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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
After Eden is the first book in the Fallen Angels series, and a book I couldn't put down once I started. Angels, demons, devils, bad boys, tragedy and loss. There was a little bit of everything in this book and it was gripping. Devi has lived most of her life in a state of sadness, feeling the loss of her brother each and every day. She feels guilty for that day and for the tragedy that followed his abduction and she has lived with that for every moment since. When she meets Oz, some of the questions she has had for her entire life are answered, and even more questions arise. She is soon dropped into the middle of a reality that she didn't even know existed and her life changes irrevocably.

This is definately a character-driven story and they are very relatable characters, despite the majority of them being devils, demons and angels. Oz, while being both a demon and a bit of a bad boy, was a very likeable character. You just couldn't help but like him and feel for him. His struggle between his love for God's creation and for God himself was understandable and you could feel his angst. Even Forneus, a devil, had his moments of humanity and you almost felt for him as well. Although definately Devi's enemy in the story, Onoskelis (another demon) had a story that was beautiful and bittersweet in it's own way. Whether you liked them or not, the characters were very real and relatable in their own ways.

This was a very well-written book and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be very moving, even if quite dark, and very haunting. I will most definately be reading the next book in the series when it comes out.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
***May contain spoilers***

While I really enjoyed the idea of the idea behind this story (a teenage girl trying to find her twin brother who disappeared six years earlier only to discover that her and her brothers are at the center of a battle between Heaven and Hell due to the fact that he does not possess a soul, much like angels, thereby making him an almost holy entity who is very dispassionate and who can do nothing but follow God's will and she does not possess spirit, much like demons and devils, giving her complete free will), I just found the story to be lacking (more so the middle of the story than the beginning/ end of the story, those were much better developed than the middle in my opinion). In all honesty I was just very confused as to what was actually occurring in the middle of the story, I feel like I got really sidetracked by all of the 'religious talk' (I did feel that some parts were quite preachy). That being said, I always love when an author can describe a scene, a character physically, etc. in a way that you could totally picture it in your head and Katherine does this in a way unlike any other author I have ever read before- her writing is seriously breathtaking.

I did think that a few of the characters, especially Oz and Devi, were described beautifully (seriously, not only is Oz really hot, but he is a total sweetheart- that is, when he isn't manifesting his demon self). However, I was quite confused by their thought processes. Their thoughts seemed to jump around with very little connection between them- almost in an erratic manner (one minute things were calm, collected, and really cute between them and the next minute one of them was bawling their eyes out for reasons that I couldn't phantom). And I somewhat felt that the book deviated a bit too much from its original storyline (finding Devi's brother) for my liking (ie. 'padding' Devi's best friends ex-boyfriends car, etc.).

All in all, while I feel like a few of the characters in this story were really great and totally swoon-worthy, I just don't feel like the story lived up to its potential. That being said, I do think that Katherine has the potential to be a seriously amazing author and I do look forward to what she has is store for us next!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
I was blown away by the first chapter of After Eden and by the second chapter I was hooked. The writing is fresh and beautifully descriptive. You are immediately sucked into Devi's world and her thoughts: a whirlwind of love and adventure amidst the battle of Heaven versus Hell.

The main character in the book, Devi, isn't the typical "troubled yet gorgeous" heroine that I have read in other YA novels. I identified with Devi's character because her feelings and emotions felt real. Devi has a beautiful human-like quality to her. She is vulnerable yet also possesses the fearlessness and great strength that comes with defending and fighting for the ones you love.

After Eden is a story full of passion, adventure, and great humor. The passion between Devi and her steamy love interest Oz is sexy and their connection is undeniable. Devi's adventures start when she begins the search for her lost twin brother. Devi's search is helped and complicated by the one's she meets, and those she cannot rid herself of. At times insightful but more often horrifying, Devi finds herself in the middle of the battle between good versus evil. Yet, in the end, Devi is neither angel nor demon and finds herself in unmistakeably human situations that are wickedly hysterical. Pine's wit and fast-paced story line keep the laughs coming.

I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a page-turner romance filled with action, mystery, love, and lots of laughs. Katherine Pine is a truly a amazing new author and I look forward to reading her next books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
(cross-posted from the blog Wading Through Electronic Ink)

The Plot

When Devi was little, she loved her brother Kai more than anything in the world. Then one day the most beautiful man Devi had ever seen came and took him away. Ten years later she meets a man named Oz who may be able to tell her what happened to her brother, but she may soon wish that she had never learned the truth.

