Monday, February 28, 2011

One Lovely Blog Award!

Again I've had a very, very nice surprise!
This exquisitely beautiful award was given to me by my good friend
Varsha Dinesh, who has two lovely blogs herself:
Shaded, where she is also known as Ani Raye, and Varsha Dinesh/Writer!!
Be sure check them both out -- they are so very well-designed,
and the content is just awesome!!
Thank you so much, Varsha!!!

Now here are the rules that come with this award:
1.) Thank the person who gave it to you, and link back
to their blog.
2.) Post 7 random facts about yourself.
3.) Give the award to 15 other blogs that you consider lovely!!
Also, let the blog owners know about the award.

The following are my 7 random facts:

1.) According to a recent estimate, I probably own
more than 5,000 books!!
2.) I love to watch horses galloping gracefully across a field...
3.) When I listen to a classical music CD,
I just have to conduct the orchestra!
4.) I love Christmas so much, I actually feel a little depressed 
when it's time to take down
the decorations...
     5.) I wish I could join the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise,
traveling the galaxies with Spock and Kirk...
6.) My favorite color is blue -- all shades except navy..
7.) I LOVE getting a cute teddy bear and roses
from hubby on Valentine's Day!!!!

Now, these are the blogs I think are absolutely lovely!!  I don't
have 15 as yet, but I will keep adding to the list
as I come across more of them!



Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Review: Marked, by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Authors: P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Paperback, 306 pages
Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2007
Genre: YA vampire romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy

Having greatly enjoyed The Twilight Saga, I am now forever hooked on the young adult genre, especially where vampire romances are concerned. I have therefore been browsing ever since, hoping to find similar romance novels.  Thus I discovered the House of Night series, among others. 

I finished Marked, the first book in the series, about a month ago; I have actually been putting off writing this review, because I have again come across a book which has inspired very mixed feelings.  I both like and dislike this book.

The premise for the vampire world in this series is definitely a very original, intriguing one: some people have inherited ‘the vampyre gene’; their transformation begins when they reach a certain age, and are then singled out by a Tracker, a vampyre (this is how the authors spell the word) whose special assignment is finding and marking new fledglings. 

So it is that Zoey Montgomery, sixteen-year-old normal, average high-school student, is Marked, when a Tracker suddenly appears at her locker one afternoon.   Pointing a finger at her, he recites the formal words that identify a new vampyre fledgling.  The Mark appears on her forehead at once – a sapphire-colored, crescent moon.

Zoey’s life is completely changed.  She has to deal with the reactions of her mother and stepfather, and ends up running away to find her Cherokee grandmother, who, far from condemning her, lovingly accepts the change, and takes her to the House of Night, a special boarding school for those who have been Marked. 

Zoey leaves everything behind – her old school, her friends, even her family, for they have rejected her - to begin an entirely new existence.  She now has new friends, entirely new school subjects, a new name – Zoey Redbird -- and even a new religion.

The book reeled me in from the start, immediately immersing me in Zoey’s world.  I related to her right away, as I remembered my own rebellious struggles with my parents, as well as the injustices of high-school social life.

My first inkling that I would not wholeheartedly love the book came in Chapter Two, in which the authors first drop the F-bomb -- twice.  I couldn’t help cringing, as well as feeling a surge of anger toward P.C. and Kristin Cast.  I completely dislike coming across this word, whether in young adult or adult fiction.  However, I feel that it’s even more inappropriate in a YA novel.  Unfortunately, this book is peppered with the word.

Then, just after Zoey is admitted to the House of Night, she unwittingly gets a sordid little glimpse act of oral sex taking place in a darkened school hallway.  True, the Casts don't go into details, but they write enough that the reader knows what's going on.  I realize that they were trying to make a certain character look manipulative, shallow, and despicable, as well as to highlight, in contrast, Zoey's innocence and noble character.  Subsequent incidents in the story bring out this contrast in a completely satisfactory manner, however, so this scene is entirely unnecessary, not to mention inappropriate for a YA novel.      

