Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

Title: Strange Angels Book 1 (click here for the official Strange Angels web site)
Author: Lili St. Crow
Publisher: Razorbill Books (A division of the Penguin Young Reader Group)
Published: May 19, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback ($12.50 CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
Copy: Provided by the Penguin Group/Razorbill

From the Publisher: 

Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.

Alone, terrified, and trapped in an icy town, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult–and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she’s heir to a long-forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instincts?

Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive.
And she has to do it by sundown, or it’s all over…

My Review:

An unexpected package came in the mail yesterday that contained a book I had not requested called Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow.  Thank you very much to Penguin for sending me this thrilling and suspenseful paranormal young adult novel! 

What stood out to me the most about both the protagonist Dru Anderson and the supporting cast was how genuine the characters were written.  Dru is a young woman who has been raised to track and fight paranormal creatures alongside her father but when he goes missing and a zombie shows up at her door Dru has nothing but her training to help her survive. Taking into consideration her upbringing, the multiple losses she has endured, her age, and the challenges she faces Dru's kick-ass, hard-as-nails personality is believable.  Despite her tough exterior throughout the novel Dru still shows her vulnerable side with such raw honesty that I became easily captivated by her character. 

St. Crow's writing is very descriptive and there is a lot of inner dialogue but I found that in this case it enhanced my ability to make a deeper connection with Dru.  Some readers have stated that St. Crow's descriptions are a little overkill but I enjoy "wordy" writers as long as their descriptions serve a purpose to enhance the plot or the character development.

On the front cover of the novel Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series, describes Strange Angels as, "Dark, dangerous, and sexy" and while I agree that the novel is both dark and dangerous I didn't in any way feel the book was sexy and I am so glad that it wasn't!  This novel is so action packed and takes place within a small time frame there isn't much of a chance for romance to develop.  What does develop between the main characters is trust, honesty, and true friendship.  So many paranormal young adult novels appear to rush their characters into romantic relationships that within the context of the plot doesn't often seem realistic.  The focus of this novel is on survival not romance.

Part of what kept me captivated by this novel was that as the story progressed the author revealed to Dru and the reader some of the unanswered questions about Dru's past and about the "real world" that she lives in.  I like a novel that doesn't give it all up in the beginning but keeps you reading long after your eyes are tired because the answers you seek may just be a page away.

If your hooked on the paranormal genre and are looking for a slightly different twist to the usual suspects (vampires, werewolves, etc) then I recommend this book to you!  The second novel in the Strange Angels series Betrayals is already out and the third installment titled Jealousy will be released on July 29th.  I hope you read these books soon so you can count down the next 17 days and 23 hours with me!

My Rating:


Anonymous said...

i read both betrayals and strange angels and loved the second book even more than the first! The fact about this book that makes it so interesting is that it isn't romantically drippy like most others. Love both the guys in that they are so different, and love Dru because she's such a kick-ass heroine!!

Lily Child said...

I definitely need to read this series! I've been meaning to for some time now! Fab review! It makes me want to pick them up ASAP! :)

Sarah (My World of Books) said...

I still haven't read this series, but I really love the author! I need to read this soon!

Anonymous said...

Looks great!! Thanks for the review, now i know it's worth reading!!

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