I received a review copy of Jessica Shirvington's Embrace, one of those YA angel books.
This book was my first encounter with the angel genre romance (except for Elizabeth Chandler's dated Kissed by an Angel trilogy, which I read over a year ago), and it was not completely unsatisfying.
I was hesitant to pick up a supernatural book that focused on angels. Zombies? Okay. Shape shifters? Interesting. Vampires? Fuck yes, sign me up for some seductive, bloodsucking fun!
This struck me as wrong.
I think primarily because I had always associated the supernatural with horror. Not that all zombies, shape shifters, and vampires in novels are evil beings. But there's always this tinge of danger and even inherent unholiness in the supernatural books that I've read (except, of course, for The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, which felt more Jurassic).
I think we can all safely say that angels are rarely thought of as "unholy," even though a lot of us think of demons as former angels.
& initially, the lack of "holy" regarding angels in Embrace did strike me as trying too hard, to make angels seem edgy or something. It does seem impossible to entirely leave religion out of a book about angels, however, and I would not be surprised if faith in God becomes more prevalent as the series waxes on...
I read this book because I was curious, and thinking that maybe the angel fad craze isn't as crazy & stupid as it initially sounded. And it wasn't particularly crazy or stupid.
I quite enjoyed the first third of the book or so.
In the middle, the book begins to feel predictable, and Violet (the protagonist) does suffer from "newbie-who's-amazingly-powerful-and-great-at-everything-and-who-all-the-guys-want-to-fuck"ness, but eh, it's a YA book, right?
Overall, I was left with the impression that this was an okay book. I went through phases where I really liked Violet, and phases where she was a bit too goody-goody for me, but since she's supposed to be some human-angel hybrid, I guess we can let that last bit go. And like I said, the first third of the book, I was very invested. I was just a bit disappointed that my initial emotional investment ended up waning.
Somewhat simplistic writing. Good for a beach read, quick read. Not a bad introduction to the "angel" genre.*
*This last criterion is based solely on my lack of regurgitation whilst reading, and might not be entirely unbiased.