Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Strange Angels ~ Lili St Crow review

Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1)
304 pages
May 14, 2009

Summary: Imagine if Supernatural's Sam and Dean Winchester were one combined into one person; and that one person were a girl. If you can do that, you'll have a pretty good basis for Dru Anderson the main character in Strange Angels. Strange Angels is the first book in Lili St Crow's (Lilith Saintcrow) YA series.

Apart from some time spent with her superstitious, magic practicing-now deceased- grandmother, Dru's whole life since her mother's death has been spent traipsing around the country with her father, a demon hunter. A different state, different town, different house, different school every few months at least means Dru (now in the Dakotas) has her routine down pat and knows what to expect when her father's out on a hunt.

But Dru also has what her grandmother called the 'touch' that allows her to see and sense things about the supernatural world (the Real World) that other humans can't. Asleep one night while her father's still out, Dru wakes up to find she's drawn a strange picture in her sleep and her father's still not back--something he's never before done.

When he does eventually return, it's as a zombie and Dru's forced to painfully revert to her years of training to save herself from her own father.

Now, truly alone except for a boy named Graves she's befriended at school and with horrible and dangerous things after her--including the sucker named Sergei her father'd been after that night--Dru has to rely on herself and her training to save her own life and Graves'. With her father's journal and her drawing as a guide Dru's has to find out how to kill the things after them and get herself out of town--but to where?

Review: Strange Angels really did seem to borrow a lot from Supernatural (*and spoilers if you haven't seen much of Supernatural*) from going around the country, school to school while the dad chased demons after the mom died; the lack of other relatives to be of assistance or just a part of the story; the dad dying after being 'possessed' and the offspring having to take up the fight then. I really like Supernatural, though, so I didn't see it as a problem and it was only the large themes not specific storylines so it didn't feel like a copy.

One thing I do feel I really need to mention is that early on in the book Dru seemed to take issue with Graves being half Asian. There was a chapter or two when it seemed the only way she was capable of describing him was with basically racist sentiments about him being a 'half breed' (which was in there about 15 times) and " At least he hadn’t drawn the really slit-eyed card a lot of half-breeds have to play, where they look like they’re squinting to beat Clint Eastwood the whole time." (pg. 17)

Dru also had a mouth on her that while it maybe wouldn't make a sailor blush, would definitely make Strange Angels the TV version a premium channel show (both due to its frequency and word choice). Owing to that, I'm not sure if the little interlude of racism was supposed to show her brash, I-don't-care-what-society-thinks-and-I-have-no-tact attitude (she never said anything out loud, it was all her thoughts) and her unsteady upbringing. Or if it was just a weird useless thing that St Crow felt needed to be a part of Dru Anderson.

If you can move past the rather racist bit, Strange Angels is an enjoyable story. The world building is done very well for the first book in a series. The lore is a little bit different from other paranormal tales but close enough that nothing seems far fetched or doesn't make sense. I really look forward to seeing where all of the storylines started in this first book go in the next ones.

It was also really scary (perhaps some was because I listened to the audio at night?). It was great to read a book about things that go bump in the night (sometimes day) and have it actually be creepy.

Book 1:Strange Angels
Book 2: Betrayals
Book 3: Jealousy

Rating: 8/10 (the 'half-breed' stuff bothered me & seemed unnecessary)

*I listened to the audio version of this book

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