I plunged ahead in spite of these things, since I was, indeed, intrigued and fascinated by the story.  Then the next problem surfaced – bigotry.  This is a charge commonly leveled at right-wingers and Christian Fundamentalists.  Ironically, left-wingers and minority religious groups are rarely accused of it.  Yet, we are all human, whatever our politics or religion may be, and thus, all equally susceptible to the errors of the human species. 

I was thus extremely disappointed to discover an anti-Christian bias in this novel, while at the same time, there was heavy proselytizing for Wicca.  The authors, who are a mother/daughter team, don’t call Christians by name, identifying them as “People of Faith” instead; this is, ironically, a rather beautiful title.   Their portrayal of anyone who is Christian is stereotypically negative – all Christians are intolerant and narrow-minded.  What is most offensive, however, is the characterization of all Christian men as “pedophiles”.  Here’s the actual quote, from page 27 of the book, so anyone who doubts me can look it up for themselves: 

“…by another equally hysterical call that would activate the dreaded People of Faith prayer tree.  Within thirty minutes our house would begin to fill up with fat women and their beady-eyed pedophile husbands.”  (emphasis added)

My enjoyment of the storyline was entirely marred by these things, but that’s not all I found objectionable.  Equally irritating is the authors’ constant attention to political correctness, as well as their preachy way of presenting it.   There’s a token gay vampire, as well as a token black one.  The Wiccan religion – which, in this book, contains some very beautiful rituals in honor of the Greek goddess Nyx, the patron of all vampyres --  is presented as a much more preferable alternative to Christianity. 

There’s certainly nothing wrong with presenting political or religious views in fiction.  It’s the way it’s done, however, that makes the difference.  A fiction writer should never allow these views to get in the way of telling the story.  That’s just what the Casts have done here.  The plot is intriguing, fascinating, to the point that I was compelled to finish the book, but I had to grit my teeth while reading, most of the time.

The way Wicca is tied into the story is quite effective.  I found it totally fascinating, especially as Zoey emerged as a strong leader, a very likely contender for the title of High Priestess.  I especially liked the way she refused to be cowed by Aphrodite, and took matters into her own hands to deal with the challenges she was inevitably confronted with.  I found her to be a very likable character.  If it weren't for her anti-Christian bias (indeed, she seems to be a spokesperson for the authors' own feelings), I would have added her to my roster of favorite fictional heroines, right next to Jane Eyre and Bella Swan.    

Unfortunately, I cannot give this novel my enthusiastic endorsement, because of the reasons stated above.  In spite of their excellent story-telling skills, the Casts' inclusion of these disturbing elements created too much of a barrier to this reader's full enjoyment of the book.  If the rest of the books in the series contain similar elements (and they probably do), then I know I will not want to read them .


Monday, February 21, 2011


It's Ashley Greene's birthday today!!!!
She is, of course, Alice Cullen,
Edward's fashion-conscious sister,
whose visions of possible future events help Edward and Bella come together,
as well as prevent Bella's death,
on at least one occasion.

The actress celebrated at Pure nightclub in Las Vegas
on Saturday, Feb. 19th.,
Her boyfriend, Joe Jonas,gave her a very special bracelet...


Saturday, February 19, 2011


The news about this edition has been all over
the Internet
since August of last year.  Somehow, I hadn't heard about this!
How could it be that I, a crazy, obsessed
had not heard about this?
"C'est la vie", as the French say....
Once I did hear about this, though, I wasted no time at all
in acquiring my own copies of all four books!!
Yes, of course, I already own the original hardcover ones.
Why would I want to own these, then?
You will only ask this question, dear friends,
if you have not been bitten by...
But since I first fell head over heels in love with
Edward Cullen back in 2006,
I can assure you that I had, no, HAD,
to possess these books.
And I already do, since they arrived from Merrie Olde England
just this past week!!!
Just in time for.....

