Silver Smoke

*I received Silver Smoke by Monica Leonelle from Spaulding House in ebook format for free.

The mythology in this novel is much more developed than in other angel novels I’ve read (Hush, Hush & Fallen). I liked the concept of the Hallows and the Trinities. Hopefully in the next installment the Nephilim will be more predominant, because they are the part of the mythological backdrop that was the least fleshed out. The politics of the Hallows was interesting and I imagine that will be expanded on as well. Some of the mystical elements seemed inspired by Harry Potter but they were tweaked enough to be their own concepts.

The three main character had realistic flaws and some nice depth. Pilot’s insecurities were great, and the chemistry between Brie and Rykken was fantastic for the first half of the novel. I was less impressed with the second half of the novel in terms of character development because everything was reactions to external forces rather than the nice inner conflict of the introduction. Even once I know a character I want to see their personality shine through the action.

Minor characters were less believable. I thought Tessa needed more substance and Serena felt tacked in. Rykken’s story was the most compelling, and I will read on in the series to see what becomes of him. I really liked the names in this book, they were unique and original.

Fallen

cover art of fallenThe novel Fallen,by Lauren Kate fell a bit short for me. It had potential, that I am hoping will be realized in the sequel Torment.

How it’s advertised

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Why I picked it up:

  • the show Supernatural peaked my interest in fallen angels
  • I am hosting an angel themed Teen Tuesday and wanted books to discuss
  • The cover art

The Cover Art

Gorgeous cover! I love the gothic look. I love that she is covering her face, because it lets the reader fill in what Luce looks like. Her gloves and dress are beautiful, I want an excuse to wear an outfit like that. The wisps of her hair blending in with the tree branches looks awesome. I like the font of the title, and I like that the title is emphasized more than the author. Kudos to Angela Carlino for a fantastic design.

The Characters

I didn’t feel as connected to Luce as I could have. She has such a tragic, confusing past that there was potential for a deeper sympathy but I always felt distanced from her. I usually prefer 1st person narratives because seeing what they are thinking and how they are feeling without an outside narrator describing it feels more real for me, so this may not be Kate’s fault, simply a matter of personal preference. If you look for books where you are so sucked in you forget that you are reading and the characters don’t exist, this will not satisfy you; I didn’t become the main character or want to be in her life. 

Cam was charming, and Daniel mysterious so I can see why she is infatuated with them both. I didn’t think there was enough for her to fall in love yet though, and I hate when infatuation is passed off as love.

Penn was the most developed character, and I liked her better than Luce. She was strange, flawed, and more real to me than the rest of the characters in the book.

Plot

It started off strong, and regained momentum in the last two chapters. The middle dragged for me, with not much happening besides a bit of deja vu and mooning over the boys. I think the book could have been about 150 pages shorter and been more effective. I have a few books on the go at the moment, and I wanted to finish this one first because of my angel book discussion at work but I found myself wishing I could go read The Resistance, which is a lot more groundbreaking in my opinion.

Angels

It took a long time for angels to become a recognized part of the story, and I wanted to learn more about the different kinds of angels, why they fell, what it means to fall and all of the mythology that must be behind Lauren Kate’s work. That’s what I wanted from the book, but it was rushed over at the end, with not much revealed to Luce or to the reader. The shadows Luce sees are elaborated on but not explained to my satisfaction, and I hope this is one of the first things that Torment deals with.

My thoughts

It feels like the meat of the story hasn’t been reached, and this is a big prologue for the real story.

Don’t Fear The Reaper

cover art of once dead, twice shyYes that’s an awesome song by Blue Oyster cult, and the song is actually mentioned in the amazing book Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison. I was having mixed feelings about running Angel Month for Teen Tuesdays after I read Hush, Hush but Harrison’s novel has me enthused again.

Free will vs. Fate is the big debate this book will spark, and I love a good debate or any book that makes you think about big picture concepts.

What I found most interesting about Once Dead, Twice Shy is the angel mythology that is either new or different from what I am familiar with. That reapers are a kind of angels, and there are different classes of angels within the dark and the light is fascinating stuff.

I love that the dark and the light are not completely clear. With the “dark” angel having white wings and the “light” reaper having grey wings, the ambiguity of their place in the universe as good or bad is seen on a literal level. There is no pure evil and pure good that you might expect in such a story, and both free will and fate make some good arguments.

Everything I felt was lacking in Hush, Hush I found here.

  • Angel mythology
  • A character I liked and related to
  • Male characters who weren’t pigs, masculine minus the stalker/violent syndrome
  • Personality over power (cool powers but they don’t overpower the story)

I will definitely be looking for more by Kim Harrison!

Hush, Hush hype could have hushed?

hush hush coverI have to say I was deeply disappointed with Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I was really looking forward to reading it for a long time, and I promoted it at the library as part of the upcoming Angel themed Teen Tuesday because of good reviews and a teen read award nomination.

My main problem with the book is the unhealthy relationships the main character has. Both of the men she is attracted to are creepy. If it bothered you in Twilight when Edward confessed to breaking into Bella’s room and watching her sleep before they were together, then this will bother you too. Except Nora suspects she is being stalked, she recognizes that the guys are probably dangerous but she goes out with them anyway. She ditches her friend to go be with a guy she is afraid of, and this isn’t portrayed as particularly problematic.

Bad boys are often seen as hot, which is probably where the Teen Read Awards Best Hottie nomination came from. The thing is, there is a difference between a slightly rebellious teenage boy and one who stalks and intends to actually harm a girl. Nora quickly jumps from accusing to kissing, and I think this sets a terrible example for young readers.

Unhealthy relationships have their place in literature, as commentary on unhealthy relationships, but that does not appear to be the goal here.

My other issue is that there was not nearly as much about the angels, and what it is to be fallen, and how the Nephilim aren’t overrunning earth by now if they don’t age. There was a chance to have a lot of interesting material that was just skimmed over without much detail.

I can’t say I was particularly attached to Nora, Vee or any of the characters. Normally in 1st person narratives I have a lot more sympathy for the narrator.

I bought this book anticipating I would be writing a rave review, or at least have some favourite parts to comment on, but I am very disappointed. Maybe it’s just that I am past the bad boy stage in my life…

I know there is a long waiting list for this book at the library, and I can’t imagine rereading it, so to the donation bin you go…