Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Angel Books

I highly recommend all three of these series.

Haze (The Rephaim #2)
Author:  Paula Weston
Publisher:  UK Edition, Indigo, 440 pages
Publication Date:  October 3, 2013

From Goodreads:
"But what if we can’t find Jude?"
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."
"How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.
"Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to."

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger.

Review(spoilers for Shadows):
An absolutely incredible sequel to Shadows (read my review here).  This book starts off where Shadows ended, with the possibility that Jude is alive and their plan to find him.  We learn more about the characters and some new ones are introduced.  I have to say, I am emotionally invested in these characters and I love when that happens.  I love Gaby/Gabe and Rafe.  There is so much tension between them and I loved every interaction even when I was completely frustrated.  He's hot, he's cold.  They banter, then ignore each other.  Gaby still doesn't know what happened in the past between them, but she's obviously drawn to him and he's very protective of her.  And she still doesn't understand how she could have had such a falling out with her brother that they didn't talk for ten years.  The explanation she gets is not satisfying.  Will she ever get back her memory?  Does she even want to?  Is she even that same person any more?  If she gets it back, will that change how she feels about Rafe?  He obviously seems to think so, which is why he won't tell her what they fought about and the exact nature of their relationship, and that makes her crazy. With good reason.  Gaby learns more about the Outcasts, and she starts training, seeing if her body will at least remember what a kickass fighter she is.  The angel/demon mythology is so well done, the secondary characters are fantastic, the dialogue is well-written and engaging,  and there's plenty of snark and humor.  There's plenty of action and intrigue and of course, a cliffhanger ending.  I need the next book now!  If you haven't read this angel series, I highly recommend it.  And even though Haze isn't out in the US yet, I ordered it from Fishpond.  (Free shipping!)

World After (Penryn & The End of Days #2)
Author:  Susan Ee
Publisher:  Skyscape, 314 pages
Publication Date:  November 19, 2013

From Goodreads:
In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.

When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Review(spoilers for Angelfall):
An amazing sequel to Angelfall.  It starts off right where Angelfall left off, with everyone thinking Penryn is dead, including Raffe.  Just to warn you, Raffe is not in this book that much, but when he is...he's just such an incredible character.  And talk about forbidden love.  Need more Raffe!  When they are together there is such chemistry between them.  

Penryn is still such a strong character, but she has to deal with her sister.  I felt so bad for Paige, what she must have gone through and now to have everyone treat her like a broke my heart.  And Penryn's mom, what an interesting character.  She is truly a survivor.  There are new characters, such as Clara, who just wants to find her family.  And Raffe's sword, who is pretty much a character.  Pooky Bear...I just have to laugh.  

A lot of the plot revolves around the resistance movement, which was interesting, but I was just counting down the time until Raffe showed up.  What the angels are doing to humans...truly revolting.  This book is dark.  And disturbing.  However, there are moments of humor, and the book ended in a good place.  In sum, love the world, the characters, the plot.  Can't wait until the next one!

Empower (The Violet Eden Chapters #5 or Embrace series #5, depending on where you live)
Author:  Jessica Shirvington
Publisher:  Hatchette, Australia, 464 pages
Publication Date:  November 12, 2013

From Goodreads:
It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.

Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.

But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.

Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.

Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.

With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.

Best. Angel. Series. Ever.  In the fourth book, Endless, I pretty much bawled like a baby the last ten or so chapters.  And I don't normally cry in books.  This series is so fantastic, I can't express how much I love it.  So after I finished Endless (and crying) I desperately searched the internet to find out when the last book, Empower, would be out and I couldn't believe how long it was going to be so I ordered it from Australia (I'm in the US) and I was so excited when it arrived this week.  This series has it all, but the best part, the characters.  I love Violet and Lincoln, I feel emotionally invested in their relationship.  They go through so much and I was so nervous to see how it would all end.  Such a great ending, I have to say.  But it's not just Violet and Lincoln, it's also Phoenix, who intrigued me, then I disliked him, then I hated him, then I really hated him, then I loved him.  And then there are so many other great characters, like Steph (best friend ever), Spence, Onyx, Dapper, Griffin.  Too many to name.  The secondary characters are so well fleshed out, I feel like I know each and every one of them.  And the angel part of the book.  So interesting.  The Grigori, half angels and half humans, who protect the world from fallen angels (there are both light and dark fallen angels:  exiles).  There's action, adventure, drama, romance, betrayal, redemption, and a lot of snark.  Love love love this series, I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Read it!

Posted by:  Pam


  1. oh good! I've been so nervous about picking up World After because I loved Angelfall so much. I'm sad to hear there isn't as much Raffe, but at least the book sounds awesome. Thanks for allaying my fears :)

    1. Yeah, I wanted more Raffe, but it was still really good. ~Pam

  2. You already know how I feel about World After <333. Not sure why I haven't heard of either of the other two series, but looks like I should start with the last one?! Glad you enjoyed all three books!

    1. I would recommend both the Rephaim and the Embrace series. ~Pam

  3. I really want to read Angelfall!! I have heard mixed things about the second book though. I kinda skimmed through your review since I haven't read the first one yet. But I'm glad to hear that you liked it! I think most people's complaints have been not enough Raffe (who apparently I need to meet...). I haven't heard of the other two series, but I'll have to check them out. Great reviews!

    1. Angelfall is great and I loved World After too. And I loved the other two series as well. ~Pam

  4. HAZE - I love this book sooooo much. This series is an unexpected favorite of the year for me. And I agree with everything you said here. Gaby and Rafe tension coming out of their eyeballs. It just keeps getting hotter. And YES so much more we need to know. I'm desperate to find out about Gaby's past and how things will change when she regains her memory. Will she be the same person?

    WORLD AFTER - I agree that Penryn has gotten so much stronger in this book, but I also loved seeing her vulnerability with her relationship with Paige. Glad you liked this one as much as I did!

    EMPOWER - is this the final book? I would have totally ordered it from Fishpond as well (like I did with Haze). I was hesitant to start this series b/c of the love triangle. But then I was told that it actually goes away after the first book. Is that true? I'm definitely curious about these.

    1. I wish all the books were out, I hate waiting! The Rephaim series is so good, I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did.

      Yes, Empower is the last book. And yes, the love triangle does go away. One of my favorite series, I definitely recommend it! ~Pam

  5. I've not read Haze yet but LOVED Shadows. I'd not heard of the book before but I saw the author talk and knew I had to read it. Paula even signed my copy of Shadows :D! I just bought World After today - cant wait to start it and I loved the Violet Eden Chronicles.

    I think it's great that you have two Aussie authors on this list! :D

    1. Haze is so good! How great that you have a signed copy of Shadows. World good too! And for some reason, I guess Aussie authors write the best angel books! ~Pam