Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Dawn of Angels by Malynn and Kade

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Title: The Dawn of Angles
Author: Vivieene Malynn & Sean Kade
Publisher: Sutherland Press (January 3, 2012)

Left by her mother at a young age, Kyra has grown-up in the foster system, leaving her angry and hateful towards the world. The only person she can trust is Hammond, her case worker who has watched over her since the time her mother left. When Hammond places Kyra in a foster home located in a small town, strange things begin happening and Kyra starts unraveling the mystery of her past. When Kyra's life is threatened, she is saved by an angel, her guardian angel, Ashur, who falls from heaven to save her. Together, Ashur and Kyra must figure out why her life is in danger and stop a strange cult from bringing about the end of days. 

My Review (no spoilers, pretty much):

The Dawn of Angels was a big surprise for me. I'm not sure what I expected, but I was unprepared for this ride!

The story is fast-paced. The main character, Kyra, is an angry girl and  the story opens on her seventeenth birthday.  Her issues are valid. She’s been stuffed through the foster care system having been abandoned by her mom. So, this book just dives into the story, no hesitations.

Which brings me to how this book felt for me:  RollercoasterPure Emotion. I rode up and down on Anger, Good-will, Suspicion, Fear and that’s not counting the dream-like quality of many scenes, including actual dreams. The dreams and reality mix and blend freakily together. 

You’ve seen the cartoon movie Dumbo, right? You know that scene when shapes are blowing up and shrinking and odd animals are growing protrusions?  It feels like that. (I just sold this book for someone!!  Hahahaha) 

There’s just enough hint at real horror:  moving shadows that can grasp and pull someone under to cut off their breath;  red-eyed wild dogs. And then there's these angels. OMG! If I had been someone in the Bible, this is the sort of angel I would imagine, with white-hot eyes, using the power of light to push back the darkness.

And then the story takes over again, which is almost trite by comparison. 

There are no wasted characters watching from the sidelines, every one of them holds a secret(s) and they all focus on Kyra (with hints or friendliness or wariness or hatred). The town being “small” does not account for every single person being a critical player

Kyra’s was bright spot in this story for me.  She is the anchor on this wild ride, the one person who always makes real sense. Usually. Asher's cute and potentially more than cute - potentially amazing - but not revealed completely in this book. Ethan is also mostly mystery and I wouldn't go so far to call this threesome a "love triangle". Yea.. not yet. Each relationship Kyra has is deep and makes sense - like Liv, for example, is so sweet! She's very much a side character, but she has her own struggles and triumphs and a deep, special meaning for Kyra. Gotta love that.

As for the historical background, the angels know who God is, which was comforting momentarily, and then the story gets wild. All written books about God and angels, including but not limited to The Bible, only tell parts of this historical backdrop. The information comes in thick heavy mini-doses that don’t make much sense on their own, but as the perspectives join together, the big picture does, uh, clarify itself in that dream-freaky way.

In this world... there are shadow men, there are warring angels, various levels of angels, levels of heavens, odd cults that are different and yet all point to something in this history. (This is a tad spoilerish to give you heads' up, but I would have appreciated knowing this stuff was actually intentional and not a side-dream moment. So, I share.)

Cover Commentary:  It’s a bit of a surprise. Maybe the layered angel wing is supposed to tip off the layers of history or craziness?  I’m not sure. It’s a deceptively innocent-lookin’ cover and did not give me head's up about what's inside this book.  The title, however, is clear by the end. This book is very much about the beginning of angels and how that relates to present day.

My Rating: 3 - For writing, for content, for characters - "cute" doesn't fit with this book, though, more like "downright eerie". I'd give this book a higher rating for that complicated historical backdrop, but a lower rating for how it was delivered to the reader, so it evens out to a square 3 for me.

Excerpt: "I didn't just fall from heaven to save your life…" Ashur pulls me in closer until my chest touches his. "…I came here because after all those years, I could not spend another moment of eternity knowing that you would not be there." He begins to sweep his head down toward mine. I know what's coming and I can't allow it. Turning away, I say, "I can't." My objection is not that I don't love him, but that I can't love him. He is an angel, I am a mortal. Two worlds that never have, and never will exist together. "You know as well as I do that this can never be. No matter how desperately we may want it. What will become of us?" "I don't know," he says. "I don't care." "Well, I do," I say. "All this will end and you will have to go back. And I will be left here alone." "But…" "No," I say, sternly. "It's better this way." Our eyes meet and I look away, but his eyes do not retreat as if they are holding me in place, preventing me from leaving.

Sample the entire first chapter HERE!!!

About the Authors:  Vivienne Malynn and Sean Kade are the parents of five lively children and live in a rural suburb surrounded by eagles and coyotes. They spend their free time reading, writing, and playing make-believe with their children. In their not so free time, they teach.

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MARCH 2012