Monday, June 18, 2012

REVIEW: Don't Call Me Angel by Alicia Wright Brewster

Don't Call Me Angel Don't Call Me Angel by Alicia Wright Brewster
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

CAUTION: Spoilers

The writing was good, devoid of typos. The beginning was engaging; the story immediately excited me as I watched Six and Alden — two fallen angels — escaping Hell. To my surprise because the book description didn't mention it, there were 6 comic book-styled, black and white illustrations in the story. Me likee.

I really wanted to like the book because the fallen angel is one of my favorite premises for an Urban Fantasy. So what went wrong with Don't Call Me Angel (DCMA)?

It was the plot. The plot fell short of my expectation, and it wasn't because of its short length of less than 27,000 words. I also had minor issues with the characters.

The Characters

+++ Six, the protagonist

DCMA was told in 1st PoV from Six's side. I liked Six but there were moments when she annoyed me. One example moment was when she cut off her wings so she could put her life as an angel behind once and for all...only to later discover walking was inefficient and she missed the thrill of flying. Another moment, or actually several moments, was when she blacked out after a bloody scene. Six's multiple blackouts made me question how powerful, or weak rather, angels were in comparison to others non-humans because it seem like angels weren't all that great to be.

Six was essentially a tsundere; she was prickly on the outside, compassionate on the inside. The one part of her I did not care for was her impulsiveness. This trait made it slightly difficult for me to believe this was a character who have been planning her escape from Hell for years and years. People who plan should not be impulsive.

+++ Alden, the protagonist's friend turned antagonist

WTF? His character made no sense. He and Six were like best friends, not that the story necessary say it outright but they got to be if Six was willing to take him on her escape from Hell. My thinking was that Hell sucks and it's everyone for themselves if they want to escape. Yet Six put up with Alden.

Then halfway through DCMA, he became the antagonist leading to my biggest problem with the plot.

The Plot

+++ schizo Alden

I had a really hard time believing Alden could become Six's enemy.
Alden and I had exchanged so many blood debts that I’d lost count. I felt safer having him here, if for no other reason except that he was always happy to have me back in his debt. We were each other’s meal tickets, and that counted for everything where we’d been.
Again, WTF? What happened to him that made him go against Six? Either the story didn't fully fleshed out Alden's character or it was scrambling to find somebody to be the villain 'cause plot without conflict suck. Yet plot with a stupid conflict suck too. And this conflict was stupid.

I absolutely did not like how the conflict ended. Six had to kill Alden 'cause crazy dude was killing humans and their souls.

+++ lack of back story

My second biggest problem with DCMA, one that I would consider a major plot-hole, was how weird Six could know things like cars and showers but was unfamiliar with humanity.
The last time I’d seen [Earth], it was through a viewing portal, which had been nothing more than a two-dimensional projection cast on a wall.
She was surprised by how evil humans can act — there was an attempted rape scene in chapter 2 — but she wasn't surprised by the technology. Were there cars and showers in Hell too?

Moreover, there were humans in why would she be surprised by how evil humans can when they're still alive on Earth? Whether it's Hell or Earth, humanity shouldn't have been a big surprise to her. Cars and showers should be. Not to mention that all angels have the power of empathy, Six should be fully aware of how good humans can be and how evil they can become.

+++ plot not meeting expectation

Not a big issue but I wish more of the plot was spent on Six getting her stuff together. For examples, I wish Six asked Cara (the angel-believing human who took in Six) about things human do so Six could assimilate. Six just escaped from Hell, last thing she should be doing is standing out of place and attracting unwanted attention... attention that might force her back to Hell.

In Conclusion

The book is actually 2.5 but I rounded it down because the plot disappointed me after giving me a great beginning. Moreover, it left a small cliffhanger after revealing a big secret about Six. I went, "damnnnn." I'm pretty sure I know who "Luke" is.

I rate DCMA 2-stars for it was okay. Nonetheless, the book was a promising start for a Urban Fantasy series. I plan to read book 2 and hope it will fill in all the back story. I also hope Six will be more secure of herself and her place on Earth.

Amazon GoodReads

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