get closure. And sometimes that’s all you can ask for, right?

Final Thoughts:

Okay, so, straight up I’m telling you I’m a *huge* fan of Rae Else’s. Luna burst into my world with all the power of a white wolf, and I’ve been hooked ever since. But to keep a reader this invested in a series, and to just keep upping the emotion and tension? Tell me you wouldn’t also rave about that. I dare you.

Umbra has given me chaos in my soul, but knitted my heart back together. It was a tale of a strong heroine who also shows us fragility, and the perils of becoming a leader. There were some massive developments in this third book that I really hadn’t seen coming. And it’s because of all of the above that I’m telling you, if you like NA Fantasy? If you like shifters, vampires, and the mad scheming of witches and Unseelie? Fly my pretties, and preorder your copy of Umbra right now!

You can preorder via my Amazon link: Umbra

Have you missed the amazing beginning to The Dark Between? Just click the links below:

Luna | Nox

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