Review: IGNITE by Erica Crouch

Publisher: Patchwork Press

Genre: Young Adult, paranormal, romance

Series:  Ignite

Pages: 346

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Rating:coffee cup iconcoffee cup iconcoffee cup iconcoffee cup icon 

Summary from GoodReads:

Penemuel (Pen) fell from grace over a millennium ago, yet there are still times she questions her decision to follow her twin brother, Azael, to Hell. Now that the archangel Michael has returned, threatening Lucifer’s vie for the throne, she begins questioning everything she has always believed. 

As Hell prepares for war – spreading a demonic virus and pilfering innocent souls to build an army – the lines separating the worlds blur. Fates erase and the future is left unwritten. Azael is determined that he and his sister will continue to serve as demons together, but for the first time in her life, Pen is not ruled by destiny. She has the freedom of choice.

With choice comes sacrifice, and Pen must decide which side she’s willing to risk everything fighting for: the light, or the dark.

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coffee to goCoffee To Go: It’s really a lovely read. It’s not action packed or high energy, but you do get to see some of that. While Ignite may seem like a typical paranormal love story, don’t let that fool you. It’s deep. It’s different. You won’t be fangirling—it’s much too serious for that—but you most certainly will not be able to forget these characters!

Characters—

Pen: Boy, does this girl love poetry! I thought that Crouch’s interweaving of poetry into Pen’s daily life was exquisite. More than that, the way she connects poetry to different events in her life is really interesting. Her lengthy internal monologues tended to lose my interest, however. Never fear! Pen’s wit is incredible! If you like dry humor, she’s your gal. Her character transformation is…wow. Her light bulb moments brought a smile or two to my face.

Michael: Hmm…a little too good to be true. Don’t get me wrong, he has a beautiful soul (cheesy, but true). I just feel like he should have some flaws. Because of his perfection, I had a hard time finding his depth. I wish I felt like his character was a rounder character. I know that Crouch tells the story from Pen’s POV, but I didn’t get to see much of Michael’s existence outside of his moments with Pen. HOLD ON—I still loved his character!!  He thinks for himself; he’s not brainwashed by heaven or hell. He’s kind and wants to make a difference. He sees the good in people that others don’t. Angel-flavored brownie points.

Azael: Please don’t ever let him near me! Crouch definitely knows how to create a demon. His devotion to his sister is really interesting, however, since he is supposedly completely evil. *shifty eyes.*

The World—

I’ve never read a book from the demon’s perspective. Like, ever. And I’ve read a lot of books. Crouch made me really re-appreciate the earth’s beauty by showing it through Pen and Michael’s eyes. After I finished the book, I admit that I went outside and stared at the stars for a while. I will say that I didn’t find myself utterly immersed in the world Crouch created but it’s believable. The imaginative and original angel/demon history is perhaps my favorite part of Ignite’s back story.

The Themes—

These are the themes and messages that I personally found within the book, but literature is subjective!

Redemption

Good vs. Evil debate

Star-crossed Love

Final Thoughts—

Something I have to gush on—Erica Crouch goes down in my book as writing one of THE BEST, most beautifully described first kisses EVER. It’s taking all that I have to stop here. I recommend that you go read this book JUST to read that scene. I’ll give you a hint: I’ve included a snippet of it in my Memorable Quotes section. Now, on a more serious note, this book will make you think about profound ideas, whether you realize it or not. And that, my friends, is what sets this book apart from many other romantic reads. If that’s not enough to intrigue you, the cover is gorgeous! It reflects the entirety of the story perfectly!

Memorable Quotes—

“Light burns through the darkness.”

“There are no fireworks, no music. I only see light, white and pure, and hear beautiful, complicated lines of poetry.”

“Maybe the road to redemption can be marred with a few mistakes?”

“His beauty is so severe that the longer you look at him, the more grotesque he becomes.”

***This book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.

Book Review: Angelfall – Susan Ee

Publisher: Amazon Publishing

Genre: Young Adult, Adventure, Post apocalyptic

Series: Penryn & The End of Days

Pages: 288

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Rating: 5/5

 

Summary from GoodReads:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

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Humanity, adventure and…clubs?

Characters—

   Penryn: I loved her. Bottom line, no questions asked. She has had to step up and take care of her family after her father leaves them. She has a believably cynical view of the world and of the angels involved in the apocalypse. When she meets Raffe, she does not immediately become paralyzed by his male beauty. Instead, her mind jumps to how he can help her find her sister. I know that we as readers sometimes expect the protagonist to have no fear of crazy powerful supernatural creatures, but…Raffe is an angel who could kill her in five seconds. Yes, she shows fear inwardly and no, that does not stop her from standing up to him so that she can find her sister. She has serious guts!

   Raffe: Not the most developed male lead, but I liked him. I really enjoy how Ee keeps him shrouded in mystery and really emphasizes the humanity underneath all of his angelic power. He’s not witty and sarcastic and typical Jace [insert young adult love interest here]. He’s corny! He tries to have the devil-may-care arrogance and it doesn’t quite fit him. The best part? That’s how Ee intends it. He’s just a really good guy…er, angel. Lastly, the reader gets to see him transform throughout the novel, probably more then Penryn.

   Penryn’s Mom: What author thinks of a paranoid schizophrenic mom?! So cool. Ee does a fantastic job of showing all different aspects of this mental illness and how it effects those around the person with this illness.

   Paige:  She’s not a very round character, although she does change within the book. I think she is definitely worthy of the journey Penryn makes to find her. Find out for yourself and read the book!

The World—

In one word: gritty. Ee’s descriptions of each setting through which Penryn passes are subtle and paint vivid pictures for the reader. Not once did I question where she was or what the place looked like. I would not recommend this world to anyone who loves beautiful places because this world is anything but.

The Themes—

This book really explores what humanity is all about. It leaves the reader with more “what if” thoughts than concrete themes.

Final Thoughts—

   NO MORE MONKEYS PLEASE. The only negative thing I have to say is that Ee uses the word “monkey” to refer to people about 50 million times. Okay, maybe only about fifteen. But it adds up. Besides that, the Kindle edition is $3.99 on Amazon. Well worth your money and time! I really do feel like you will be missing out if you do not read this. Tired of all of the Nephillim/angel stories? Good, because this is not like most. It’s very original and I am biting my nails waiting for the next one.

Memorable Quotes—

“I’m Penryn. I’m named after an exit off Interstate 80.”

“My friends call me Wrath…My enemies call me Please Have Mercy.”

“…I’m proud to be human. We’re ever so flawed. We’re frail, confused, violent, and we struggle with so many issues.”

“The thought of superhuman beings with human temptations and flaws sends a chill through me.”

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