Angel books and I are not the best of friends, especially when religious themes come into play. If the author manages to turn an angel plot line into a secularized mythology that is not constant bible thumping I can generally get on with the book. However, if the book degenerates into holier-than-thou Jesus freaking dribble I am usually off faster than a prom dress. In a bad way, might I clarify.
This week I read A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies, an angel book that gets the formula just right. This one’s too preachy, this one makes me want to mess with the holy rollers…oh, look! This one is just right. Not too preachy and not too spiritual. Awesome. But, and I stress the but, I did not love this book. I only liked it. It was a nice, non-preachy angel book. But not a wow.
Skye is an orphan living with her “aunt” Jo in Colorado. Her Aunt runs mountain tours, taking people out on hiking excursions for long spans of time, leaving Skye to fend for herself. She has a close-knit group of friends and a routine, and suddenly all is different. There are two new boys in town and both of them seem interested in Skye – Asher, dark and brooding and Devin, light and sensitive. Skye finds herself attracted to both of them for reasons she cannot explain. Which one will she choose?
Davies writing is spot on for the genre. She has nailed the voice of a 17-year-old girl at odds with herself and her heart. However, I found myself growing weary in certain passages. Either I was really not in the mood for this (and I pushed through anyways), or it’s a little pedestrian. I wanted to love it, but it was just okay. Well written, but plot wise nothing mind-blowing. It was atmospherically gorgeous though. I loved being in that part of the mountains with the descriptions of the scenery and such but I felt as if I had read this before, again and again. For me it was nothing stellar. My attention waned, that is never a good sign.
Also, I am growing so tired of the love triangle being the main driving plot point in the Young Adult genre. I know this is tantamount to blasphemy but I’m saying it anyways. If the biggest thing you have to hang a book plot off of is a love triangle then you really don’t have much of anything. They have been written better before. In this case the characters were all so vanilla that I really had no reason to root for anyone hooking up with anyone else, including Skye. She was very milquetoast.
I’m giving it a 3 out of 5 stars though, because it is not a bad book. It’s just not that much of a stand out. At this point I am ambivalent about reading a sequel. I think many readers will enjoy this book because, like I said, it’s not bad. I fear it won’t be that memorable for me. In a year’s time I read 150 books (roughly). You have to write something that stands out and can’t possibly be ignored.
This is not it.
On the bright side though, the cover is gorgeous.
– Follow the Reader –