Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
"It starts with a whisper: "It’s time for you to know who you are…"The subject: a girl coming into her own as a paranormal being.
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.
Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.
A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…" (from Goodreads)
The setting: present-day, generic urban location. I'm not sure if we're actually told the specific city, but probably somewhere in the US.
Shutter speed: fairly steady. It's not all action, all the time — there's a fair bit of information-sharing, flirtation, and teenage angsting — but there are significant events sprinkled throughout. All the same, though, I wasn't on the edge of my seat, tearing through the pages or anything.
What's in the background? An interesting take on religion. Embrace ends up getting into some pretty detailed angel mythology, based on texts outside of the Bible. For those who are traditionally Christian and take their faith quite seriously, Shirvington's portrayal of the angelic might cause some friction.
Zoom in on: the paranormal system. I was confused at times about the roles of each level of supernatural creatures and how the hierarchy in heaven worked. While the history was explained pretty clearly, the language defining angels of "dark" and "light" was vague. I did think the activation of certain Grigori senses in the presence of exiles was neat, and I liked the concept of the test Violet has to undergo (though I think it should have challenged her more), but a lot of the rest of it seemed similar to other angel books. More specifics about the angel powers and "magic" side of things might have made it stand out.
Anything out of focus? I didn't like Violet all that much, which I think put a damper on my reaction to this book. She bugged me because she would be swept away by her emotions (and sometimes her hormones) and would make decisions without considering all the facts. She was overly trusting, swayed too easily by others, and sometimes slow on cluing into things.
Ready? Say... "Mediocre."
Click! 3 shooting stars. This is one of those books where I find it hard to pinpoint exactly what didn't work for me. Suffice it to say that, probably for several reasons, it just didn't hit the right note. Decent, but nothing exceptional.
Note: there is some mature content and language in this book.
Disclaimer: I received this as an ARC for review from Raincoast Books.
This book counts towards my goal for the 2012 Debut Author Challenge.