Star Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Short Reaction: Oh dear, I want the second book ASAP.
Published on/by: November 11th, 2011, HarperCollins Publisher
Page Count: 435 pages
Blurb provided by Goodreads: When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. . . . When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
I really, really loved this book. I recently finished ‘The Last Sacrifice’ less than 48 hours ago and was convinced I could never love again, but boy…was I wrong. I was so anxious of falling into a book slump after reading the last instalment of the ‘Vampire Academy’ series, that I immediately grabbed this book off my TBR shelf and started reading. Usually, to prevent/get myself out of a book slump, I would read a contemporary. A quick, slightly fluffy one as a palate cleanser from all the magic and vampire and sigh…Adrian Ivashkov… Instead, I picked up this paranormal romance/urban fantasy and boy, was I hooked. My first thought when I was thumbing page from page was how surprised I was quickly burning through the pages. It saved me from a book slump, with excellent writing and an intriguing blend of angels and humans.
Clara Gardner is a Quartarius– a quarter angel, having a human father and a mother who is Dimidius (half angel). She has special powers in the sense that she can do what everyone can, but even better and with some Godly grace (trying to be punny, but failing!). 😉 She also possesses unique Angel abilities like ‘Glory’ where she connects with her core self and is able to emanate pure blinding light. How freaking cool does that sound? Clara is a main character I adored. She was smart, beautiful, self-assured and she had a sense of humour! All her quips and comebacks were very enjoyable to read which made her a very fun voice to follow. I thought her relationship with her family was especially interesting and as the book progressed I really felt for Clara and her mother both as their relationship took a shift, with new revelations. The entire Angel premise was very interesting to me, especially the norm that Angels within the ages of 13-20 will receive a purpose, one they must fulfil with the help of visions. Honestly, I’m still a little fuzzy on this whole ‘world’ but I really appreciated that there was no info-dump at all. The information came when relevant and I want to give medals to Cynthia Hand for being able to do this because it created just the right amount of suspense.
The romance…oh my gosh, the romance. This series is heavily entwined with a love triangle. If you are allergic to that, I won’t tell you not to read this book but instead to take caution, because despite of what you think about love triangles, I actually really liked this one (although it frustrated me at times). This is largely because I prefer love triangles with a clear winner and this book HAD NONE. I am TORN between Christian Prescott–who was the boy in Clara’s vision and Tucker Avery, the boy who makes her angelic heart go all buttery. I did more flip-flopping than a fish, alright. I seriously couldn’t decide between the two which made me love Clara even more when she actually already made her choice. I know it’s not a definitive choice, as it is only Book 1, but it made me admire Clara even more as she actually knew what she wanted, even though she was confused (and rightfully so, under the circumstances).
Overall, I thought this was a beautiful Angel book and I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2! I didn’t give this a full 5 stars because I still felt like there were some missing parts that could make this story more rich, and also I felt that there were TOO MANY unanswered questions. I understand the author’s intentions, but questions I had even at the start of the book were not answered which then only accumulated as the plot deepened. Book 2, I’m coming for you.