What’s This…Another Decent Angel Book?

Oh angel books, what a complicated relationship we have. A love-but-mostly-hate kinda deal. Before reading Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan James, I would have claimed the Unearthly trilogy as the only angel books I’ve ever read and liked even the slightest. While those are definitely still my favorites – I did mostly enjoy reading Forbidden.

First – let’s talk Forbidden’s cover. I actually love it. I love the aquaish turquoisey color. I love the vintage feel. Basically: I’m a fan. I’ve seen several people talking about not liking it, but that’s perfectly fine. I like it enough for them too. What do you guys think about it?

Next: characterization. Y’all, when supernatural elements started being introduced I thought the characters accepted everything way too well. Actually, some of them accepted the possibility of supernatural answers to some questions they had almost immediately. I thought: What on Earth? Forbidden isn’t realistic! Who thinks this wa…thinks about it. Thinks about it some more. Doh.

Our entire culture is saturated with the supernatural these days! Of course these characters are more accepting of things like that then people would have been even 3-4 years ago. We’ve just all been Cullen-ed. So yeah, Authors: 1. Allison: 0.

So anyway, Claire Brennen starts having psychic episodes: seeing pieces of both the past and future. She and her two best friends are freaking out trying to figure out what is up. Then – they are saved from being crushed in a freak accident by new kid Alec MacKenzie (Alec MacKenzie of the hot Scottish accent, y’all!). Claire thinks Alec is some type of vampire or something because no way could a human have pulled them out of the way like that.

She has no idea how closely Alec’s secrets align with hers. Just wait, Claire. Just wait.

Claire rocked in Forbidden a lot of ways, you guys. She had a backbone. When she first gets confirmation that Alec is indeed supernatural, it is through one of her visions. She sees him killing someone. So instead of being a whiny little wuss that gets scared, backs into a corner and starts asking questions – she takes off. I mean, she ran out of there like she just witness Voldemort killing a puppy. She stole his car keys and got the hell out of Dodge. That is what I call survival instinct! (AKA How Not to be a Dumbass.)

Thank you Syrie James and Ryan James, for not writing an idiot as your heroine.

So, now the not so great parts. Even though I did like Claire and Alec and Claire’s friends and mom and so forth…I didn’t really connect with any of them. I wanted them to be  happy and get together and all, sure. But I didn’t feel it once they did. You know what I mean? The writing of Forbidden failed to pull me in completely.

I was also a little disappointed with the overall plot. I didn’t feel like anything new was brought to the table. Angels? Forbidden love? Elite school setting? Plot climax during school dance? It has all been done before. Syrie James and Ryan James might have pulled together an interesting plot with decent characters, but I didn’t feel anything  special anywhere.

So, while I realize “decent” isn’t exactly the highest form of compliment, that is ultimately how I’d describe Forbidden. If you’re a fan of angel books – definitely pick it up! I still think it is one of the better reads in the genre. If you aren’t, check out the synopsis. If it appeals  to you: then go for it!

Check out Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan James on Goodreads / Amazon

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Jen January 23, 2012, 8:11 am

    “we’ve been Cullened.” YES.

    Also, I will read this.
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  • Felicia the Geeky Blogger January 24, 2012, 7:42 am

    AWESOME! I am glad that you found another angel book that you like. I don’t have a problem with angel books but it is a strange relationship. I have these pre-concieved notions how they should act so it often takes me longer to get into their stories.
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  • Cialina January 24, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I’m a bit tired of the typical angel plot with the romance, boarding school, etc, but I am so glad to hear that the heroine has a backbone. I’m tired of angel books with heroines who are complete wusses.

    And for the record, this line is pure win: “she ran out of there like she just witness Voldemort killing a puppy. “

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  • Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) January 24, 2012, 2:25 pm

    I read this one and I liked it. I agree that it is a bit typical in terms of plot, but I wonder if we can chalk some of that up to it being Syrie’s first YA book AND her son’s (I think) first book? At any rate, I thought it was fun and like you, I adored the cover. Enjoyed reading your thoughts. 😉
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