So, I hereby present them individually,
in all their pristine glory!!!


New Moon


Breaking Dawn

Although this is a limited, paperback edition, they haven't quite been exhausted yet.  Published only in the U.K. by Atom Books, in December of last year, they are available on Amazon there.  However, all that conversion stuff can be a real pain.  Therefore, for you fellow Twilighters out there, I recommend that you buy them through eBay, which is what I did.  They will ship directly from the United Kingdom right into your eager little hands!

The ones I purchased weren't exactly what you would call cheap, but I consider this money well-spent.  After all, I deserve to get what I want for my birthday, and nothing else would really satisfy me!

This edition is not only elegant, but has a very aesthetic feel to it.  Perhaps that's due to the fact that the book title and author's name are printed only on the spine of each book, and not on the cover itself. 

These exquisitely beautiful books are a very welcome addition to my growing Twilight Saga collection, as they would be for any real Twilight lover!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Blood-Red Pencil: Great writing advice!!

The Blood-Red Pencil

Thanks to my good friend, aobibliophile at aobibliosphere, I have discovered
this absolutely WONDERFUL blog
that provides advice to writers, as well as editing services
and other very cool stuff!! 
The name chosen for this blog is not only rather poetic,
but very appropriate, too, since one of the skills
writers need to learn is how to cut material
they may actually love, but may not be working for their
story or novel.
(Besides, it also reminds me of
So this blog is very aptly named

Following are two excerpts from an article posted by Maryann Miller, at
this terrific blog. 
It was originally published
on yet another blog I will also be checking out,
who is a school psychologist, as well as a YA and nonfiction author.

Here are the excerpts:

:•    Set small, attainable goals.

Most writers I know set very lofty goals that are hard to achieve (I will finish this novel in 30 days). Or they set goals that take a very long time and involve things not in our control (I will find and agent and sell a book within xx years). These types of goals can backfire unless you also set small goals that you can achieve pretty quickly. It’s all about building momentum when you are carefully backing away from the cliff. Set goals that enable you to feel success quickly.

•    Face your fears.

Writing is an interesting thing. It has the power to unlock some of your deepest darkest yuck that lurks inside - or maybe that’s just me. Regardless, pursuing your dreams in this business will require you to face some of your doubts and fears sooner or later. So, you need to be prepared. Personally, I think the only way to deal with the scary stuff is to walk straight through it. You have lots of supporters to help you on this path. Grab their hands, close your eyes, and move forward – no matter how hard it feels at times.

The complete article can be found

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fan Fiction: The Rainbow at the End of the Bridge


I own nothing related to The Twilight Saga. These are Stephenie Meyer's characters, and no copyright infringement is intended, now, or at any time in the future, near or far.

Chapter 5: The Hurtful Truth


I could not remember coming back into the bedroom. I supposed Edward had laid me on the bed, but my mind could not recall the details. I frowned, shivering. There was something else...something that was making my skin crawl. The image was floating in front of my eyes, and refused to go away. His eyes. His face. They were the eyes and face of a ruthless killer. As he turned to me in the kitchen, he suddenly became a demon. The change was so sudden. One second, he had been laughing, casually dismissing his hangover. The next second, as he faced me, I was confronted by a totally different, totally terrifying person.

I could not forget that face. I do remember screaming, and then, I guess I must have fainted, because his features were abruptly swallowed in darkness.

Now I was awake, back on the bed. He had carried me in here... I shuddered, thankful that he had not seized the opportunity to kill me. The fact that he hadn't did puzzle me, nevertheless. Then I mentally shrugged. Who cared, anyway? My life would soon be over, regardless. What did it matter if this Edward were the one to end it?

