Angel Eclipsed

by C.L Coffey

Sorry folks that I haven’t been reviewing as frequently as I’d like to! Midterms have been popping up left and right and it’s all I can do to keep up. Luckily, the amazing C.L. Coffey sent me the sequels to Angel in Training (which I reviewed not too long ago, here) and they offered a well needed break from my insanity here. Angel Eclipsed is a fantastic sequel to a fantastic book, and I can’t wait to tell you about it!

26088931Summary

Six weeks ago, Angel earned her wings. Six weeks ago, Angel killed an innocent person. Six weeks ago, Angel set Lucifer free.

Michael doesn’t accept that Lucifer is alive, let alone free, and he should know – he was the one to kill him. Thankfully, Veronica and the cherubim are on her side, only they seem more interested in proving Michael wrong than helping put Lucifer back in hell.

Then there’s Joshua. Angel is convinced that the best way for her charge to stay alive is for her to stay away. The problem is that Michael is adamant she remain his guardian angel.

Can Angel keep her charge and New Orleans safe from the evil that is lurking, or will her own demons be their downfall?

Musings

It’s been six weeks since the events of book 1, and Angel is spiraling out of control. Depressed and mentally stuck in the moment she killed Lilah, she hasn’t eaten or slept, or even left her room for that matter. But when Joshua radio flares up, she forces herself up out of the house and back to save her charge. Step one was getting out of her room: step two is coming to terms with what she did.

The author didn’t skimp on the pain that accompanies guilt. Angel is truly suffering, with PTSD on top of her angelic guilt. So it’s not that easy, with all that on your shoulders, to try and convince the people around you that Lucifer has risen. Michael refuses to believe her, which just makes everything worse. Angel might have earned her wings, but she has yet to earn his trust – and him, hers.

Angel is now leading her own investigation into the unsettling club, “Bee’s,” that had taken up so much of her focus in the first book. But she’s not entirely alone: Veronica the cherub might be the only one who believes her about Lucifer rising, and she’s determined to prove it. With Joshua by her side, and a few new allies, the stakeout begins.

The novel focuses more on Angel’s growing relationship with her charge, Joshua. They both have definite feelings for each other, but everything is banned by Michael. A bit of “will they, won’t they” spices up the novel, as Angel tries to balance her work life and potential love life.

The only fault I could give this novel was that the pacing was off. The novel was pretty slow for the most part, without anything really happening until the last fifty or so pages: but dang, what an ending! I was so excited as the pieces fell into place, and I can’t wait for more. THAT ENDING! Luckily I have the third book to look forward to!

Also – I love the little jokes about Supernatural! fun little easter eggs for the reader. If you like the show, then you’d definitely love the Lousiangel series.

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Grave Beginnings

By R.R. Virdi

Reviewed by SA

This week has been crazy! I’ve had my wisdom teeth out, which has made me less productive, which is weird because I thought it would give me more time to read. Thankfully, though, I have JUST the book to recommend to you all: the first book I ever reviewed, or at least, seriously reviewed; a fantastic, self published novel which deserves the spotlight. I’m talking, of course, about the amazing first novel of R.R. Virdi, “Grave Beginnings,” a unique urban fantasy story which grips you and won’t let you go.

Summary

Thirteen…
As far as numbers go, it isn’t a great one. Hell, it’s not even a good one and Vincent Graves is going to find out just how unlucky of a number it can be.
Because someone, or something, is killing people in the Empire state, and whatever it is, it gives people everything they ever desired and more. And it’s the more that’s the problem!
Well…it’s one of the problems.
Vincent’s investigation also seems to have drawn the attention of a relentless FBI agent and then there’s the little bit where he has only thirteen hours to solve the case, or he dies.
Talk about your literal deadlines…
…No pressure.
By the end of this case Vincent will come to understand the meaning of an age old proverb: Be careful what you wish for – because you just might get it!

Full disclosure, I love supernatural detective novels, but I have a hard time finding ones that are actually intelligent books. A lot pander to the reader, and have no true essence, no meat. They start to blend together, becoming boring, repetitive, copies of one another.

Not so for Grave Beginnings. Right from the the beginning, the reader is dragged into the story and clings on tight for the thrill ride. It’s almost impossible to put down – as a matter of fact, I read almost the entire book in one sitting. it’s addicting, catchy, and it’s one of those books you want to shove into your friends hands as soon as you can.

