Rating: 5 out of 5 .★★★★★
It is on the cusp of summer that strange angels of eyes and wings appear throughout the world, and a week later all of humanity is dead. Except one girl. Months later, Erika Cantor continues to wander her desolate hometown without purpose or answers—until a strange radio broadcast sends her into the dangerous world outside—a world past civilization, whose only inhabitants are monsters and demons.
There, Erika meets Midori, a naïve girl with a cryptic connection to the angels, and Gav, a boy who seems to have knowledge he refuses to share with Erika. The appearance of the mysterious Fex raises even more questions. Can he be trusted?
As Erika travels across Vermont searching for some remnant of society, she learns that there’s a reason she survived—that the angels, horrid creatures that they are—have a plan for her.
The action in this book starts right off the bat, which is a good thing in some ways and a not-so-good thing in others. I was really intrigued by the concept of the book, and the things that did happen within the first chapter really interested me, so I was compelled to keep reading. However, the nature of the book is that it starts out pretty directly with our main character alone in the world, or thinking that she is, at least. This definitely bolsters the stakes and makes it interesting to find out what’s going to happen next. However, there is very limited character interaction because of it. While I did understand this, I would have liked to have seen some more interaction between Erika and her parents, or even with some of her friends at school who were panicking, before we got to at least a whole chapter where I didn’t get to see Erika interact with anyone but herself.
For me, I was interested in Erika, I was intrigued by the way she thought about things, and her narration was interesting enough that I wanted to read if only to see what would happen to her. This is master characterization on the part of the author, because it wasn’t too overt, Erika didn’t just tell the readers exactly what her personality was. There were little comments here and there, little shifts in attitude from what would have been perceived as normal, that hinted as to Erika’s eccentricities. And it was enough to keep me interested through her journey until she met up with some other characters. Really, the whole book contained really strong characters. No one seemed one dimensional, apart, perhaps, from the people who were introduced in the first chapter and dead before it was over. The characters who were still alive were interesting within a paragraph of being introduced, sometimes in as much as a sentence.
And the plot wasn’t lacking either. Once it got on its feet and got past the set up for the book, the angels coming, Erika leaving home, it was captivating until the end of the book. An original idea is good, but keeping the plot engaging beyond that initial idea can be challenging. This book didn’t struggle with that at all, and definitely kept me interested beyond just the tagline of ‘angels destroy humanity.’
This book wasn’t your typical YA dystopian novel. It flourished with engaging characters, a stellar plot throughout, and lots of imagery to help the movie in my head.
The cover for this book is so beautiful. It definitely caught my eye from the moment I saw it, and drew me to the book really effectively. Some people have problems with a main character being pictured on the cover, but I actually liked having that drawing to flip back to and put an already constructed face to the name. It is really well done and shows great artistic ability, as well as being paired up just perfectly with the tone and plot of the book. It looks like a cover the main character could have chosen for herself.
ebook, 250 pages
Published December 31st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634762800 (ISBN13: 9781634762809)