Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: The Angel Hunt (Dark World: The Angel Trials #2)

Release Date: May 17, 2018
Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Length: 266 pages
Source: Review Copy

The hunt for demons is about to heat up.

Somehow Raven has convinced Noah and Sage—the two wolf shifters who saved her from a demon attack—to let her tag along on their quest to kill ten demons. The payoff for completing the mission? Entrance to the mystical island of Avalon, where Raven will go through trials to gain the strength she needs to save her mom’s life.

Raven wants to help the shifters on their quest. But Noah refuses to put her in any danger—which makes no sense, since he hates her. At least she thinks he hates her… until he catches her off guard and kisses her. Suddenly they’re connected in ways she doesn’t understand, and she feels closer to him than ever.

If she didn’t know any better, she’d think they imprinted on each other. But that’s impossible. Because shifters can’t imprint on humans.

And if they did imprint on each other, then the supernatural world is changing—and Raven’s right in the center of it.

Emotions will flare between Raven and Noah in the second book in The Angel Trials series, an urban fantasy adventure with romance, magic, and twists that will keep you reading long into the night!



Protagonist: Once again I wish I could add an "s" to the end of this section and talk about seeing various POVs in this series, but alas Raven, again, has the vast majority of the story to tell. It's not that I dislike Raven in any way, I really love how she grows and changes over the course of this book, she's still a stubborn spitfire, but in this installment, she really starts to find her groove with her demon hunter companions and starts to feel necessary to their plans of finally getting to Avalon. Raven really starts to take more control of her destiny and pushes herself further in this book. However, I still really wish that we could see from more characters' perspectives, like Noah and Sage, particularly Sage as we learn a little bit more about her and the little that we get seems like it could snowball into something great.

Romance: This is definitely where most of the attention in this installment is placed. In the first installment, the romance between Raven and Noah was merely set up, where here things are turned up to a whole new level. The romance was what really intrigued me most about the first installment, apart from the main plot, I was so interested in seeing how a relationship between Raven and Noah might work if they could never imprint (which is a word I'm not particularly a fan of as it has too many Twilight connotations for my liking, but since it's based on how many animals find a mate, I've sorta let it go.) Then I read the synopsis, and I sort of felt all my interest leave for the romance in this series, I mean, if they can just imprint anyway, where's the struggle, where's the fight to be with each other if their only known roadblock isn't actually a roadblock. All I'll say on the matter is that after reading this book, I might be even more into the romance than ever, I really like the connection between Raven and Noah, even if Noah can be a grumpy little tool sometimes, and I really enjoyed how the author chose to handle their feelings for one another, seriously it's taking so much in me to not gush out spoilers when talking about this.

World Building: Honestly, I don't even know what to write here. There is a decent amount of plot progression and world building in this book, but much like the first installment in this series, I never felt there was enough for a full installment, even by Michelle Madow standards, while we do learn quite a bit more about shifters, and we see more about how the supernatural world works outside of Vampire Kingdoms. Since a large portion of this book is much more about character development and romance, there isn't a whole lot of time to move things along, which kind of bugged me at times as I'm itching to really get things started in this series. There are so many questions hanging in the air going into this book, and I honestly aside from some romance related ones, we don't get a whole lot of answers. In a lot of ways, this felt like the second third of a book, full of action, adventure, and romance, but while the main plot and world building are not forgotten, they're more pushed off to the side for a while, only to spring up when absolutely necessary.

Predictability: There wasn't a single thing in this book that surprised me. Now, that's not the same thing as being able to predict everything, which I was pretty much able to do, but more that when there was something revealed that I didn't know, it didn't shock me in any way. I was really hoping to be surprised by something in this book, even something small, but aside from the synopsis giving a little too much detail and the things I know from the previous series, nothing here took me by surprise.

Ending: So, this was a really great ending. I mean, sure, the final climax could have been better, much like the final climax in the previous installment I felt no real emotional investment on the part of our heroes that would make it special, I mean sure they have their lives to protect and they want to make it to Avalon, both very good driving forces, but for a final climax I feel it should have more depth and mean something more to the characters, now the outcome of the final climax, there's your emotional investment, and it's a really intese few chapters leading to the end of this installment, but since I wouldn't consider that part of the final climax, even though it was to some extent, or really all extent, a byproduct of the final climax, I just wish there was more at stake before the final climax starts than after it's over. Much like nearly all of Madow's previous Dark World books, this story ends with an epilogue chapter of sorts that seems to tee up not only where Book 3 will begin but also introduces a rather interesting new character.


So, I did like this book better than the first in this series, but it also suffers from a few of the same problems as the first one, mainly that even for a Michelle Madow book, the pacing is just off and it doesn't quite feel like a full installment, nor does it feel like the second half of an installment. I am still very invested in this series and cannot wait for the next book, I'm just hoping for something a bit more than what we have been getting.


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