The story centers around a soul who wakes up in the body of a dead man. This soul, Vincent Graves, is somehow caught between this world and the next, and to move on, must solve supernatural murders by inhabiting the recently deceased. The man he is now walking around as – Norman – recently came about an extreme bout of luck, which left him looking younger, thinner, and with a lot more money in his pocket. But it didn’t last long, because something put him in the ground quite soon after. Our hero has thirteen hours to solve his murder, before he must move on again.

Virdi masterfully plays with the myths of the supernatural, introducing us to a whole new host of characters, drawn from the most unlikely of folklore. It’s always great to see a fresh take on the supernatural: too often these days authors limit themselves to taking old myths and making them sexy for a general audience. You won’t find that here – no sexy vampires or werewolves, thankfully! Instead, some intriguing myths that I don’t want to spoil for anyone. Also, gnomes. There are gnomes, and not in the way that you might think.

Graves is a character with a lot of spunk and sass. He’s witty, and sometimes uses pop culture references to help deal with an impossible situation. It makes it a whole lot of fun to read his point of view: as serious and deadly his situation may be, he always has time for a funny remark. It adds so much depth to his character: as weird as it might be for him to be trapped in between bodies like this, he’s still a fascinating person in and of himself.

Seriously, this book should be a TV show. Or a movie. The plot is just so fun, so compelling! Ask anyone who’s read this novel, they’ll all tell you just how much they adored it, or how they devoured it. It’s pure , intelligent, fun. If you like the Dresden files, Supernatural, or Castle, then you’ll adore this novel.

Now here’s the awesome news: it comes out in print TOMORROW. As in, starting tomorrow, you’ll be able to buy this fantastic novel and hold it in your hands; you’ll be able to put it on your bookshelf, sure, but more importantly, you’ll be able to shove it into all of your friends hands. because you know that’s what I’ll be doing.

A Magic Dark and Bright

by Jenny Adams Perinovic

Reviewed by SA

This book made me mad for all the right reasons. Let me just start by saying that. Why? Because the ending is amazing. Really, incredibly, painfully amazing; and so is everything leading up to it. I was spellbound, from start to finish.

Summary

She meant to help a ghost…not unleash a curse.

Amelia Dupree hasn’t seen the Woman in White since the night her brother died.  The ghost seems to have disappeared from the woods surrounding Asylum, Pennsylvania—that is, until Charlie Blue moves into the creepy old MacAllister House next door. Amelia can’t help liking him, even though she spent her childhood thinking his grandmother was a witch. And she definitely can’t ignore the connection between his arrival and the Woman in White’s return. 

Then Amelia learns that the Woman in White is a prisoner, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Devastated by the idea that her brother could be suffering a similar fate, Amelia decides to do whatever it takes to help the Woman in White find peace–and Charlie agrees to help her.

But when Amelia’s classmates start to drown in the Susquehanna River, one right after another, rumors swirl as people begin to connect the timing of Charlie’s arrival with the unexplained deaths. As Charlie and Amelia uncover the dark history of Asylum, they realize they may have unleashed an unspeakable evil. One they have to stop before everything they love is destroyed.

This is a trope breaking novel: as soon as I felt it turning towards the familiar, it changed its direction and gave me something new. Like with the character of Amelia, a young woman recovering from a very painful and traumatic event. She could easily have become obnoxious, but she instead went through incredible growth over the course of the novel. Or with her relationship with Charlie, which at some times seemed to take precedence over the plot, but then defied expectation by turning into something, well, different. And there I must stop, to avoid spoiling anything for you. Suffice to say, this is not your normal YA.

The plot is oddly paced: at times, it feels like not much is happening, while at others, it’s action after action. But it adds to the tone of the novel, where it feels as if the characters are allowed to return to a normality before being thrown back into horror. It also adds to the suspense, the mystery of it all, and its slow resolution, which is sure to raise anticipation, and leave you with a few questions… It all leads through amazing twists and a roller coaster of an ending, leaving you breathless, and craving for more.

From the first line – A woman haunted the woods behind my house. – you know you’re in for something amazing, all the way to the end… and hopefully beyond, because, after a cliffhanger like that, I am going to NEED a sequel!

A great and thrilling novel about life and death, about ghosts and magic, about the dangers of prejudice and jumping to conclusions, A Magic Dark and Bright is a must read for paranormal lovers everywhere. Beware – chills included.  Comes out April 28th.