Top critical review
I definitely could not get on board with the idea of the thousand year old angel and demon running about acting like kids and be
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.