As I mentioned in my first post, one of my main intentions is to write regular book reviews on books I think writers can learn from and be inspired by and that readers might enjoy. As a result I’m going to try to structure these weekly reviews into two parts. The first part will be my own heartfelt opinion of the story while the second part will be a critique where I give my opinion on the high and low points of the characters, story line/plot, and how I felt the author handled his/her voice. I hope you all bear with me as I attempt to do this.
For my first Morning Muse post I’d like to look at the book Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow.
Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?
(Picture and Description compliments of Goodreads)
My purely emotional opinion of this book? Awesome. Fantastic. Absolutely brilliant. I loved the pace, I loved the flow, I loved the characters. For me this was one of the most well-written young adult books I’ve ever read in my life.
The only snag was a certain male character named Christophe. My problem wasn’t with his character as much as how I felt his character was used. In my opinion the author forced his complete personality shift on Dru just a little too much. It worked perfectly but at the time I read it all I thought was “whaaaaat?”. I was also slightly saddened by our main character’s confused attraction to him, once again it works well with the story but I was just a tad disappointed.
Lili St. Crow’s ‘voice’ in this book was very well done. Using the first person point-of-view she succeeding in capturing the thoughts of a sixteen year old girl perfectly. She also managed to explain many concepts as well as give her readers detail without making it feel as though she was cheating us, dumping excess baggage on us or just plain leaving us more confused than when she’d started.
Dru Anderson is our protagonist. She’s a sixteen year old teenage girl who’s learned to keep her head down and to not get attached. She is one of the best characters I’ve seen in a while not because she’s perfectly constructed, but because she feels real. When she loves, she really loves as shown by how she thinks of her father, and when she’s hurting she really hurts and we can all feel her pain. It really matters that an audience (the readers) can relate to a character.
Graves is one of the other main characters and he’s the one who’s gone through quite a bit of development through out the book. We watched him go from a seemingly wimpy, ragtag sort of boy to someone more self-confident and certain of what he wants.
Christope is one of our supernatural characters and an important one at that. He’s old and very sure of himself and sometimes just a tad bit smug. He really fills that ‘voice of wisdom’ void that Dru’s been missing quite a bit and I can understand why she likes him being around. Of course he doesn’t make everything simple for them, in fact, his being there actually complicates situations just a bit and that’s perfect.
Supernatural creatures? Check. Seemingly badass teenage female protagonist? Check. A potential love triangle? Check. These are some popular trends in young adult novels nowadays. However, I felt the author put some not-so-usual spins on it as well as wrote so engagingly her readers will be willing to overlook it. Many books of this sort tend to move too quickly at some parts and too slowly at others, but the pace of the story was just right and I felt this aided the storyline.
Cover & Blurb (This is something the writer really has no control of):
I personally found the cover to be slightly misleading. You see the cover and you think, “Oh really gorgeous girl with sharp cheekbones who looks totally badass!” The book portrays her in a manner where we can believe she does actually look like this at some point in the book but usually she doesn’t come across as being so perfectly focused and dead set on a goal. There’s usually some uncertainty, confusion, tears and fatigue thrown into the mix
The blurb (the description on the back of the book) was just about spot on although when it mentions monsters hunting her back, I never thought it meant there was only one controlling the others. That was my oversight completely.
Overall I’d give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
You can look forward to my Morning Muse posts every Sunday morning (this means before midday in my time) and with practice I hope to get better so that everyone can enjoy them even more as time goes on.
Love K, the Popinjay.