Saturday, March 03, 2012

Review: Airel by Aaron Patterson & Chris White

Aaron Patterson & Chris White
Series: The Airel Saga, #1
Release date: August 31st, 2011
by StoneHouse Ink

Goodreads / Purchase
All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?
*A copy was provided by Aaron Patterson for review purposes*

Airel, with its beautiful cover and promising synopsis had me swooning over it. It sounds original, mysterious and full of action. This is all, in actuality, what we get. The angel lore is unique. I especially enjoyed how it's told in dual, past and present, point-of-views. These become two very different, interesting plot lines that merge together for an exciting spin. My main problem, and what made this fall flat for me, were the characters.

Airel leads a normal, average life when she meets Michael. She immediately falls head over heels for him. I felt their relationship was very artificial with no chemistry behind it, which is almost always the case when it's so instant; I never get a chance to feel the passion take hold. I also had difficulty connecting with Airel. She has a nice personality, but nothing stands out; she's just very average. I could not comprehend some of the decisions she made either, that, to me, seemed nonsensical. When you see someone get murdered and the killer has seen you, stay with the crowd, don't go hide in a bathroom stall alone! As for Michael, he's a good character but I can't say I have a clear picture of him in my head. I feel like I didn't get to know him all that well. These characters are a part of one of the two storylines. The second storyline, happening in the past, has much more interesting personalities. Which is funny because I'm not usually into the mighty warrior stories. However, this one is exciting with a fast pace and good action scenes. I did feel a bit lost past the halfway point where the battles and twists started to all mix together, but I was still able to keep up for the most part.

What I do have to applaud is the way both considerably different storylines are weaved together so flawlessly. The jumps from past to present are never confusing. In addition, the pacing is made so that you always want to go back to the perspective you were just pulled out of, but equally happy to stay and finally see what's happening in the current one. Although the story can feel a bit drawn out at times, this dual perspective definitely helps keep you entertained. As for the plot twists, I can't say they took me by surprise, but there are still a few that I hadn't completely figured out. 

Overall it's not a bad novel, If it wasn't for my non connection with the characters I probably would have enjoyed this much more. It seems to be the type that people either love, or just don't.

2 Espressos