Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Review: Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing
Released: May 18th, 2010
Grade rating: C+/B-
Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel. But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.
I've got a bit of a love/hate thing going on with Angel Star. There were parts of the story I really enjoyed, and other parts that made me want to stop reading in frustration. I did read it in one sitting, though, so I think that counts for something.
I'll start with the good first - the angels. I love me some paranormal YA, and I don't think that'll be a big surprise to anyone. I'm a big fan of Hush, Hush and Fallen, and thanks to them, I have an interest in angels, whether they be of the fallen, earth-bound or evil kind. There's something about these celestial beings that fascinates me, and I'm probably going to have to blame that on their wings. They sound beautiful and haunting, and something I would give an arm and a leg to see in real life.
Murgia's angels are of the beautiful variety, and are assigned to humans as Guardians. Of course, there's the odd evil one out there, and that particular personality trait falls to Hadrian, twin brother of Lucifer. The mythology of Angel Star is very interesting, and is different to the other YA angel books I mentioned above. Light and dark features a lot, with Garreth and Hadrian representing each side of the spectrum. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the angel plot, and it is something I'd like to read more about. For me, the problems lie with the rushed introduction and noticeable similarities to other books (if you read it, you'll see what I mean).
If Angel Star would have been written as a 400-page series opener, I think everything would have been fine. The first 30 pages could have been dragged out, and the events unfolding would have been more believable. I really struggled with Teagen's character, because of how fast she accepts her fate, Garreth's revelation and the truth about her destiny. Huge life-changing moments like these should come with time, ensuring at least some semblance of realism. As it is, everything progresses far too fast, and before you know it there are declarations of love all over the place, after only three or four days of Teagen and Garreth knowing each other. I'm pretty good at accepting that in paranormal YA, but this time it didn't work for me.
I realise that a lot of my problems with Angel Star are just personal preferences with how YA romance is handled, and I hope my review has succeeded in nicely explaining why I'm on the fence about this one. It's by no means the worst book I've ever read, but neither is it up there with the best.