Monday, August 30, 2010

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow: Review
Posted by Tiffany at 5:48 PM
Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow (site)
Published: May 14, 2009 by Razorbill
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Price: $4.00 Amazon $8.99 Book Depository
Rating: 4/5
Series: Strange Angels #1 (site)
Synopsis: Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her? (Goodreads)

Initial Thoughts: I loved this cover. There's something about this girl that says, "Listen, I may not be a vampire or a werewolf, but I do intend to kick your ass if you mess with me." I didn't (and I still don't) know what the title really has to do with the book, but I liked that as well. Another draw for me; Lili St. Crow (or Lilith Saintcrow) is an established author who has just decided to try out YA. This usually means that you're not going to get a lot of condescending crap, just edgy dialog and realistic characters.

Review: This is a good example of a blurb done right. They don't tell you anything that you don't find out in the very first part of the book. I love that they didn't give away anything about what was really going on. I had my suspicions once I'd gotten into the book a bit, but that's a heck of a lot better than having it spelled out for you before you even open it. I LOVED the characters in this book. Dru was such a realistic heroine. She was a bit of a badass, but in a very believable way. She wasn't always right, sometimes she was shocked into inaction, and she wasn't always sure that she was doing the right thing. I felt a connection to this character from the first chapter. Some of the lingo felt a bit off, but it could be a regional thing. Or maybe St. Crow is just finding her YA voice? In a genre flooded with characters who go from clueless to hardcore suddenly or start out as stone cold badasses, it was refreshing to meet one who felt real. There is also a lot of room for her to grow as a character, especially with what she learns towards the end. The 'two guys hungry for her affections' are not so much hungry as 'nonchalant, but probably interested'. This was so refreshing! There is no instant romance, two-day True Love, or Broodingly Obsessed but staying away For Your Own Good. Instead, there was a nice boy that she was getting to know (who probably had a thing for her) and a badass who could just barely tolerate her. I'm excited to see where these relationships go in the rest of the series. This book focused more on what was happening to her than who she had a crush on, which also felt more realistic than a few series I can think of. Other than Dru, none of the characters were really given much of a chance to develop. However, it felt like this was done by design and not oversight. Dru barely gets to know the characters, so why should we? I liked that the reader didn't get to know anymore than the main character did, it gave it a more immediate feel and kept the story from unfolding too quickly. The other books in the series are definitely going on my TBR list.

Quick Review: An interesting book with refreshingly flawed and realistic characters and an easy, fast pace. Plenty of room for character and plot development.

Other Books In This Series: