Friday, August 23, 2013

Book Review: Finding Angel

From the back cover:

"Angel doesn't remember her magical heritage...but it remembers her.

Start with a struggle revolving around the source of magic. Is it genetic--or is it part of your soul? What if someone was using his powers to run experiments based on a complete misconception of the source of magic? 
Throw in a twisted family tree that's rooted in a centuries' old feud, a painting that (literally) holds the key to the truth, a mysterious and talkative beetle, and an Elven rocker who can play the songs of the stars on an electric guitar. 
This is the world Angel Mason was born into, thrust out of, and returned to seven years later. To top it off, she must rediscover her identity and save her home from a madman at the same time."
First, the few things I didn't like about the book (I always like to end on a positive note...) One of the confrontations with the minor bad guys at the end of the book happens entirely off-screen. It makes sense, and the main bad-guy is appropriately dealt with, but the whole book has been working toward who "the scientist" and who "the assistant" is, and that whole part is wrapped up in a sentence or two, and most of it summary by another character as it happened before our point-of-view characters arrive.

Another very minor gripe is the use of the word "Talent" instead of "magic". It's a perfectly legitimate word, and, in the case of most modern fantasy, actually a better word... it's just that it seems everyone is using it lately. Ah, the writers dilemma, over-use a word, or invent a new one that's original, but sounds funny... (more on that in my upcoming "Cast of Stones" review...)

On to the good parts.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I like the characters. Angel is believably confused, she about acts like one of us would, were we thrust into that kind of situation. Gregor is a nice guy, who's got a lot of secrets of his own... I kept hoping that the two leads would fall in love or something, but the author wisely chose a different romantic beat, as there's an age difference, and some spoiler-ish reasons for it not to happen as well.

Another review I've read complained that the book felt too slow around the middle part. I couldn't disagree more. It's true that not much physical action occurs, but there's lots of character development, and a wonderful feeling of whimsy and wonder.

I give it four stars: