Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review & $25 Giveaway - Taking Angels by C.S. Yelle

Title: Taking Angels
Series: The Angels Crusades, #1
Author: C.S. Yelle
Release Date: March, 2013
Pages: 380
Goodreads Rating: 4.46/5 Stars
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
My Content Rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
Genre: YA Paranormal

Summary from Goodreads:  Britt Anderson went along with everything the doctors said for nearly four years, but she was still dying at eighteen. The cancer had won leaving her without a future, without any options, and without control. No control, except for how she would leave this world. As Britt tries to end her life by going into the frigid waters she realizes her mistake. She struggles to get back to shore, to cry out for help, but her atrophied muscles are useless and the frigid water steals the breath from her chemo-scarred lungs. Despite her father’s attempts to reach her, she flies over the waterfall.

When Allister Parks finds Britt’s fragile body on the riverbank something calls out to him. Ignoring the warnings of his sister, Allister brings Britt back from the edge of death. The only problem is that an Eternal like Allister isn’t allowed to touch those who have already passed from this world. It is forbidden; an infraction punishable by death.

As Britt relishes her new cancer-free life and senior year of high school, her very existence threatens Allister’s place in this world. Allister struggles to keep Britt a secret from the Eternal Council and out of the hands of the only Eternal who already knows the truth: the one who stole her guardian angel.

Taking Angels is a great new YA paranormal romance.  The synopsis describes it well, so I'm going to skip straight to my review.

The negatives:
  • Instalove.  If you read my reviews often (which I hope you do!), you know how I feel about instalove.  It really takes hugely extenuating circumstances for it to work for me.  This book did have one element that could have made it work - a supernatural reason for the instalove. Britt is special, and both angels and Eternals can sense her purity - that something special.  She draws them to her.  So instalove should be totally allowed, right?  But, it still just didn't work for me.  After Allister was initially drawn to her by that purity, I still wanted to see something develop between them organically, and I just never saw it.  I never believed in their deep love.  When more characters starting falling in love with Britt with absolutely no provocation, Yelle totally lost me in the romance department. 
What I loved:
  • Eternals and Guardian Angels.  I thought that the concept of this book was very unique, mixing the idea of Guardian Angels with something new - Eternals, which I had never heard of before (I assume Yelle made them up, but I guess I don't know for sure).  The interaction between humans, Eternals and angels was very interesting, and I thought that Yelle did a great job with worldbuilding - giving us their history and the rules of their societies without shoving tons of information at us at once or withholding too much for too long.  It's a delicate balance.
  • Cured.  I also loved the dynamic that Britt's miracle cure created in the book.  I've read other books where someone was brought back from the brink of death before, but it was always due to some sudden accident - never from a long-term illness. Britt had been battling cancer for so long, it was a way of life for her. She didn't have any prospects of a future life, and suddenly the world was opened up to her! I loved her response to that - even her reaction to the little things like being able to attend school again. It was very realistic.
  • Side effects.  When Britt is cured, there are some pretty interesting side effects. I don't want to get into what they are because that would be spoilery, but suffice it to say they add a few surprises to the book.
So, while the romance angle of this book didn't completely capture my heart, the rest of the story was great!  I give it 3.5/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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About the Author
C.S. Yelle was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, the “almost” middle child of six.  He attended Grand Rapids Senior High School where he enjoyed music and sports.  He received his BS in Chemistry from Mayville State University, Mayville, ND in 1987.  He taught 7-12 Science and coached for six years in several North Dakota schools and currently works as an Executive Account Manager in the Water Treatment Industry where he has been for nearly seventeen years.  He is the father of four and grandfather of one.  He writes novels, screenplays, and an occasional short story.  He has been writing seriously for over ten years and plans to continue until his fingers are unable, maybe longer.  He currently resides in a Minneapolis, MN suburb with his wife Jennifer and their rat terrier, Holly.

Author Links:
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