Two years ago, 16-year-old Clara Gardner’s life, as she knew it, was thrown off balance when it was revealed she’s part-angel, also known as being an angel-blood. In addition to being stronger, faster and smarter than humans — and a quick learner whether it’s her first time on the ski slopes or riding a horse — Clara’s status as part-angel also means she has a purpose, which is revealed through her increasingly vivid dreams. After deciphering these nightly (sometimes daily) visions, which feature a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger she must save, Clara and her family (half-angel mother and part-angel brother) move from their home in California to Wyoming to find him. Clara discovers her destiny living in a small town through clues from her visions — his name is Christian, he’s a student at her high school and he is a total dreamboat. Clara feels physically and mentally drawn to him, something not easily explained.
As she prepares for her purpose — the forest fire that could come at any time — her life is complicated further with the battle between her love for Christian and feelings for someone else, as well as new dangers and challenges between good and evil and love and duty and her conflicting roles as angel-blood and teenage girl. When the raging fire comes to take Christian’s life, will Clara be able to save him?
I love reading a book that creates an escape. When, after reading for 30+ minutes, you look up from the book and wonder where the time went while you were lost in the world created by the author. It’s similar to meditation.
I loved the developed dialogue and characters in this book, especially Clara. Through refined yet subtly revealing dialogue and actions, especially with friends at school, the reader learns so much about Clara, helping her character become believable and relatable. This development gives the reader a closer connection to the story and characters, including Clara’s mother, a half-angel who is reluctant to give her daughter all the secrets of being an “angel-blood.” Cynthia Hand tells a great, detailed story.
I loved the premise of this book also, Clara as a part-angel trying to learn how to fulfill her purpose complete with wings and failed attempts to fly, dark angels, heaven and hell, and her inner struggle with typical teenage girl problems, i.e fitting in at a new school, friends, boys.
A quote from the book that sums up part of the unique premise best is, “I think that all the stories about supernatural creatures, like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, mermaids, aliens, you name it, could all be angel related. Humans don’t know what they’re seeing, but it could all be angels taking on other forms.” Pretty cool theory!
While this book is perfect for teenagers, complete with lessons on friendship, young love and making choices with a PG feel, I also recommend it for all ages. It’s a good book with a great story that will keep you interested up until the shocking ending (no spoilers)!
As for the Dark Days of the Supernatural, I am loving this series. As a young girl, dark genres were seen as masculine. I love this new wave of books with romance and genuine teenage girls mixed with mystic mysteries. I am working my way through the next book in the series, “Angelfire” by Courtney Allison Moulton and love Ellie, the reluctant badass, and the great backstory. More to come!