The Good

I enjoyed most of After Eden a great deal. I like angel and demon storylines, especially ones like this that blur the good-evil divide between them. The particular mythology with the distinction between devils and demons (and no, not in the D&D way) was unique and interesting.

The relationships between characters in the story were never simple, which made them feel more realistic. Devi has difficulty relating to her parents, particularly her father, after she witnesses her brother's abduction. She has a difficult time making friends, but she loves her best friend Kim, though she wishes that Kim would make better choices in her love life. Oz claims to love everything about the world, but he seems to spend most of his time alone in the used bookstore he recently acquired through unspecified means. The only person he seems to interact with is the devil Forneus, but that relationship has to be described as... Actually, I have no idea how to describe a relationship that encompasses both painful torture and repeated asking for favors. If you come up with one, let me know.

The Bad

It often seems that there are two stories going on in After Eden, one about Devi's supernatural problems and one about her ordinary life. These two stories operate in parallel, but they don't have too much to do with each other. Oz is present for both of them, sometimes in bookstore-owner form and sometimes as a teenage girl. And, yes, the switching bodies is kind of creepy. Anyway, the parts about Devi and her friend Kim and their ordinary high school life feel more like filler than part of the story.

And to cover what else is problematic, let's move onto

The Romance

There is going to be a spoiler in this part. I am going to tell you something that happens about 2/3 of the way through the book, because I honestly cannot talk about the romance in After Eden without mentioning it. So if you don't want spoilers, stop reading now.

For the beginning of the book, I thought the romance between Devi and Oz was pretty sweet (as in "awww, so cute," not like another word for awesome). I mean, he's so excited to be with her, and he takes her out for pancakes, and I like pancakes. But then at one point in the novel, he shoots her. Like, with a gun.

Yes, he does it for plot relevant reasons. But you have to understand that I am the kind of person who won't give any more money to the Twilight franchise because I think it promotes the idea that it's okay for a boy to hurt you as long as he doesn't really mean it. So I don't even know what to do with a guy who fires projectile weapons at the girl he loves. Especially when we are told that it means he really loves her, because he will do anything that she asks. And all that she can think as she's lying there with a bullet hole in her chest is that she wishes that she had kissed him once before she died.

Just... just... no. I am not on board with this. If a guy shoots you, that is not okay. There is no reason plot-relevant enough to excuse it.

Will I read more?

I debated about this. I mean, HE SHOOTS HER, FOR GOD'S SAKE. But the mythology and story were interesting. I might even have given it five stars if Oz had found a better way to tell Devi he loved her. Eventually my need to fill Sequel Tuesday won out, so be looking for a review of Beloved Purgatory in a few weeks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
Let me start this off by saying Katherine Pine certainly has a remarkable way with words. I adore Pine's writing style - her descriptions are simply fabulous. From the moment I began the book, I was transported into Devi's mysterious and vivid world.

Oz, the love interest in After Eden is beyond awesome. Devi describes his look as "beautiful in that indie musician or starving poet kind of way", which let me be the first to say, yum. But the wonderful thing about Oz, is that he is a complete sweetheart. Honestly, he might just be one of my favorite new young adult studs.

I only had a few issues with After Eden, the main being the fact that the plotline deviated from its original point. The beginning premise of the book, and what is targeted in the summary, is the story of Devi finding her long lost twin brother. While the story eventually returns to that original storyline, it seems to get lost during the bulk of the book. Normally, I would take greater issue with this, but the fact is, I really enjoyed the book in its entirety. Maybe it's a simple case of the book summary being off; it certainly wouldn't be the first time. Because honestly, the story arc of Devi finding her missing brother isn't the main focus - the devils and demons coming after Devi storyline is.

Which, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Because, man, are those demons and devils ever entertaining. Pine did a great job with creating these villains, because it's impossible to see them as purely evil. As readers, we often want to label someone as "the bad guy", when in reality, nobody is ever all bad. The devils and demons (especially the demons), do what they do because they feel too much. How can you really fault someone for that? Let me tell you what - it certainly keeps things interesting.

My only other issue with the book lies with the character of Devi. Let me begin by saying that for 75% of the time, I loved her character. But, there were a few instances, one in particular, when I was left questioning her overall sanity and self-worth. She doesn't seem to think to highly of herself and she doesn't come off as a very strong character. I do not want to get too deep into this, because I really don't want to spoil anything for you guys, but I wish Devi would have shown more backbone throughout the book. Hopefully she will develop more of a spine in the next installment.

