My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I expected to like this book from the description and I did in spite of a rocky start due to some poor editing. I’m glad I kept going because I felt sorry for the abused angel apprentice, Griffin. His story pulled me in within a few pages and the editing did get better.
The last time I read a story that had angels in it, the author was trying to deny the existence of God. This book had no such major logic flaws. It held to its own mythology, a well presented and intriguing idea that a lower class of angels had been created to guard mankind.
The plot was interesting, taking the abused apprentice from his original trainer to a new one who helped transform the boy into a capable guardian. There were bumps along the way, a friendship developing into a romance with a human girl, and other incidents that kept me reading. The progression felt natural almost until the end.
What I liked best was the author’s use of journals to provide a look into the minds of more than one character without using heavy handed universal point of view. The characters were well developed, and for those who were meant to be likable, those entries made me like them more.
What I didn’t like was that a group supposedly higher than mankind could have worse government.It strained my belief. The details are a spoiler so stop reading here if you don’t want to know. No monitoring of a mentor’s treatment of a new apprentice for the first three years? Come on. Then to have a mistreatment complaint ignored and later have that same abusive mentor allowed to administer a test involving trial by combat to the trainee he abused, well that entirely busted my bubble. Worse, there were no witnesses. What test situation involving combat shouldn’t have at least one neutral witness? Now if the abuser had bribed the witness or done something the witness couldn’t see, I could have believed it. As it was, the end of the book felt so wrong, I wanted to scream.
I understood full well that the author took her character down so he could rise again, but it was the way she mishandled the angels’ government that upset me. Ineptitude just doesn’t fit angels, even the lowest, so I hope the next book gives them better judgment than what I’d expect from human social services. It’s fine for these lower angels to be very good or very devious and evil (because they have free will), just not naive (if they’re adults) or stupid at any age.
Three out of five stars means there was a whole lot of good through most of the book to make up for the bad government and bad premise for the ending. The ending wasn’t a total downer; Griffin had good emotional support from his mentor and girlfriend and started to recover. Recover from what, I’m not going to say. I do want to read the next book because it was a pretty good showing for a debut author. I have faith she’ll correct the deficiencies in the angelic government as the series progresses. Heads might not roll, but maybe some wings will be plucked, metaphorically speaking.