This book is an imaginative, futuristic, sci-fi novel with a hint of romance if you squint. And though I've liked Claire Delacroix's work in the past, this novel just didn't do it for me. I was so bored and the oppressive society in her futuristic America reminds me uncomfortably of 1984 meets The Handmaiden's Tale or The Rainbow Cadenza. Yes, I can appreciate this book on the merit of its world building and social commentary but I wanted a paranormal romance and I got a dark, post-nuclear tale in which the romance is anemic at best. Plus, the main characters aren't very likable. The heroine is a twit who has no survival skills at all despite living as a shade (read slave) for most of her adult life and spends most of the novel wasting time with the hero when their lives depend on them running from the law and a group of mercenary assassins. I forced myself to read this novel and all I can say that I liked about it was the cover!
Bottom line: I would have liked this book better if the author had eliminated the romance and gone for a straight sci-fi social commentary. However, in the romance genre I expect better characterization, a believable romance, and likable main protagonists for whom I can root.