Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow

From “Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called "the touch." (Comes in handy when you're traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)
Then her dad turns up dead - but still walking - and Dru knows she's next. Even worse, she's got two guys hungry for her affections, and they're not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever - or whoever - is hunting her?”
My Thoughts:
Lili St. Crow has an exceptional knack for creating memorable characters and strong voice in Book 1 of the Strange Angels series. 
The story is told in first-person point-of-view from the perspective of Dru Anderson-a tough and witty new female heroine. Crow gives Dru an outstanding voice-a feature that stays consistent throughout the novel. As a 16 year old girl who moves more than a military-brat, Dru is spending her teenage years following her father around the map-hunting everything that goes bump in the night. And even though she has an insiders perspective to this nocturnal world-Dru’s character is still grounded firmly in adolescence-with a whiplash-fast voice to prove it. 
I’m super grateful that Crow gave Dru’s character a strong and believable teenage voice. This is something that might sound simple enough-but you’d be surprised at how many authors can kill their character’s personalities by getting the voice wrong-especially when the story is told in first-person. The voice is the characters life-blood and is what keeps us turning pages. Dru’s is impeccable and consistent which gives her character credibility and sympathy. It’s fresh tone, flippant remarks, and teenage-hormonal-seesaw-emotional-charge, make Dru the kind of chick you’d either be scared to death of or totally want to roll with. 

Just to give an example-one without any spoilers-I’m going to post a couple random quotes from Dru.
“It smelled like damp wool and wet concrete in here, as well as formaldehyde carpet and the exhalation of two thousand kids. Not to mention sweaty stocking feet and food pried from underneath Ronald McDonald’s bumpers. School smell. It’s the same pretty much everywhere in the U.S., with only slight regional differences in the foot-sweat and served-roadkill departments.”
“It felt hinky. Super extra hinky with a side of bad sauce.” 
Crow’s skills don’t stop at voice either-she’s also talented at character development-which is illustrated beautifully through the second main character Graves.
In the beginning this seems to be just another gothic boy checking out the new girl, but underneath layers of black-trench-coat and black hair, there is a complex guy with depth and insight. He hasn’t had the perfect life either and when Dru and Graves’s lives are intertwined-a breakneck adventure unfolds that is out of both their leagues. Two teenagers-left without any help from the outside world-form a strong bond when facing near-death experiences about every two seconds-because something always wants Dru dead. And the relationship between them isn’t forced-Crow blends it together with a wonderful combination of character interaction and dialogue and neither is heavier than the other. 
This fast-paced book is a must read for any paranormal YA lover. The descriptions are on point, the characters are credible and worth caring about, and the storyline is fresh. The only complaints I have is that at times Crow repeated herself-but the intensity of the story more than made up for it. I’ll be picking up the rest of the series to see where these characters end up. 

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