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4.0 out of 5 stars71
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 22 February 2012
At first I was a bit confused, as the story was written in third person but occasionally interspersed with first person. However, I soon realized that the young heroin Phoenix was writing in her diary. For me personally this could have been made a little clearer, but it certainly didn't impede my enjoyment of the story. And what a story!
The author writes really well and keeps the tension going from beginning to end. Her characters are so real you easily get caught up in their feelings and emotions. For example, I disliked the girl Jessica intensely. But the gorgeous dark angel Jayden, well, what can I say? I found his character intriguing and complex; again a credit to the authors writing skill.
She has a real flair for description. I could almost see in my mind's eye, the huge cave with all its rooms and passages. Being on the claustrophobic side, I struggled along with Phoenix in her dark bedroom.
In my imagination I could see the surrounding forest and feel the tension as the people went out from the safety of the cave to forage for food. I found myself getting really uptight each time Phoenix and her best friend Sadie insisted on wondering deep into the forest. I felt like shaking them! At every sound, every rustle in the bushes, I was sure enemy soldiers were about to grab them.
This was most enjoyable and I look forward to the publication of the sequel.
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on 6 March 2012
I totally enjoyed reading this book; it grabs you from the first page and doesn't let you go until the very end. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series; A prince For All Seasons when it is published.
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on 8 August 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was FREE.
I liked that it had a different story from the norm and went along smoothly keeping your interest right to the end.
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on 1 February 2016
Unfortunately this book was just not for me, my suspense of disbelief right from the end of chapter one was dubious and due to the continuity errors, overly simplified narrative and shallow depth of characters and world this only declined as I read on.

Its hard to say what I felt was the biggest problem with this book. To start the characters were shallow and at times insultingly one dimensional. It was difficult to understand Phoenix’s family motives especially concerning her, one minute they are overly babying her next she is allowed on a really dangerous rescue mission. Phoenixes own idealisms of her or the outside world seem to change at will. It was impossible to know where she was coming from. I definitely could not get on board with the idea of the thousand year old angel and demon running about acting like kids and being shocked at the way humans were now treating each other – surely they were aware of the world wars that have happened? The concentration camps for example were pretty much replicated in this book (though no-one else in the book seems to be aware of this–personally I found this insulting, especially as we are not advised that they are in a world any different to this one with any different history) Due to the overall lack of depth or character development the motives and actions of the characters were strange and often confusing and bizarrely I think the author knew this and it resulted in the almost hand-holding manor in which each piece of dialog was explained to the reader. This led for a frustrating and confusing read which had me eye-rolling almost as much as the protagonist.

The continuality was an issue as well, not just with the characters ‘personalities’ but early on the book changes and goes back in time portraying an extract from Phoenixes Diary, however there is no warning this will happen, no inclination that we have indeed gone back in time, it was really disorientating and confusion and frankly when I worked out this had happened I was simply annoyed. The capacity of the cave seemed to change as suited the story, as did the level of danger / perceived danger, abilities and social structure of the community within the cave. Again this was frustrating as I believe a lot of these issues would have been dealt with early on in the editing stage.

My suspension of disbelief was as I said dubious. The idea of this utopian community living in a cave and living off foraged berry’s and hunted game around the area was highly unbelievable especially as we are meant to believe over a thousand of people reside in this cave and there capacity for 5 time more, Also and more amusingly we are also expected to believe that the big bad mean girl Jessica also brought with her from home 6 years’ worth a nail varnish and make-up during a crisis situation when they were running for their lives. The structure of the community grows more and more ridiculous as the book progresses eventually ending up with the “Elders” (yes the word elders is used) allowing Jayden a recently new recruit and John out to perform the most dangerous task of a rescue mission for reasons completely unknown as the author did no once hint that they had the skills to do this? Not to mention they allowed the previously molly-coddled Phoenix join them going against everything the author has led us to believe about them and Phoenix for the simple reason she stamped her feet? I mean come on.

To top this off the pace of the book was so slow and ultimately resulted in a very underwhelming (I think) one or two paragraphs of action right at the end of the book which again suffered as the continuity problems and lack of character depth led to there being absolutely no tension at all built into it.

Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book, I appreciate it is very difficult to write a book and think if a bit more time and effort and editing had been put in it could have been a good read, there were certain aspects I thought could work but unfortunately it this case it just didn’t.
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I've had this book on my t-b-r list for a while now and if I'm perfectly honest, I only read it this week because it was on my kindle and we having problems with the internet so I wasn't able to download the book I wanted. However, having said that, I'm very glad that I have read it.

I wasn't sure at all about what sort of story I would be getting. I tend to veer away from books with angels in them as I usually find them all a bit 'twee' and also the 'goodness' of the angels sometimes makes me feel slightly ill with their holier than thou attitude. This book was a slow burner to start with and a couple of times I wondered why I was reading it. But I was drawn into the story and kept on reading. I was intrigued almost against my own will.

