Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

A Shimmer of Angels
by Lisa M. Basso

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 321
Publisher: Month9Books
Publication date: January 29, 2013
Suggested tags: young adult, paranormal, romance, angels

First in the Angel Sight series. From Goodreads:
"Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?"

{ I received this as an ebook from NetGalley. }

Any YA paranormal book with ghosts or mermaids, I will pick up in a heartbeat. I'm a little more picky with fairies and witches, but I'll usually give them a try too. Anything else, I really haven't read too much of. But I have been trying to branch out and widen my paranormal horizons, so when I saw A Shimmer of Angels available on NetGalley, I decided I should give an angel book a try.

Overall, this was a pretty good intro to angel books. It had a little bit of everything: there was a "good angel" (Cam), a "bad angel" (Kade), an evil force they had to fight against, a mystery with students' deaths at Rayna's school... quite a bit was going on, actually. A good part of the book is devoted to Rayna's interactions with Cam and Kade. I preferred Cam at first, but as the book went on, he seemed to get a little dull. His personality kind of hit a plateau. Kade, however, got more interesting and more complex as the story went on. (SPOILER - highlight to read: Although I'm kind of confused about the hints dropped that there was something between Kade and Rayna's mom? That whole insinuated sitation seemed a little weird to me. Maybe it will be explained more in the next book...)

Rayna's ability to see angels is treated as a form of mental illness, which I thought was an interesting twist. I kept imagining myself in her place - if I had been told all along that I was sick and that what I was seeing wasn't real, would I believe it when the angels started trying to convince me they were real? Rayna has a hard time with it all, especially when her classmates start dying under mysterious circumstances.

A few aspects of Rayna's personality bothered me a little. She was jumpy and awkward, which I could understand from being treated like she had a disorder and being sent away to mental hospitals. But she was a little too clumsy; her accidents and fumbles were kind of over the top sometimes. Also, the scene with her notebook bothered me quite a bit. (SPOILER - highlight to read: I can totally understand that she would want to write down her thoughts and find a way to vent when she thought she was relapsing. But if I did that, I would guard that notebook with my life. I would NOT leave it lying around. And if by some chance I did and I realized it, I would run and try to get it back right that moment, even if I thought it might be too late. If that notebook was the difference between staying home and being sent back to a mental hospital, I would do everything I possibly could to get it back in my possession. I wouldn't just sit at a diner and exchange witty banter with a dark angel, and then casually go about the rest of my day. I understand that having her notebook found was a crucial part of the plot, and I'm not saying it shouldn't have been found at all; I just thought it could have been done a little more believably.)

Otherwise, though, I did enjoy A Shimmer of Angels and I'm curious to see what happens in the next book, A Slither of Hope, due out in January 2014.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

{ I read this book for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge! }

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