Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Angel Arias

Title: Angel Arias
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Series: Night Creatures #2
Publisher: Random House Australia
Published: October 3rd 2011
Source: Random House Australia for review

Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds? First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle. Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey. The fate of worlds depends on it.

Angel Arias is filled with action, much more so than in the previous book. While Burn Bright concentrates a lot on the world-building and getting readers familiar with the creatures and gangs, these things are already established in Angel Arias and so we're really able to begin a thrilling adventure. The characters are constantly on the move, escaping killer rebels, hungry blood hounds and torturous wardens. Grave is a place riddled with evil, where the Elders may not be looking out for the best interests of their people like they say they are. You'll get a good dose of mystery in this novel - I dare you to guess what will happen! With Marianne, anything is possible, and isn't that exciting?

The characters in Burn Bright seemed untouchable with their strange language, quirks and behaviours, but in this novel they develop some more human-like qualities and become characters to which we can relate. Naif becomes a leader, making difficult decisions and keeping her team together in hard times. I really loved her because she was so different to the way she was at first - introverted, naive and somewhat helpless. We also meet some new characters, including deformed children who had a faulty transformation from human to Night Creature. Liam, a boy with Night Creature limbs, plays a big part in Naif and Markes' survival and is actually one of my favourite characters!

If we want to talk about the romance, I am still completely undecided about which couple to ship, or even which couple will actually form! On one hand, Lenoir truly cares about Naif, even though she's a "mere human" compared to his Riper self. His followers question where his loyalties lie but nevertheless, he continues to support and guide Naif using their psychic connection, formed by the bond made when he saved her life. On the other hand, the handsome musician, Markes, shows an interest in Naif, which she finds herself reciprocating. At times, the romantic tension between them builds intensely before reality hits and Naif begins feeling guilty. She cares deeply about Renoir and  Markes was betrothed to Emilia, another character I'm a fan of, before he ran away to Ixion. What's she to do?

Angel Arias is an electrifying novel with great world-building, characters and plot. I found it to be much more exciting that the first and it completely exceeded my expectations! You won't be able to put the book down because something important is always happening and it is a fantastic continuation of a truly unique series. I cannot wait to read Blaze Dark to see what will happen next! Marianne loves her cliffhangers and is determined to torture us until next year...
Another beautiful cover, right? Which couple are you rooting for?

Find Marianne on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Angel Arias from Amazon, The Book Depository and Borders.
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