My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great start to a new series.
Lillian is a normal pre-college student – or so she thinks. Normal, except that she has a stalker.
Then she finds him in the living room with her mom, only this time he has wings.
Within the space of one breath, Lillian’s life changes forever. She learns that she is an Ivory, a half angel child, and her destiny is to fight the minions of hell – whether she wants to or not.
She’s unconvinced by what she’s told, and by the idea that she might be equipped in any way to command an Ivory Guard watching over a hellhole when she’d rather cosy up with a good book (sensible girl!). But when she and her parents are attacked by demons everything becomes horribly real.
The next portion of the book is taken up by Lillian’s training, and whilst I found it a bit of a stretch to believe that this quiet bookworm could turn so easily into a magnificent fighter who accepted her change in circumstances and likely short life expectancy with remarkably little angst, this was covered by her half-angel genes, and consequently her instincts kicking into gear now she’d come of age.
I was surprised that she never questions the identity of her real father.
Raz, the angel tasked with her training, is a hard-nosed loner, but we see him gradually soften towards Lillian as she proves equal to the tasks he sets her, and before long they are trading insults like the best of friends.
Raz and Lillian’s mutual, dangerous attraction unfolded in much the way I expected, but what I found captivating was that the story continued to take me in fresh directions that I didn’t anticipate. There is a healthy dose of evil characters, who were not evil at all, just caught by the circumstances of their births, much like Lillian herself, and the author does a great job of capturing the cold impartiality of immortal beings, although I did find myself uncomfortable with the idea of angels willing to commit murder.
I was delighted to find more story than I expected, with the romance not being the most important driver, and a surprise ending that leaves plenty of material for the next book.
The descriptive passages could have benefited from more editing, but the dialogue was fun, and the mix of danger, steamy romance, heart-breaking sadness, friendship, love and betrayal endows the novel with more depth than many other books in this genre.
I will definitely be reading the next one.