Strange Angels: Book 1 Paperback – 3 Sep 2009
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'This cracking read is one for youngsters and adults alike' The Sun. (Sun)
'A supernatural thriller. A very good one . if you prefer supernatural thrillers with a side of romance, as opposed to romance with a side of supernatural thrillers, Strange Angels is the perfect book for you. Fast-paced, intense and genuinely quite scary, it's the exciting start to what will hopefully prove to be an excellent series' BookBag. (Bookbag)
'Dark, dangerous, and sexy! Dru Anderson is a tough new heroine whose story you won't be able to put down' Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series. (Richelle Mead)
Dru Anderson: Night Hunter. Knife Wielder. Heart Breaker. Dru can sense evil, which helps when she and her Dad are tracking down ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional reanimated corpse. It's a dangerous life, but it's the only one she knows.See all Product description
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Firstly can I just say how much I like this series. For YA, its really different. There's nothing held back and I think it's actually very very close to becoming adult somtimes. There's wulfen and vampires and half vampires and super strength female half vampires and magic and the odd zombie and its just one whirlwind adventure after the next.
I've been reading these books for about 2 years now and so I think its safe to say that I've become quite invested in Dru and the gang. I was really looking forward to finding out what ending was in store for them.
And for the most part, I wasn't disappointed. There's just as much action (if not more) than the first four books. And I found the action more enjoyable in this one because for once Dru can actually fight properly like the proper little svetocha she was born to be! There's some seriously crazy vampire face offs where she takes on multiple opponants at once and just completely kicks ass!
There's also some nice relationship development between Dru and Graves which I have been waiting for - finally! And of course it doesn't take long before the action becomes that non stop that there's little room for anything else - this IS a Stange Angels book afterall!
I have one complaint though. Just one. I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. It didn't feel like the ending to a series. It felt like not everything was resolved fully. As far as Dru's 'relationships' go, I wasn't happy how that was left... and also a new storyline began to take form towards the end which was sort of just.. left hanging too. Now if there's going to be more books, then I'm perfectly fine with this. However if not, then I'm quite disappointed about how unresolved it was left.
However this is only a minor complaint. Enough of the main storyline was resolved. There was a massive battle which had me hiding in a corner reading, unable to do anything else until I knew what happened and there was plenty of other goodies to compensate for the ending.
All in all then a great series. If you want to read a YA series with a very tough, kick ass heroine with plenty of urban fantasy goodness then I would certainly recommend this one.
Dru and her father live a nomadic existence, moving from town to town every few months while they rid local neighbourhoods of nasty things. Unlike Ms Saintcrow's other more recent fiction though, this isn't a world where ordinary people are aware of the supernatural. dru and her dad are pretty much on their own in this fight and managing normal life with supernatural shenannigans is hard.
Coming home from school, Dru starts the novel having to kill her own father, who has returned from his job hunting the evils that lurk in the 'Real World' as a zombie. From there, Dru hurtles from incident to incident trying to find out who zombiefied her dad, what happened to her mum who died many years ago and why exactly all manner of supernatural beasties are chasing her with intent to kill.
There are some amazing set pieces in this novel- such as the most brutal and thrilling trip to the mall since Dawn of the Dead. The winter setting adds to the tension and bleakness of Dru's situation. and Dru makes a friend along the way. Abandoned teen Graves, local Goth Boy, finds himself in deep water once he tries to help Dru. No Twilightesque love story this though- more a genuine, honest friendship with a few sexual sparks that feels more real because of it. lets face it, when running from vamps, weres and other supernatural beasties you don't have the time for courtship. A lesser writer would have flung Dru and Graves together. Ms Saintcrow is more concerned with doing the story justice and so keeps them and us guessing.
Dru is a fantastic heroine, she can fight, she knows her AK47's from her Glock's, she can throw a knife with deadly accuracy. She has psychic ability. She is a positive female role model for young women of today and this first outing was a thrilling experience. Bring on volume 2- Betrayals.
For the most part, all the ends are tied up and there are some fantastic twists and turns, with some truly heartbreaking moments that had me near tears.
There were some unusual events that crept up sneakily and quite literally made my jaw drop and I was more than impressed with Dru in this book. She's changed so much and it was weird in a sense having her follow her own instincts instead of being told what to do.
Yes, Graves and Christophe play a big part, but in the end Dru is the one who shines and it was brilliant finding out what made her so different from previous Svetocha. Not anything I would have imagined in any stretch of the imagination.
The big question though is...do we find out what 'Dru' is short for? Well I'm not telling you if you do or not.
Whether your happy with the ending or not, there is no denying that this is an incredible fantasy/paranormal story that draws on some truly interesting ideas and legends of creepy supernatural beings. I certainly wouldn't want to exist in Dru's world.