Jayden though is DARK angel and this made for a very good read. He is someone who has wandered down the 'wrong' path and knows what it is he has lost. I understand how Phoenix is portrayed as so innocent even at 17, she has lived most of life in the cave system. And it sounds like she was sheltered even when life was 'normal'.

There are some very interesting characters in this book - Jayden of course being the main one. Sadie provides good support as the best friend and Jessica is well rounded out as the girl you love to hate. I did have to keep reminding myself though that Phoenix was only 17 because at times she seemed to act so stupidly. They are at war for pete's sake and she's sneaking around and falling asleep by a river. I mean, come on!

On the whole I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. I am intrigued enough to want to continue reading however I am also hesitant as I feel that these books teeter on the knife edge of becoming sickly sweet.

Recommended for all YA/Angel genre lovers.
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on 15 May 2013
Midnight Fire was a really good read, the synopsis says it all as we see humanity & Earth put through testing times in a battle between good & evil. A god and a demon have a discussion, a challenge is set and agreed upon, the battle lines are drawn and Earth/humanity is the target and each player can send one individual to interfere. For three years following the start of Earth's demise, survivors have hidden in a cave system in remote mountains that some people had the foresight to create. Normal people, good people who have banded together and created a community, a safe haven in the hopes of waiting out the war. They survive, they get by whilst the world is taken over unlike others not so lucky who are put into prisoner of war camps, starved to the brink of death whilst being used & abused as slaves. The caves people are the minority and have no hope of creating a rebellion unless they gain some numbers, they readily take in refugees they find searching the forest which is how 17yr old Phoenix comes upon Jayden and brings him into the fold. Jayden, as mentioned is a dark angel and is sent by Vyco (Lucifer?) to infiltrate the camp and sow the seeds of their destruction but when Jayden & Phoenix both meet, they feel an instant connection. Jayden is unused to these feelings that Phoenix brings out in him, he is also unprepared for the protective instincts he has for her, he turned his back on Josiah (God?) a long time ago so why now? How can he stay true to his master when it means taking everything that means so much to Phoenix? When being with her goes against all his evil intentions & background.
So this was a good dystopian novel, it's the start of a series so there is a lot of emphasis on building the scenario and getting to know the characters. There are some nice characters throughout the book and I like that the good virtues of people have survived along with them because too often in cases like this the people tend to turn primitive, whereas these survivors bring a sense of community, morality & goodness to the table. I always like it when love shines through in the darkness and that's what we get with Jayden & Phoenix, it's quite sweet how they feel about each other and I like that Jayden hasn't felt this before, even though he's ancient. I always believe the saying `Love will conquer all' and it may be romanticism but I love it when it's present in stories. The storyline is good, even though we join the survivors 3 yrs after the war had begun, we get to experience that time through Phoenix's journal which fills in a few blanks and helps us to get to know her family and friends a bit better too. It was quite insular for a while, focussing on the caves and community for the most part but that expanded as more refugees arrived and rescue missions we initiated. Through these we get to some of the impact that the wars have created and some harrowing details of how prisoners are kept so it isn't all sweetness and light. If you have read `The Host' then it's along those lines except with Angels & Demons as opposed to Aliens and the outside is not in any way peaceful. I would say that the paranormal element was only a minor part but I expect it to be more prevalant in the series from now on after the ending. Great start to the series though. 4*s
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on 6 July 2013
I would not recommend this book as it lacked depth within its characters, especially phoenix who cried at EVERYTHING, it was pathetic. And how she's presented as incredibly innocent was really irritating, she was 17 for gods sake. Not a great main character. It would've been better if she was witty and a badass. Also the book wasn't great because all the characters just agreed on everything, there was no conflict within the cave as you'd probably expect in such a large community. I'm a fan of the supernatural but ths book was very simple unrealistic. Not a good read.
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on 25 July 2013
Good teenage read and not much horror, just enough to fire the imagination without giving them night terrors. However, for an adult read not sophisticated or unpredictable enough!
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on 26 July 2014
I haven't read this author before and sincerely doubt that I will again as unfortunately I struggled my way to 26%.

What's right with the book?

The premise of the story is extremely unique and, with a strong author, could be really captivating.

What's wrong with the book?

The author jumps around *a lot* and although it's not difficult to follow, substantial parts have been written as journal entries which feel more like the author struggled to get the story to work so used this mechanism to info-dump.

The book is written in the third person with two view points. This is quite difficult to achieve and unfortunately I don't think this author has mastered it.

The two main characters / perspectives did not capture my interest nor did they have any depth to them.

Everyone seems to be agreeable - except for Jessica - which didn't ring true in such a confined setting.

The dialouge was painfully stilted and unrealistic. I didn't feel it added anything to the story in any valuable way.

All in all, I'm glad this book was FREE.
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on 13 February 2013
I enjoyed this story, although I know it's aimed at teens I am 53. I found it an easy read, which is great to put down and pick up and get straight back into the story, I felt like I was actually there and it's an escape from our reality. I have bought book 2.
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