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For centuries, rumors have abound of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli or Earth Angels. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors clandestinely serve as guardians for mortals in danger.
Yet for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever.
Masquerading as the average teen next door, Griffin struggles to learn his trade under the tutelage of his strict, but kindly Mentor, navigate the ups and downs of modern life among humans (including falling in love with the girl next door), and prepare for the ancient trial-by-combat every apprentice must pass at sixteen or become mortal.
Greetings from the Rusty Dagger. We are still anchored in the Persian Gulf while Captain Vix ferrets out more information on the Narwal's where abouts. The upside to this is that is gives me extra time to do some reading. The latest book sent to me by Melissa is Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut.
Let me just start off by saying that this was a very good read. It was fresh and unique. I love supernatural stories, and this one wasn't your typical Vampire or Werewolf novel which seems to be all the rage these days. Now don't get me wrong I love me a good Vampire or Shifter novel, but Karchut's take on Angels that walk amongst us is something I haven't seen in a while and not only was it well written, but it also made me want to delve deeper into Angelic lore on my own. That alone is a pleasant surprise. It made me interested in Angels the way I was interested in Vampires the way I was when I read my first Vampire novel. Some of her story even has it's roots in The Celestial Hierarchy, a manuscript from the fifth century. Which makes me want to go give a look see at that also.
As for the story itself, her characters are well rounded and I really started to become interested in where they were going. I also loved the way she worked the main characters 'journal' entries into the body of the book. I felt it helped give a deeper insight into how the characters themselves were feeling and dealing with the extraordinary events that are going on around them. I also liked the way she showed how Griffin began to heal emotionally once he was taken under wing (no pun intended) by Basil. The only flaw I really found with the novel itself is that Katie and her family seem to take the revelation of Griffin being an angel a little to easily. But then again this isn't a full fledged adult novel. In my personal opinion there are a lot of YA novels out there that try to be too adult. I read for many reasons. But one of the main reasons is to get lost in a story and when I do I want to see those characters have a happily ever after, even if my rational adult mind knows that sometimes happily ever anywhere isn't all it's cracked up to be. The best stories for this type of ending are in my opinion YA, when the characters are still young enough to not have to have dealt with that much of the 'real world'. I'm not saying that Griffin and Katie have an easy road by any means. Especially with Griffin's nemesis seeming to win out at every turn. But it was still sweet. No love triangles, no heart wrenching decisions. (at least not yet in the series, although as Griffin and Katie progress into adult hood I am sure there will be some) And Katie and Griffins new found love is teenage romance at its purest. Unconditional. I hope Karchut sticks with that.
Ok done on my own personal rant. Back to the review.
Yes this is a YA novel. Following that form it it's main hero is a young teenager struggling to deal with teenage problems, as well as deal with his own supernatural abilities. Yes there are some romantic scenes. But nothing more than PG at the most. I would definitely hand this book over to a teenager without any qualms about them being exposed to anything that they aren't already going through. I think that this series has the potential to be one to remember. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment. And rooting for Griffin to succeed even though he seems to have an entire legion of angels set against him. (hope that wasn't too much of a spoiler.
Til next time