Crap on a cracker. There are 3 (and a half) more of this stinking series. I just finished Shattered Promises (the first in the Shattered Promises series) by Jessica Sorensen. And there are more in this series – more than I think I can deal with. At least based on the first three-quarters of the first book.
Let me start of by saying that the Fallen Angel series by Jessica Sorensen has been on my “to be read” book shelf for a long while. I have never gotten around to it. And now, I may never bother. I didn’t realize at first that this is an “adulating” of the YA series. But if this is any indication as to the quality of the YA series, I cringe.
I also am going to note that while reading books is like eating or watching movies in that one person’s favorite can be another person’s most despised, it is still funny to see how diametrically opposed some people can be about the same book. Goodreads has this book sitting at an average 4 stars and the reviews are polarizing. People gush over it with enough sugar, hearts and flowers to make Willy Wonka stroke out and other people despise it like it came from the depths of the worst circle of Hell. It’s kind of amusing.
Me, I am somewhere in the middle. The idea is pretty good, the execution… for most of the book I was amused by how awful the writing style is. I often felt like I was reading a telegraph. You know, the way they get read out loud: “Joe not coming STOP Mother ill STOP Will send word soon STOP”. Then, all of a sudden, things got significantly less awful (note I didn’t say they got good – just merely not awful). I am wondering how close to the YA this adult adaption is. Did the author take the YA and merely adjust setting and some dialogue to make it more adult (which wouldn’t surprise me since some of the writing is so clunky it reminds me of the way a high school student will take something out of an encyclopedia and just use synonyms to recreate almost the exact same sentence in substance even though they are technically using different words)? Or did some of the plot get reworked too? I can’t say since I haven’t read the YA version, but I have my suspicions. Here’s an example of some of the odd word choices that has caused me to think these things, the text reads “I’m conquered with the compulsion” but I wonder if it the YA version didn’t basically say “I was overwhelmed by the desire to”. The “conquered compulsion” is clumsy and clunky and not fun to read. Not to mention, I am not entirely convinced that grammatically it means what I think the author intended it to mean. There were a number of other examples like this: “conclusively reside on my eyes”; “my vision resurfaces”; “attention is magnetized toward me”. Interestingly, I didn’t notice as many towards the end. Maybe I just became immune by then though.
Believe it or not, the writing style isn’t the biggest issue for me. I think it is the hot-and-cold of both characters. Alex seems that way (maybe he’s a long lost cousin of Edward Cullen?) but Gemma does too. They seem to both be easily pissed off, they throw temper tantrums like a 5-year old, and they are generally annoying characters. Then, two seconds later they are fawning for each other. Never mind the fact that Gemma talks like a robot (although Mr. Data, a robot with no feelings, didn’t even talk this way) and is super inconsistent. I thought she had never felt any emotion, at least we are hammered over the head with this again and again – but at the beginning of chapter 2 she talks about feeling happiness for the first time. So which is it? And giving me, as an explanation, that simply never having any human contact with her grandparent’s kept her from having emotion? Like she never bumped into anyone at school (Mr. Data had more human contact apparently)? The explanation of the spell makes much more sense, but then why would she need to never have contact with her grandparents? It’s weird and feels like a stretch. Things like this were just hard to take.
I am also perplexed by the super bold warning about the content on goodreads. Is this because the author tends to write YA stuff? Because I have read plenty that is way steamier than this and there are no such warnings on those book entires. And, for the most part, this wasn’t the steamiest or sexiest. It was borderline – twelve chapters in and the “adult” was nothing more than a few trips to second base. There is a single scene later on that is a little more racy, but it is tame compared to others of this genre. So, if you are looking for that kind of excitement, this isn’t the place, despite the indication to the contrary from goodreads’ synopsis.
Then there is the fact that this book has so many pieces that seem like copies of other books – Mr. Gaiman might be flattered that someone read his stuff and likes it enough to be inspired (hmmm… people after a fallen star for its power… can we say Stardust, anyone? Which I absolutely adore by the way, so there are really big shoes to fill and very high standards to live up to by drawing inspiration from Mr. Neil Gaiman), but as a reader, it made it feel stale. The Death Walkers and the cold – can we say dementors? Alex’s behavior – again, Edward Cullen? Jocelyn and Stephan – any reminders of Joeclyn and Valentine Morgenstern (2 Jocelyns, eerie coincidence I suppose)? There are more, but I think you can see my point.
The redeeming qualities came at the end. The twists were predictable, but at least some action started and it felt like the plot was moving forward. The writing got less choppy and easier to read. The Leyland character seems to be interesting and the mystery of Jocelyn is still out there and there is promise that this could be intriguing.
The other redeeming quality – as of the moment – amazon had it offered as an ebook for FREE. Yep. So I didn’t waste a dime on it. Although, I am curious as to what happens next so I will be spending money on the next one (but I guess that is part of the point of the free first installments…!).
All in all, this could have been a lot better, but I guess it could have been worse too. I know, isn’t that a glowing review for a book about something as bright as a fallen star?