Reading Level: YA
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Crimson Oak Publishing LLC (April 7, 2010)
Book summary: When seventeen-year-old Jane Taylor witnessed her father's death, something happened to her. Ever since, her thoughts have been consumed by death, going so far as to foresee the ever-changing deaths of those around her. Sixteen-year-old Emily Taylor resented her sister's closeness with their father, who died when she was six. With the strange ability to read minds, she drowns the voices out with drugs, sending Jane over the edge. When seventeen-year-old Wes Green was adopted, he moved in next door to Jane, finding in her a childhood friend turned high-school crush. All summer, the pain in his bones seemed unwarranted. He was done growing long ago. When senior year starts, however, the pain only gets worse. The foreseen changes are not expected, and far too animal for his taste. When Max Gordon found himself standing above the dying body of an innocent seven-year-old girl, he saw in her eyes something he hadn't seen in the century he'd spent roaming Earth. Her father was already dead, but there was hope to save her. Jane was her name, and already she was all he ever wanted. It was his job to bring her back, and it was his job to protect her - the biggest mistake of his life. When these four teens enter Glenwood High their senior year, no one but Max could understand the future ahead of them. Drawn together by blood and friendship, they each hide a dark secret that will soon bind them together. Max has to protect Jane, Jane wants to be normal, Wes wants Jane to love him, and Emily just wants the voices to stop... But their fate just wants them dead.
My review: I'm a supernatural/paranormal junkie; I try to read as much as I can of these genres. This title is my latest entry and it took me a long time to actually get into this story. My initial discomfort stemmed from too having too many points-of-view dictate the story. We hear from Jane and Emily, sisters with special abilities they haven't shared with anyone, including each other. Wes, their next door neighbor, is crushing on Jane but tired of not having her reciprocate his feelings and he narrates. Another viewpoint is from Max, Jane's guardian angel who shows up at her school one day as a new student so he can watch over her. We are also privy to Sarah, the girls' mother, and I wondered if her two passages were necessary.
The story in Knight Angels picked up for me about 100 pages in of the total 370 pages. The first half was too slow moving for my tastes (even knowing the author had to introduce each character's backstory and their conflicts). Jane can see when a person is going to die by a touch. That ability could be depressing to have, but I still found her too depressing at times. Wes' transformation from sulking friend to angry ex to super shape shifter reveling in his newfound ability happened too quickly. His turnaround of feelings for Jane to Emily also wasn't convincing until later on.
My favorite character was Emily, the so-called 'bad' sister who led others to think she was one way when she wasn't. I liked her whole 'misunderstood' act. Her behavior was understandable and I became sympathetic to her ways of dealing with her mind reading abilities. Older sister Jane took some time to warm up to with her brooding and motherly habits, but once she allowed herself to feel for Max, her character became interesting.
Happily, once events began to unfurl, the multiple storytellers clicked for me. I rather enjoyed the revolving voices and thought they helped increase the pace, especially at the climax. The one character's viewpoint I would have liked to seen was Max's twin brother and resident bad boy, Greg (deliciously sexy in his evilness). His thoughts could've helped me get into this story quicker since I'm still not sold on his motivations for killing his family. Max is the typical nice guy, watching over the girl he saved from death when she was younger. His scenes with Jane gave the story intrigue and added an old fashioned (and appealing) feel to their relationship.
The angel lore and their connection to alchemy and magick Ebner created in her story was cool and interesting, as was having both sisters possess their own unique abilities. I did like the idea of the angel twins having wing tatoos on their arms (instead of on their backs as I've seen in so many other stories).
When the story and pacing picked up I found myself liking Knight Angels: Book Of Love more. With the foundation Ebner created in this first novel, I am intrigued enough to see what's in store for the sisters, Emily's mysterious book, Wes, and the angel twins. After reading the teaser-ish Epilogue I will definitely check out the next title in this series.
Favorite excerpt: (From page 277)
"I ran faster, seeing Emily amongst the faces--her eyes void of life, the glow of her soul leaving her body. I turned another corner, and that's when I saw them. I halted abruptly, nearly falling back as Max's pained eyes met mine. I looked to Emily as she stared at Max, and finally, my eyes rested on Greg. I threw myself at him before I gave them a moment to explain, my fists flailing at his face before a scream erupted in my head. I was crippled to the ground, grasping my ears as the fingers of sound burrowed into my brain.
Greg laughed. "Look who's finally made it to the party!"
Cover comment: This is what initially drew me to the book. After reading it I'm not sure I understand the correlation between the photo and the characters. I don't think the model conveys Jane or Emily, but it is pretty and appealing with a certain sweetness to it. The font is nice.
Book source: Around the World tours