I tried to sit up, without success. It was as if I were paralyzed, although I knew such a notion was absurd. I shivered again. I slowly realized that I didn't want to die. Not just yet. And certainly not at the hands of a demented killer. I took a rather shaky breath. Was this the real reason he had 'rescued' me from the dark recesses of that crack-infested neighborhood I had been so carelessly walking through?  Of course, this meant that I had to get away. The problem was just how I would accomplish that. At that point, I heard a slight noise, and I glanced at the door. It was slowly opening. I felt like screaming, but my throat was tightly closed. I couldn't have produced a scream even if he had rushed into the room to strangle me, right then and there.


How strange that even demon killers can have such angelic voices, I thought.  I dragged in another shaky breath.

The door opened completely, and he walked in, hesitantly, his eyes on me. I was surprised to see that they were full of anxious concern. He didn't look frightening anymore, either. His face appeared to be perfectly normal, and his body language was not threatening at all.  I was very sure that I hadn't imagined what I'd seen before.

"Bella?" His voice was as hesitant as his slow entrance into the room. I couldn't take my eyes from his. I was surprised again by their worried expression.

Mr. Hyde had completely vanished, and Dr. Jekyll was back.

"Are you...all right?' His voice shook a little.

I nodded. He breathed a sigh of relief, which puzzled me even more. He had, after all, scared the living daylights out of me.

"May I sit next to you?" He had stopped about a foot away from the bed, still staring at me anxiously. My eyes widened in more surprise at his question, but I nodded again, so he stepped over to the opposite side of the bed, and sat down right next to my left side. I couldn't help flinching slightly, though. I glanced away, toward a nearby wall.

"Look at me, Bella," he whispered, but his voice had an air of authority in it. Reluctantly, I obeyed. It seemed as if I really had no will of my own. Well, I had not put much stock in my own life since I had left the juvenile detention hall. I had been feeling detached from anything and anyone whom I might encounter. Still, the fact that I seemed to have no control over my own actions annoyed me, at least a little.

"I need to tell you something, and I hope that you will believe me. Will you listen to me?"

I finally found my voice, although it came out hoarse, as if I hadn't used it for a very long time. "Yes, I will."

"Good," he said, relieved. Then he looked more deeply into my eyes; I found that I could not look away. "I will release you now, but only if you promise not to try to run away from me."

I frowned. "Release me?" I asked him, in a puzzled tone.

"Just say 'yes'", he urged, "and I will explain...well, I'll try to, anyhow."

"All right," I answered, calmly, although my heart had started pounding furiously.  He continued to stare at me for a second, and then he blinked. After that, he closed his eyes briefly, opening them again almost immediately. Then he took my left hand, tugging me into a sitting position. I flinched at his cold touch, but said nothing about it.

Amazingly, I found that I could now move, and sat up. As soon as I became aware of this, I tried to jump off the bed. But he grabbed my arms and tugged me down at once. I was imprisoned by icy manacles.

"You promised, Bella," he warned, and it came out as a hiss betwen his teeth. The hairs on the back of my neck rose, and I looked at him over my shoulder, my alarm rising.

"What are you?" I whispered, terrified, as I struggled with all of my puny strength to get free. It was useless, of course. He was far stronger than me.

"Bella, please! I don't want to hurt you!"

"But you are!" His hands were like steel claws now. I couldn't shake them off. "Please let me go!" I started to thrash around, my fear rising by the second.

"Bella...stop! Look at me." His voice had that ring of authority in it again. And again I had to obey.  I looked at him. His eyes looked deeply into mine yet again, drawing me more and more into their depths. I stopped struggling, and then...   He moved slightly toward me, his gaze now on my mouth. Pulling me gently closer, he brought his face slowly down to mine. His lips descended softly upon my own, and I was powerless to stop him.

After a couple of seconds, I was sure I didn't want to stop him. 

His lips, as bitterly cold as his hands, were unexpectedly gentle on mine. They fluttered softly, caressing. They lingered over the corners of my mouth, gently kissing, as his tongue flicked out to lick them.

