30 December 2011

YA Book Review: On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

Release Date: 27 December 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: eARC
Source: Published via Netgalley

Goodreads description:
The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn't prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher.

Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.

And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.
My Thoughts...

In the final stretch of 2011, HarlequinTeen has brought readers a new angel story that provides enough unique twists to make it stand apart from its many predecessors of the year.  Wrought with emotion and intrigue, Jordan Dane has brought new life to the angel tale through a dark examination of life and death.  While I overall enjoyed this book, I will say that it didn't necessarily blow me away.  There were a few things that didn't really mesh for me and it wasn't the type of book where I found myself truly caring about and immersed in the characters and their world.

When her mother died in a car accident 5 years ago, Abby was left with the guilt and pain of surviving that same crash.  It changed her relationship with her father and those around her.  What she didn't realize at the time is that there were even bigger ramifications to her survival.  Abby finds out the hard way that Death never forgets a soul that he was meant to collect.

Abby isn't the type of MC that I'm typically drawn to, which made some of the story hard to get through.  She's a bit standoffish with her father, acquaintances and even her best friend, Tanner.  She struck me as a bit self-absorbed at times, and while some of that can be forgiven through her traumatic past, I would think that she would be willing at this point to let others into her life just a little.  Also, her crush on obsession with Nate Holden simply struck me as...odd.  I couldn't quite understand her fascination with this boy that she didn't know AT ALL.  I get that it's common to crush on the cute popular boy a little.  Heck, I did it too.  Abby just takes her crush to a whole new level that I really just didn't "get." Thankfully, Abby does develop a lot throughout this novel and make some good decisions--i.e. she grows up a bit.  I felt like by the end she was starting to see the good things that she did in fact have in her life that she had been missing/ignoring.

Tanner is awesome. The end.  He was easily my favorite character in this book.  He's a great friend and so dedicated to Abby.  I just wanted to scream at her for basically not noticing him. Seriously, so much boyfriend potential there.  And to top it off, he's got a fabulous sense of humor and the brains to go with it.  He really "got" Abby and he was always there for her.

While this was a good read, it was a GREAT read, at least not for me.  It lacked the character connection that I look for in a great novel.  Abby wasn't a character that made me excited to dive back into the story.  There were also a few oddities with this novel that I'm not sure how I felt about them, the the main thing was the changing point of view.  I understood having some from Abby and some from Tanner and even a little from Nate...but all of the sudden we were getting Bob Holden and snippets from Jackie Holden and it felt like too much. The sections jumped back and forth in small bursts and it interrupted the flow a little for me.  So, while I enjoyed this novel and would easily recommend it to fans of paranormal reads and "angel books," it wasn't my favorite this year.  The writing is really good, but the characters and pacing didn't work for me.


Danny Bookworm said...

Hm hm... although I love Angel Stories and ... love Harlequin, I'm not sure about this one. Now, that you are also more so-so about this one I believe I'm going to pass... Thanks for your lovely review!! 

Jessi said...

I love Harlequin, too, Danny! I wanted to love this one SO BAD. 

Brenda Demko said...

I've heard so many different reactions to this book!  I want to read it if for no other reason than to see who I agree with.

Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

Sounds like there is a lot of potential. I don't enjoy books where I don't connect with the characters either.

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