Saturday, May 5, 2012

Flesh and Feathers

Flesh and Feathers is a debut novel with a refreshing take on the common angel paranormal book. Putting a new spin on this somewhat tired concept, this author pair (its two co-writers) create a quick-paced and engaging story with well-crafted characters with which readers can’t help but connect.  Though admittedly, I found myself lost in the beginning of the book and would have appreciated a bit more world-building up front. Perhaps that was intentional since the heroine herself was quite confused as well.

The heroine – Azaleigh – was lost, lonely and confused... and then she discovered love.  

The characterization was written so well, readers can nearly touch her emotions.  Az lost her mother as a young girl and now works as a waitress in a local diner. She lives a quiet life, has her two friends - Tannah and Jen – and is about as normal as could be. Despite her usual hermit-like routine, Az stops into a bar and meets Kale, the bartender who so captures her attention that for the first time, she wants to know another person. He becomes a part of her life and they spend a lot of their time together though the relationship is stagnant. While he seems happy with that, she’s definitely not. In fact, Az discovers she's falling in love with Kale.

Kale was more reserved, mysterious and he distanced himself from Az.  When he doesn’t move their relationship to the next level and then refuses her advances, Az questions their attraction. But there’s very little time to dwell on that before an attack exposes his true form (think wings) and Az realizes there is much her friends, and her new boyfriend, have kept hidden from her under the guise of keeping her safe.

Suddenly a world of Angels and Fallen opens up before her. While more description of this world would’ve added a depth or dimension the story is lacking, there’s no lack of action. Kale disappears and Az is left alone again questioning whether he ever felt anything for her at all.  I didn’t connect with him as much as I was able to connect with Az – readers are likely to feel the disconnect Az herself refers to with Kale. Then the truth about who she really is comes to light, completely catching Az (and me) by surprise. But as she’s told about angels and her involvement, she so easily accepts it – nearly too easy for a quiet girl living the quiet life like Az has been. With a human bounty hunter after her and the unraveling of her past, nothing will be the same for her again. Still mourning the loss of Kale, Az meets Gale who is so opposite Kale in every way (good v evil, perhaps). He's loving and attentive and though she sees him more as a friend, she still falls under his spell. Now faced with these two men, Az has to choose between the man she loves and the man she can’t live without. It’s a bit of a love triangle.

This was a thought-provoking story. The premise of good v evil is always a compelling one. I’m still not certain I understand everything about her world but am willing to suspend those questions pending book two. The descriptions and characterization (particularly in regards to Az) drew such a clear picture, it was as if I was watching the book rather than reading it. 

Flesh and Feathers is a unique take on the more typical angel story and was refreshing – a solid debut novel. 4 Chocolate-dipped Strawberries. And I’ll be waiting for more.



BUY LINKS
Silver Publishing                                                                   Amazon


About The Author(s)
Danielle Hylton-Outland was raised in Virginia. She grew up having a huge appetite for daydreaming; always wanting to live in the spectacular worlds she created in her mind. She now lives with her husband and dog where she is pursuing a degree in literature. Danielle is a strong animal activist. She is currently co-writing the second book in the Flesh Series, "Flesh and Flames".

April Fifer grew up in a small town in Virginia, where it was common practice believing that dreams could only be found in stories. At the age of seven she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was told that she would struggle through life and would never pick up a book to read for pleasure. Although school was hard, she was able to find her way with the help of two teachers who taught her self-discovery. Ignoring what she was taught growing up, she turned it around and found that your dreams could become stories.



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