Friday, 19 August 2011

Crossroads by Mary Ting - Book Review

Title: Crossroads
Author: Mary Ting
Publisher: World Castle Publishing
Publication Date: April 2011
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA / Paranormal
Source: Won in a Giveaway

Claudia Emerson has a good friend who shares the same first name and last name. That friend unfortunately dies in a tragic accident during homecoming dance. Claudia is distraught at the loss of her friend, but is even more disturbed by her dreams, which seem to take her to another place called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth. It is where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. 

There, Claudia meets Michael, a nephilim, a half angel, half human, whom she often meets in her dreams. It turns out that this isn’t her first visit to Crossroads, which is an enigma for no human can ever travel there until Claudia. Now the fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special and it is up to Michael and the other nephilims to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed, about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. 

Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should? The answer awaits you! Follow the exciting path to Crossroads! (Goodreads Synopsis)

I won this book in a giveaway and was keen to give it a try. I've read a couple of 'angel' YA books lately and so I was interested to see what this one would bring to the mix.

Overall my impressions were good. The characters were appealing and the plot moved along nicely, holding my interest throughout. By the mid-way point I was really keen to see how it would all end. I also enjoyed the fact that the book managed to be romantic without becoming soppy and too clichéd - that's not always easy to do.

There were a handful of minor flaws:
1) I found the opening a bit confusing and it took a few pages to really establish whose head we were in and what was happening. But once that was ironed out, the rest of the story fell into place without any hitches.
2) Considering the book centres on teens, I thought the language was a little off the mark at times. I could understand the angels speaking in a more adult manner, but some things the girls said to each other didn't quite ring true for me.
3) I was surprised that the growing relationship between Claudia and Michael didn't bring about more repercussions, considering how often Michael tells Claudia their love is forbidden. Michael's friends promise to keep it secret and that seems to be it. Are the angels higher up not paying attention to what it going on? However, I believe a second book is intended and perhaps the problems with their relationship will come more to the fore in that one.

These are minor gripes though as the idea behind the story and the mythology came across well and I did find it an enjoyable read. I would certainly be happy to continue reading of Claudia and Michael in a second instalment.

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