Blest by Blaise Lucey started off slow, but boy, it is take off in the end. After the first half, I found I had trouble putting it down. I love stories about angels and demons falling in love – and this one was no exception. While I had some little issues with the beginning, specifically pace (insta-love) and world-building (background for it), by the time I was half-way through I was so very sucked-in I was sitting on the edge of my chair while reading because I was desperate to know what happened next.
Since the book begins with the first half, however, let me address a few of the short-comings. First, there was a lot of love between two character who merely spent a few minutes, and one afternoon, together. Even for the PNR stuff that I read, which is usually all about insta-love, that is giving the relationship development shot-shrift. There is no reason why the characters couldn’t have developed the feelings over a little bit of time, a month or two for example. Then, frankly, some of the vitriol towards Jim by the demon kids would have been more on display and a deeper connection to Claire and Jim would have been easier to feel. There was no need for their birthdays to be quite so early in the school year – or the story – a little more of the suspense as to why the two characters were this books version of Romeo and Juliet would have only added to the plot. The acceptance of why they were different was also a little quick (and this is the second book I’ve finished in the last 3 days that treated this the same) – way too quick – like, the Flash might as well be moving in slow motion compared to the speed at which they all accept the supernatural and paranormal and that angels and demons are real. It was just too quick. It didn’t give me time as a reader to adjust and again, I think a little more page time spent on that would have added to the overall plot and pace of the story. Once things got going though, there were a bunch of reveals – and that was great as I felt much more involved in the story and it was easier to stay engaged. I am just a little curious – as I don’t see this being billed as the start of a series, and lots of loose ends were tied up, but there is still certainly loose ends that aren’t tied up, including the events of the epilogue, so I hope there is at least one more coming.
Despite the need to pay attention to some of the terminology, lest you get lost, this reminded me much of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments – and some of the hints that were dropped had me holding my breath that the reveals weren’t going to be the same as with City of Bones, and thank goodness, they weren’t. But to me, Blest had tones of City of Bones with the love between our main protagonists and the good vs evil nature of things. Unlike Mortal Instruments, however, I have enough details to hold me to book 2 (assuming there is one **fingers crossed**) and enough to make at least another good book or two out of the things that aren’t solved and the stuff we don’t know. And some of what we don’t know has such potential – like the back stories to the parents of all our teenage cast, the mythology of the Tribunal and how the demons were originally banished, exactly what the feathers that each of Claire and Jim have that are “opposite” the rest of their respective wings… there quite a bit of fodder to serve as the basis for some excellent follow-up books.
Even out the pace a little with the second, balance the relationship building and world building to give me more, and we may have a new favorite YA/Angel and demon series! At least, I really hope there will be a second!
p.s. LOVE the cover!!