I forgot everything but his mouth.

A feeling so sweet, so poignant that I had no name for it, rose within me. Not even Ryan, with all his expertise, had ever kissed me like this. Edward's lips were not demanding; instead, they sought to give. They gave the sweetest, gentlest touch of heady pleasure. Oh, I wanted those cold lips...

His tongue flicked out again, delicately tracing the contours of my lips, which parted automatically. His tongue smoothly slid inside, and began a gentle, probing massage of my mouth. I turned to face him fully as I opened my lips further, and he deepened the kiss, moving even closer to me, placing a very gentle hand behind my head, while his other hand surrounded my waist, also very gently. Yet, he was pressing me agaisnt his body.  Somehow, my arms found their way around his neck, and I pulled him even closer, too. My heart was pounding furiously in my ears, but not from fear now.  I kissed him back with every ounce of female power I possessed, and he responded eagerly, his hands beginning to massage my back, even as he whispered urgently against my lips, "Bella, Bella, Bella..."

Suddenly, he stopped. He just froze. His tongue abruptly left my mouth, and he pulled away from me. I opened my eyes and stared at him in shock. He could not seem to meet my eyes.

"What...what happened?" I cried out, feeling a strange sense of panic. "What are you doing?"

He looked at me for a moment, his eyes anguished, and shook his head, glancing away. "I don't know," he whispered. His voce sounded so sad that I felt stricken, although I couldn't understand why.

"Why in the world did you stop?" Is he actually regretting having kissed me?

He stood up abruptly. "I could hurt you," he said simply. But he stood there, looking uncertainly at the floor, as if he didn't know what to do next.

I wasn't sure what to make of all this. It seemed that my guardian angel had a real problem with personal identity. I had seen a monster a while ago, and now saw a potential boyfriend. I couldn't reconcile the two.

"Look, Bella," he said softly, as he met my eyes. "I need to explain something to you. But you will probably not believe me. And if you do, then you will run away from me, screaming. I...don't want to lose you. I felt pulled to you from the first moment I saw you. I couldn't let you die. And I promise you that you will not die at my hands."

This was getting stranger and stranger. Who was this guy, and what was he hiding? Had I found a psychopath? Well, with my luck, why not?

"I'd like you to give me some time," he went on hurriedly when I didn't reply. "I want you to see who I really am, not who I seem to be. Will you allow me to let you see my real self, Bella? I'm not really a monster, even though you might have gotten the impression that I am."

I was speechless. I continued to stare at him, my emotions at war. Then I noticed that. My emotions? I'm feeling again.

"There's just one problem," I pointed out. As my heartbeat steadied, my mind began to assert itself. "How can I possibly trust you not to try to kill me? How can I know for sure that you won't turn into...a monster once more, and this time, won't be able to stop yourself?"

He nodded somberly, obviously agreeing with my assessment of the situation.

'You're right not to trust me," he said, his voice full of pain. "You are more right than you'll ever know. If you could see into my mind, you'd realize that."

"Well, maybe you wouldn't hurt me, but the other one probably would," I pointed out, warily.

He nodded, understanding. "Yes, it can be very disconcerting to be confronted by a monstruous killer, when a minute ago you could have sworn that you were speaking to a normal person."  He paused meaningfully, and then stared at me as his expression turned smug. "And yet, you kissed me back."

I shook my head, bewildered. "I must have been out of my mind temporarily. Either that, or you put some sort of spell on me."

He chuckled at that remark. 'You're very close to the truth."

My heart skipped a beat. "I am?"

"Yes...and no."

I continued to stare at him. "Just what the heck are you? Are you on steroids or something?"

He laughed heartily at that.

"No, Bella, I can assure you I'm not, although I wish that were true. You would be able to trust me then."

I opened my mouth to reply to that, but he went on, sighing as his eyes continued to hold mine.

"Bella, you haven't told me your last name."

