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Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Review: Strange Angels

Author: Lili St. Crow

Release date: UK 3rd September 2009
Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Quercus Books

Summary from Amazon:
Dru Anderson: Night Hunter. Knife Wielder. Heart Breaker. Dru can sense evil, which helps when she and her Dad are tracking down ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional reanimated corpse. It's a dangerous life, but it's the only one she knows. Then Dru's dad turns up dead and she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a deadly game where every move she makes could be her last. Dru is more special than she realizes - and whatever killed her dad could be coming for her next. Can Dru stay alive long enough to fall for one - or both - of the guys hungry for her affections? Find out in the heart-stopping first book in a thrilling series.

I feel like a need to invent a new genre just for Strange Angels. It is so unlike any other paranormal book that I’ve ever read. It’s like extreme reading of the paranormal persuasion or something.

Dru Anderson is a girl who has spent her life travelling light. She has moved with her dad from place to place seeking out things that go bump in the night. She was his right hand woman. At the beginning of the novel, Dru is not exactly settling into her current place of abode in Dakota, when her dad goes out on a mission and doesn’t come back. She is alone and she is scared because she feels unprepared to deal with whatever killed her father.

Then there is Graves who sits in front of Dru in class and basically keeps his head down and tries to live under the radar. But the feisty Dru catches his attention and he cuts class just to be with her.

The plot of the story follows Dru as she tries to evade the supernatural forces that keep coming for her. She discovers that her knowledge of the Real World isn’t as comprehensive as she previously thought. And thus, she begins a painful, kick-butt education with Graves tagging along.

When I first started this book, I thought I would absolutely hate it. There is a zombie scene really early on and it completely grossed me out. I do not do gruesome, no sir. I also thought the book started in the wrong place. I’m reading a non-fiction book for my writing at the moment and it talks about novels starting in the wrong place and I really felt like this was what it meant. There was too much exposition. There is the dream, there is the prologue and then there is the scene at school. It made me lose interest.

However, something kept me reading even through the zombie scene and I guess that came down to character. Dru Anderson is crude, raw and uncompromising and I loved her. She kept me intrigued. Her voice was compelling because it was so different to other female characters in the paranormal genre. She was strong and a tactician. Her phrasing was blunt and to the point. It was so refreshing. She was the one in control and I couldn’t stop reading this raw account of life fighting the supernatural.

Usually I feel so frustrated reading paranormal books because they are all so similar and I think there is a certain amount of "dumbing down". But while I was reading this, I was wowed by the fresh approach, the unpredictable plot, the barely tangible love story that may or may not come to the for in future books and the challenging language.

Overall, I think it is pretty brilliant (zombies and all). I cannot wait to start Betrayals. I am so glad I already have a copy sitting on my shelf. If you are a fan of the paranormal but are a bit bored with the usual predictable storyline, then get your hands on a copy of Strange Angels. This is one novel that will leave you gasping for more.


I Want To Read That said...

Awesome review! I really love this series:)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fresh approach? Coool. I've been wanting to read this.

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

I'm very suspicious about zombies, but you wrote such a wonderful review that you could easily convince me into giving an entirely zombie novel a chance.;) I am intrigued by the fact that you said this book deserves its own genre; that's definitely something I like, unique, original stories. Thank you for pointing out "Strange Angels".

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Invent a Genre? That's pretty intense! I have Strange Angels but have yet to read it, or the 2nd book - but wow this sounds sooo good, awesome review!

Nina said...

I need to get my hands on this one. I'm not that quite bored yet with the predictability of Paranormal books, but this one sounds very unique. :) Great review1

asamum said...

Terrific review. I really enjoyed this one but Betrayals was disappointing for me. I think it is an interim book as the reviews I have read of Jealousy sound as if it is back on track :D

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I have a copy of this, though I have no desire to start it. Your review has changed my mind as I love the sound of Dru and non-predictable storylines have become rare in paranormal YA.

Michelle said...

I just picked up the first two books in this series, so I'll have to start in right away. Thanks for the review.

Sarah said...

Great review Becky - you've reminded me how much I enjoyed this one & that I still need to read Betrayals. I think I'll have to pick it up soon & start reading :o)

brizmus said...

traveling light? I'm not a huge zombie fan, but this sounds great!

prophecygirl said...

I agree this is completely different to other paranormal YA - it's more urban and realistic. The series is definitely getting better, and I hope you enjoy the rest. Jealousy is fab!

cj'alhafiz said...

Hi!! Sorry to say..I skip this review since it is not my bread n butter. =b

Coming by to tell u that I've granted an award for you. Grab it at my blog OK. =)

Becky said...

Sammee, I am really looking forward to reading the next two books.

Juju, yay! Give it a go!

Irena, LOL. I'm not sure I could ever be convinced to read a whole zombie book. They are so disgusting. Flesh dripping off them and everything. Yuck!

Jenn, it is so different. Move your copy up your reading pile.

Nina, I am pretty fed up with paranormal too but this book felt really different.

Asamum, I do want to hear that LOL. I want Betrayals to be excellent!

Sophie, too true!

Michelle, yay! Get turning those pages.

Sarah, thanks! Glad you liked the review.

Brizmus, you know - she doesn't have a whole lot of posessions just the clothes on her back.

Jenny, thanks, me too!

CJ, thanks for the award.

Lauren said...

I agree about the 'dumbing down' in some paranormal titles, but it's great to know that there are really awesome books in the genre out there. I kind of wish I'd read this one before reading book three recently. I hadn't realised the stories were so different. Thanks for clueing me in!

Becky said...

Lauren, oh I didn't realise you hadn't hread the first two books in the series. That is a bit of a bummer, isn't it?! Hope you go back and read numero uno!

Jesse Owen said...

This seems like a really good book and different as well - I'll be adding it to my wishlist :) Great review!

Christina/Book Addict said...

Awesome review, Becky. I actually have never even heard of this book and I'm not sure why as it sounds like something I'd enjoy. But I have to agree with you....zombies are not my friend. I am still having some slight nightmares from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I like that you said this book has a fresh approach. I will be definitely be adding this one to my TBR list!

Clover said...

This is one of my favourite new series out there.. I'm glad you liked it, what a great review :)