There are a few last side notes that I wanted to add before I wrap this one up. First of all, if you are previewing the book (either on your ereader or on link I posted above), be sure you read the first chapter as well as the prologue. Because, honestly, the prologue didn't really do anything for me. It was the first chapter that really sold me on the book. Between Pine's wonderful descriptions of Morrison's and Devi's first meeting with Oz, I was taken away with the story. So read on my friends. Secondly, I am not sure who is supposed to be on the cover, but it doesn't look like the Devi I read about. If I remember correctly, she is supposed to be a small curvy, pale girl with black hair and dark brown eyes. So who's the blonde? I don't have a clue. And lastly, I had a hard time figuring out her exact age; the time line seemed to be a bit off. I thought her brother disappeared when she was seven (because her headaches began when she was 7 - pg. 22) and then Forenus said he disappeared seven years ago (pg. 33) . So that places her at fourteen. But, then later Devi insinuates that she is somewhere over the age of fifteen, but under eighteen. Which leads me to believe she is suppose to be sixteen or seventeen. Thank you awesome reasoning skills.

Anyways, back to business here. After Eden is a thrilling and exciting series opener. I hope that Pine continues to build on and develop the characters; I have a feeling this series will just get better and better. I am going to say that Pine is definitely an author to watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
From the blurb I figured the book is very much what I like to read, so I had high expectations for it. The beginning of the book was promising, but it watered down from there. Around the middle I got the impression the author was a bit lost and didn't exactly know where she was going with it -- to be short, it was rather boring without any real context or connection to the actual plot. In some ways the middle seems to be part of a fully different book than the beginning and end.

Pine got the story back together for the grand finale, and in my opinion she did a good job with it. I do think the blurb promised a bit more than what the book delivered. Though it is a series, so we might get more of that on the latter books. However the main event on this book wasn't getting his brother back.

Devi was a likable enough lead character and Pine managed to make her a believable hot and cold teenager without being too annoying. Kim -- Devi's best friend -- brought a little spice, but she was kind of forgotten after the first half of the book. Oz is a strange but nice guy demon who seems to do a lot of things for the sake of the plot, rather than for his personality.

The premises was an interesting take on the Christian mythology -- devout believers be aware, that it might be offensive to you. I wish some things would have been explained a bit more in the book, since for example I had to go and google the difference between spirit and soul to fully understand what was going on.

I think the story has a lot of potential, but it's quite clear it wasn't ready for publishing and still requires editing. For example there's a scene where Devi and Oz goes to have some pancakes and after they've ordered their delicious carb bombs, they are suddenly back in Oz's car driving to the pancake place.

To be honest I thought quite often, that I'd just mark this book as DNF, but I stuck through it. I think the author has talent, but this novel could've used a lot more work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
While reading After Eden I kept having one thought, "this is really freaking good!" I have been so privileged lately to have so many amazing self published authors, small publishing companies and more approaching me to read new books!! Thank you so much Katherine Pine, your book rocked my socks.

It's a paranormal romance filled with Angels, Demons, and Devils. While the book has a kind of religious undertone I don't believe it to be a converting type book or even a I believe this way type book, it's just a great story with an awe inducing plot about Angels and fallen ones. Our main character never really confesses an opinion either way, I like books like that.

In After Eden we meet Devi. Devi has lost both her father and her brother, has one friend, and doesn't enjoy shopping. She walks through life with caution and reads cheesy romance novels which is how she meets her favorite bookstore's newest employee, Oz.

When Devi meets Oz, everything in her life changes. He's handsome, dark, a little mysterious, and very charming (and he likes cats), i mean seriously what a dream boat. While it may sound like another of those "sad girl meets boy and he changes her life when they fall in love" kind of books it also has more elements to drag you under with.

Devi believes her brothers disappearance was her fault and wants nothing more than answers as to why he's gone. She might just get these answers thanks to Oz. There's a whole world existing right next to Devi's normal life and by being close to Oz she opens herself up to danger and truths that she may not want to know. "After Eden" has an incredible plot that kept me hooked well past the end. It's a book that makes you want the sequel right away.

Pine is a great story teller, as in A-list story teller, she will make it to the top of the writers food chain. This book is a must read for fans of paranormal romance, especially those that love books about Angels, especially fallen angels, because everyone likes bad boys ;).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2011
I am really enjoying see author think outside the box. Stories are now becoming so much more than what they used to be. One genre that is popular is angels. I love the any story with angels, but when Heaven and Hell go to war, its even better.

Devi is a great character. I loved her personality from the very start. She is a very humbling young lady who is just trying to find answers. I like how both her and her brother had a strong connection to war that is going on. The storyline is not only unique but realistic. Many things in this book have biblical setting. So if you aren't familiar with the bible, you might bot get it. Then again, Ms. Pine made it easy to understand since she did a great job explaining the story to the reader as you unveil each secret. Which was wonderful. I love secrets!!