My heart skipped a beat once more. I wondered if he were the type who wanted to keep informed by watching the news all the time.

"Swan," I replied, a little nervously. I hoped he wouldn't suspect that this was not my real last name.

He smiled. "Bella Swan. How very appropriate. 'Beautiful Swan'. Lovely!"

I knew I was blushing. I ducked my head in embarrassment. "Thanks," I murmured.

"Hey," he said abruptly. "Let's call a truce, shall we? You eat some breakfast, and then we can sit down calmly and..."

I was alarmed all over again. "Calmly? After what happened a while ago?"

His smile widened. "You mean the kiss?"

"No," I said, my voice rising slightly as I, too, got to my feet. "I mean what happened before that."

That shook him. I could see the hurt expression reappear on his face. Then, his shoulders slumped, and his eyes glittered sadly.

"Yes, you're right, of course. Well, then, I shall have no choice but to allow you to make your escape, if you wish to go. I take it that survival has suddenly become very important to you."

His sarcastic remark hit its mark. Hadn't I been anxious to end my life? Would it really be so bad to end it in his arms, as he made love to me? An intimate image rose in my mind, an image of dark, heated passion, as those masterful lips kissed every burning inch of my body...

"Bella? Did you hear me? I said, you're free to go, if you wish to. I won't stop you."

I stared at him. "Do you really mean that?" I thought this might be a ploy. I knew something about psychopaths. I shrugged away a brief memory of Uncle Frank.

"Yes, I really do. Perhaps it would be for the best. I wanted to save you. But if would be highly ironic if I were to become the instrument of your death, instead."

I didn't know what to say.

"You can go, Bella." He sounded so sad as he spoke. "Only please don't try to do away with yourself. Promise. For me."

I nodded. Satisfied, he nodded, too, and then asked me to follow him into the huge living room. He walked over to the luxurious, black velvet couch, where a nice pair of jeans lay, carelessly thrown across a voluminous purple cushion. He picked up the jeans, and thrust a hand into one of the pockets. When he withdrew it, he was clutching a thick wad of bills, which he held out to me.

"Here, take this. You can get yourself a hotel room or something, and this will last you a few days. All I ask is that you let me know how you're doing, at least once a week."

I couldn't find anything to say.

Reaching into another pocket of the jeans, he pulled out a business card.

"Here's my cell number.  You can let me know if you need more money, and I'll..."

I stared at the money, then back at his face. "I can't accept this."

"Sure you can. You have to. Consider it a small reparation for scaring you so badly."

I shook my head. "No, Edward. I can't."

"But you will," he said, fiercely, as he reached out and put the money firmly in the right front pocket of my jeans. Then he stepped back, putting his hands in his own pockets. He didn't look at me.

"Now, go," he said, in that authoritative tone I was fast becoming familiar with.

I was too stunned to move.

"Go!" Now he looked directly into my eyes. To my astonishment, I saw that his were now completely blank, emotionless. His face, however, was terrifying.

I ran to the door and tried to open it.

"It's locked," I said over my shoulder, inexplicably feeling trapped.  Without a word, he walked over to me, unlocking the door with a swift, deft movement of his fingers, and flinging it wide open.  I hesitated even as I was about to walk through it, and out of his life for good. He stood there, waiting to close the door, staring at the wall next to it.

Anguish suddenly squeezed my heart. Was I making a mistake? And yet, that face... I shuddered.

"Thank you," I whispered, staring down at the floor. Then I turned, and stumbled out into the hallway.

The door softly clicked shut behind me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Book Review: Torment (first angel review for 'Descent of the Angels' Reading Challenge)

Reviewer's Notes

This is my first angel book for the 2011 "Descent of the Angels" Reading Challenge.  
I wish I had discovered this in January,
so I could have started on it then.  
Well, I'm currently reading Unearthly, so I'll be posting
another angel book review soon!

