The Return to Sanctuary series starts with “Out in Blue” by Sarah Gilman. Where we are in a world where archangels and demons are out and the archangels are poached for their feathers. Ginger was raised by a demon (Devin) in Haven (another sanctuary in Alaska). She knows lots about angels and doesn’t think the poaching of angels is right. There is more to Ginger though… When Ginger overhears some poachers talking about getting an archangel – Wren – she can’t help but try to prevent the poachers from getting to him. When she manages to save him, they become instantly close. And they feel a pull towards each other. When we learn (early on, so I am not going to consider this a spoiler) that Raphael is in fact still alive, Wren wants to keep away from Ginger to protect her. But, getting Raphael away from Lark is very important too. Wren struggles with trusting the Guardians because of Lark’s behavior when he killed Wren’ mother and father (or really, kidnapped Raphael).
This is an interesting take on angels and demons. And, without any theology. So, I loved it! Despite the epic world record speed with which our two characters fall in love, it was still a wonderful story. The characters are complicated yet simple. The story is unique and intriguing. So often the first book in a series is all set up – plot and characters – that there isn’t any real action. Here, that was not the case. We were introduced to the world and the characters as the plot moved, and it added to the story; it was never the distraction of a flash back but thoughtful and well planned discussions as the characters get to know one another. I would like to know a little more about the Guardians and the history of the world, why the original archangels fell and how the demons came to be Guardians. So, I hope we will get more of that in how many ever stories come next.
My rant about the types of serials that exist, with the last book review (the Forever Twilight series), would apply here too except that this seemed to set up a new world wonderfully, and there was quite an ending to this story (I was on the edge of my seat, saying to myself “I can’t believe it” and “how is this going to be the happy-ever-after that’s required by this genre”, but the author did it and in such an amazing way!)! And, I would rant about epilogues here (because I have an opinion about epilogues and prologues too, but we’ll save it for a book that deserves to get slammed because of one – or both!) but it was tasteful, well done, and I can see other installments picking right up from the end and the epilogue won’t get in the way. I loved that I got satisfaction out of the end of this installment as well as the epilogue.
The prose wasn’t the romantic and poetic prose of authors like Maggie Steifvater but the relationship was believable and the dialogue was realistic. The prose also wasn’t the badass macho stuff that is so prominent in the PNR genre. But it was solid and pleasant to read. I didn’t find myself skimming or wanting to skip paragraphs. Instead, I wanted to immerse myself in the world and the characters – and that’s always a good thing! Despite the fact that on my steaminess scale it rates only about a 1 and 1/2, it was romantic and a nice little read. I am looking forward to more of this world!
The only thing I wonder, is where the title came from, what the reference is to…