All the characters in this book played a big role. While they may seem minor, their roles are bigger then what you think. I like how all sides of the story are explain from each character. Things you wouldn't believe happen to them. Each of them have a stake in this war, it is just matter of who gets it first.

My only gripe was the beginning of the story that sort of confused me. It lead me thinking of something else, when it was something entirely different. (Don't want to say to spoil the story.)

If you like angels, biblical history, and a unique storyline read this book. Ms. Pine created such a world that was easy to dive into and stay in. The story flowed just right, as well as the character development. Nothing happen too fast or too slow. The pacing of the story was perfect in revealing the characters, secrets and the war.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2011
First, I'll give you the good: This book is somewhat funny. I found myself laughing outright at some of the scenarios and banter, so that was good. Unfortunately, that isn't what this book is about and it doesn't make this book better overall.

I'm going to agree with some of the other reviewers on this: There is a beginning and an end, but the middle is lacking. Neither the beginning nor end are that spectacular either, and that's why I gave it two stars.

The beginning is okay. At first it seems like a complicated mess of different ideas - it starts off with a vague introduction to the situation with her brother, then cuts into something else with Oz, then goes on to Devi coming home to find Forneus in her living room, and on and on - but soon everything sort of comes together and you become more comfortable with moving on in the story. However, just as soon as it hooks you in, it disappoints. The entire middle is a big fluff of nothing. We end up with a hefty portion of the book dedicated to "padding" a friend's ex-boyfriend's car, which had zero relevance to anything else at all, and A LOT of religious talk.

That, I think, is the difficult thing with these kinds of books. An author may have a great idea or concept of Heaven and Hell for a book, but they have the daunting task of presenting that world to us so the whole rest of the story makes sense. And they have to do it in such a way that we wont be overwhelmed or confused. I'm impressed with Ms. Pine's detail of the "heavenly world" and everything that goes along with it - it's an interesting interpretation - but she unloads it on the readers all at once. You're assaulted with all these theories and stipulations, what an angel is exactly, what's the difference between demons and devils, what does it mean to have no soul.. no spirit, etc. and you just end up bamboozled. I'm glad she explains it all, but it needed to be done carefully and in small doses.

Ms. Pine's style of writing is also very messy. When you're writing something, you know exactly what it means because you know the line of thinking you went through to come up with what you wrote, but not everyone else does. I think she wanted us to draw conclusions and make assumptions about certain situations that only she could understand or make. There seemed to be gaps in conversations and situations, and behavior that didn't make sense. There was also the little editing problem. Not too big a deal for me, it's easy to get over, but when she is constantly spelling Forneus "Forenus" and words like "aliv" are missing letters altogether, I start focusing on those things; especially when the writing hardly makes sense anyway.

I was a little concerned about Devi too. She is a bit bipolar. One second she's all over Oz and wants to kiss him and be his savior, the next, she can't even look at him because she's afraid of him. Their whole relationship goes like that. They'll be laughing and flirting, then all of a sudden Devi is crying and Oz is feeling sorry for himself; or vice versa. She's like that with the angel too. She'll hate him, then pity him, then hate herself for pitying him, then cry about it and want him to feel sorry for her, then hate him again because he doesn't. At one point she even complains about Oz not being there to save her yet. She doesn't even think of trying to get herself out, she just waits and hopes Oz will come for her. Honestly, she needs to get herself together and buck up.

I think more time should have been spent on Kai as well. The very first couple of chapters revolve around his impact on Devi and then all talk of him after that is very meager and unconvincing. I wanted more of a story there.

I'm not going to continue the series. I don't think it's worth the money I'd have to spend or the time I'd have to dedicate. I don't recommend this book to others either.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
This series known as the fallen angels written by Katherine Pine starts off with very interesting twists and turns. Concepts of celestial and demonic beings are very intriguing . I enjoyed reading this and was a little skeptical at the start. The story was a little slow starting and I had begun forming questions to quickly that were getting little to no answers, but soon enough the story began to flesh out more and I was being pulled in to read. The characters were a little normal and some of the things were actually predictable but for a young adult read this was a good read.

The story began to pick up and take a nice pace one that allowed you to keep turning the pages and letting you know that there was more to come. Though there were times that the lead character Devi made you a little frustrated with her careless actions to herself and those that were around her. Endangering some of the people around her more than they should have been. In the end the unlikely love affair that springs up between her and Oz is cute .
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