Lately I’ve been reading some fantastic fantasy about angels and dragons. I think my love for these stories is based in my fascination with wings and how it would feel to be able to fly. This selection of books is perfect for readers who feel the same way.
Hidden is the final book in the Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy. In this series Jacinda is a Draki, which means she can transform into a dragon. The books are full of beautiful flight scenes where Jacinda and members of her pride transform and soar on leathery wings. In this book Jacinda allows herself to be captured by the ENKROS, the cruel scientists who cut up and do experiements on the Draki, not realizing they are part human. This book is full of action from start to finish. When they escape from the ENKROS stronghold they are being tracked and have to use all of their powerful skills to evade and fight back against hunters. Jacinda is dealing with deep emotions. She still loves Will but has stronger feelings for Cassian now that they are bonded. She feels everything he feels. The action made this such a quick and satisfying read. Hidden will be available in September.
Illumiate is Amiee Agresti’s first novel for teens. Haven Terra is tapped to do an internship under the toast of Chicago, the young, beautiful, and highly successful Aurelia Brown. She is the owner of the Lexington Hotel, which was the notorious home of Al Capone. It is about to reopen as the hottest place in town. Haven and her best friend Dante and another classmate named Lance move into the hotel. The employees are ridiculously beautiful and part of an exclusive club called “The Outfit” after Capone’s gang. The three figure out quickly there is something unnatural about the whole thing. When the photos Haven takes of the staff start changing, strange and scary things start to happen. Haven discovers a mysterious blank book with her name on it. When an unknown person or spirit starts writing to her in the book calling her a winged one, her adventure truly begins and turns into an intense battle between good and evil. Agresti is brilliant at world building. She describes this hotel with its deep underground nightclub and tunnels with great detail. I felt like I was there experiencing this rich, luxurious hotel. I even felt a little claustrophobic when she described Haven’s hotel room in the basement. The characters were multidimensional and believable.
Hades is book two in Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo trilogy. Bethany is an angel. She is posing as a human along with her brother Gabriel (as in the angel from the Christmas story) and her sister Ivy. There are some beautiful moments when their wings unfurl and they take flight in the most lovely way. We also see archangel Michael in all his glory when he gets angry. Scary demon Jake kidnaps Bethany and drags her to Hades. Adornetto creates a vivid and frightening underworld that draws on legend with plenty of creative modern twists. The demons that look beautiful on the outside just barely hide the hideous disfigurement of their true selves. Jake hopes to make Bethany his bride. We find out quickly that for Jake this is not just about starting a war with Heaven; he truly loves Bethany and wants her to accept him and choose to love him back. The book is about sacrifice and what you would give up for the ones you love the most–much more than just a simple teen love story. The ending will make you dying to find out what happens next. The third book in the series, Heaven, is scheduled to be released in August.
Book two of Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series, Hallowed, takes us deeper into the world of angel bloods. We find out why Clara is stronger than she first thought when we meet her father. This book is about sacrifice. Clara must make painful decisions in this book. Does she follow her purpose or her heart? She has free will which is a dangerous thing for an angel with a purpose designed by God. Cynthia Hand creates characters that are complicated and beautiful. My favorite part is the angel gathering in the mountains. The imagery is so beautiful. I also love the way Hand describes Michael, Clara’s father. Her mother is weakening, and we learn about the life span of an angel blood and what happens to her mother when she reaches the end of that life. The next installment is expected to be published in 2013.
— Kris Hickey, currently reading Insurgent by Veronica Roth
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