Author: Lauren Kate
Hardcover, 452 pages
Published by Delacorte Press, 2010
First Edition
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

The first book in the Fallen series was a real page-turner for me.  The suspense and excitement built as I read, due to Kate’s skillful pacing.  The way the characters were introduced, as well as how they interacted with each other, also contributed to my overall enjoyment of that book.

In contrast, I have very mixed feelings about Torment.  The characters were, indeed, interesting, but the plot moved along much more slowly.  I kept waiting and hoping for a key event to lead inexorably into the next one, only to be disappointed, time after time.  Things suddenly picked up toward the end of the book, only to culminate in a rather disappointing fashion, however.  I am also puzzled by some of the actions of the main characters.Yet, I can’t say I hated the book.  I didn’t love it, either, unfortunately…

Luce wanted answers, and she couldn’t seem to get them from Daniel, her angel boyfriend.  He had hidden her away at Shoreline School, located on the California coast, while he attempted to hunt down the Outcasts, angels who are shunned by both sides in the eternal conflict between good and evil.  These angels wield very unusual weapons – starshots, which are somewhat like arrows, and deadly to both angels and demons, while harmless to humans.

Daniel’s decision to have Luce enroll at Shoreline was supposed to protect her.  He told her that he must also leave her for a few weeks, adding, “If I could be with you, I would.”  To drive the point home, he emphasized that he wouldn’t put her in danger by being around her.  Several pages later, however, he showed up at Shoreline, on the sly, with the excuse that he couldn’t stay away from Luce.  He did this not only once, but at least three times during the course of the novel!  This contradiction is one of the things that bothered me about the book.  A character’s actions should be consistent with that character’s typical pattern of behavior.  Daniel is acting completely out of character here.

Another problem I had with the book is strictly a religious, or spiritual one.  There were two instructors at Shoreline that taught classes together.  No problem there – except for the fact that one of them, Francesca, was an angel, and the other, Steven, a demon.  The narrator also hinted that they were romantically involved.  Now wait a minute!  An angel and a demon, having a romantic relationship?  I simply couldn’t “suspend my disbelief” long enough to accept this.  Angels and demons are poles apart!  At least, they are depicted as being so, in every religious system on this planet.  Furthermore, this particular demon did not act in a despicably evil manner.  In fact, he even helped save the life of a student, at one point.

I did like how the mysterious shadows mentioned in Fallen evolved into Announcers, bearing information from the past.  It was also fascinating to see how Luce interacted with them in order to gather such information. 

I also liked the characters introduced in this installment.  Shelby is even edgier than Arriane, Francesca is appropriately angelic, and Miles is a genuinely nice boy who starts to develop feelings for Luce.  I must express my surprise at Kate’s introducing yet another love interest for Luce, though.  Has Cam suddenly decided to give up the chase?  Again, I find this to be very much out of character.

The ending obviously leads in to the next book, Passion.  I thought it was interesting that Miles suddenly displayed a previously hidden talent that ultimately saved Luce.  However, her impulsive decision at the very end was not satisfactory – I did not finish the book with the feeling that what she did was completely inevitable, and necessary to the story.  Instead, I thought that her action was a bit too contrived, a bit too much of a neat set-up for the next book.  I also didn’t think it was believable, in light of her love for Daniel.

What I liked best about this novel was the background information the reader got on the angels and Announcers.  I also enjoyed the partial revelation of Luce’s past history.  The combination of these elements was one of the things that kept me going until I had finished the novel.   I also finished it because I loved the initial story, as described in Fallen.  I also became enchanted with Daniel.  What girl wouldn’t want an angel for a boyfriend?  (The only other obvious choice, for Twilighters, of course, is Edward Cullen....)

I will summarize by saying that the book is quite interesting, although not quite as absorbing as Fallen.    In spite of this, I am definitely moving on to Passion, once it becomes available.  That's because Kate has succeeded in creating a world and set of characters that are seductively fascinating!