Archon (The Books of Raziel), Sabrina Beneulis, Harper Voyager, ISBN 978-0-06-206940-5, 385 pgs., $22.99

Angel 013

Angel 013 (Photo credit: Juliett-Foxtrott)

Sometimes I get 50-60 pages into a book and realize that I am knee deep into a supernatural romance/military SF rant/YA quest/Teen Romance novel.  When the blush clears I realize that while these labels can, indeed, define a work, they do not always do a work justice.  Besides, my rule is if you are still reading at 50-60 pages in then it must be well written regardless of what the sub-genre.  There are exceptions to the rules of course, there always are, but they are few and far between.

And, so it was with this book, where I realized that I was knee deep into the kind of book that mostly young women, or women wishing they were young women, should be knee deep in.  It’s bad enough that Angela Mathers is obsessed with visions of angels but she’s also the new girl at university.  And it’s not a normal university either.  There are coven plots, demons and, indeed angels all about.  On top of it all Angela is a blood head, a red head, and that has special significance in any number of important ways, most of them prophetic and most of them bad.  To top it off, the cool kids are inviting Angela into their clique and she’s sorely tempted since not only are these kids cool but beautiful too and isn’t that what any young girl wants?

Okay, so you can see why I had to take inventory and figure out just how I had gotten that deep into this book.  Well, the answer is pretty simple.  It’s very well written and if I did have moments where identifying with a 16 year old girl who has self esteem problems was a bit difficult, I managed to get through them and kept going forward.  The plot is nothing dramatic or, even, all that different than what you would expect.  After the first 100 pages it’s all pretty clear what is going to happen and who it is going to happen to.  All that is left is the details.  And the writing.

Benulis does a good job keeping things moving and maintaining the right mix of self doubt and self confidence in her heroine.  The pacing is pretty good and the book moves along fairly well.  It is an enjoyable read and while I have my doubts about whether this plotting can be sustained over three books (this is the first book of a trilogy) I am willing to admit that Benulis has the skills to get to the end in decent fashion so I would give her the benefit of the doubt.

Recommended, especially if you are looking for a young adult focused novel about young women coming of age among a world infested with demons and angels and mean girls.

To get your own copy, just go here: Archon: The Books of Raziel

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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