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Angel Hardcover – February 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8–10—Mixing fantasy with brutal reality, McNish's novel is disturbing as well as moving. Freya, an angel-obsessed 14-year-old, has recently been released from a mental hospital, free to attend public school. Her 16-year-old brother, Luke, cautions her about the popular girls who have befriended her. From personal experience, he has seen how vicious they can be to those who step out on their own for any reason. Beyond his warning, Luke is not able to help Freya negotiate the world of high school because of problems of his own, including harsh bullies and his knowledge of their father's serious illness. It is gradually revealed that Freya, inexplicably, is part angel herself and, as the story progresses, she becomes more and more angel-like; she is eventually given the task of being a guardian to a number of human wards. While there are important and well-developed messages within this narrative, there are too many subplots for them to be effective: verbal bullying by girls, physical bullying by boys, fantasy that is just this side of reality, and illness of a parent to name the most evident. The writing is clear, and Freya and Luke are well developed, although the minor characters are little more than stereotypes. The busyness of the plot notwithstanding, McNish is an author to watch.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Heaven and earth mix in this arresting story. Freya has always wanted to be an angel. When she is eight, an angel visits her—which becomes the first of several long steps to hospitalization for delusions. Freya fights her way back, enters high school, and even finds a way into one of the cool crowds. Then Stephanie, who believes in angels, comes to the school, and the girls recognize each other. But while Stephanie wants to cleave to Freya, Freya can’t quite come to terms with Stephanie, fearful of the reaction of her new, pressuring peer group. There’s another reason as well. Freya has made a profound discovery: the angels she sees are real. On one level, this is a British school story, with cliques and bullies, but McNish goes further; his real accomplishment is melding the gritty ordinariness of everyday happenings with the magnificence of angels. For this, he needed the skills of a conductor, knowing when to play up the angelic choir and when to let it be heavenly background music. His descriptions of Freya’s two angels—one light and one dark—dazzle, and as the story moves into higher realms, readers are given much to ponder. Vampires and werewolves have been given their due in fiction of late; the mystery of angels takes center stage here. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 311 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Books (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822589001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822589006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,743,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Boston elderly Patsy McCarthy entertains folklorist Keira Sullivan with his lyrical tales of a stone angel in Eire. Unable to resist the magical lure and ignoring the warning of antiques collector Victor Sarakis not to meddle, Keira travels to the Emerald Isle to learn more about the Celtic legend. Before crossing the pond, Keira meets FBI agent Simon Cahill who is working a serial murder case.

In Ireland, Keira follows clues to an ancient ruin where she thinks she glimpsed the stone angel only to have the place cave in on her. Simon who followed her after the murder of Patsy and Victor finds her. Whereas she thinks someone tried to kill her, he has doubts. Neither is cynical about their feelings for one another, but when the angel reappears allegedly in the United States, Simon and Keira wonder if a psychopath is at work or something more supernaturally capricious.

This strong romantic suspense grips readers from the moment Patsy tells about the legend to an engrossed Keira and never slows down on the Irish coast as the audience and the lead couple wonder if the culprit is human or paranormal. The romance feels right as the mystery is the center behind this fabulous thriller in which Carla Neggers keeps her fans guessing what the killer is.

Harriet Klausner
Superb storytelling
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Format: Hardcover
This may be Carla Neggers best to date. The characters are real and riveting, the plot exciting and intriguing. The story moves along quickly and engages the reader from the beginning. You find yourself caught up in the suspense and moving along with the characters, especially Keira and Simon, as they try to unravel the mystery of the stone angel and its connections to an evil killer. But they are not the only ones who matter to you as you find yourself wanting to know more about the other characters as well: Abigail Browning and Owen Garrison, Bob O'Reilly and his family, just to name some of them. And you find yourself caught in the intrigue and mystery that surrounds the angel as well and the Irish folktales and countryside in which it appears. Neggers never tips her hand and shows her strengths in this magical suspense-laden story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
the following reasons are why I gave this book only three stars. I became somewhat frustrated with the excrutiating detail of some of the character histories and not enough detail with other characters, for example, "Scoop". There was no clear explanation of how he came to be involved with the main characters in the story. It seemed he just appeared. Motivation for the murders was vague and the murder from 30 years ago and the ones to date in the story did not seem to tie together as the author intended. A few characters the author left hanging. For instance, the mysterious man at the pub and Keira's father. I kept reading this book hoping I would at least enjoy learning about Ireland and some of the folklore. It was boring, to say the least. I think, as usual, in Carla Neggers' novels, too many details are crammed into one story and the main plot becomes fuzzy. I tend to begin reading her books because the plot sounds interesting, but then I grow bored. I have read many of her books and this will be the last. Intriquing ideas for a book, but you cannot go off on rabbit trails with the plot and characters and keep me interested. I counted at least twelve characters, each with their own issues with much more detail than the reader wants or needs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As always, Carla delivers complex likable characters that you feel you have known forever. The locations in Boston and Ireland are so welly described it seems as you know the area and the residents. The story includes faith, ambition, loyalty and intrigue.

Great job and I look forward to more in this series. If you like Sharpe and Donovan you will love this series. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the second of a series of four novels by Carla Neggers. All four of these books keep you on the edge of your seat and are very hard to put down. The stories happen in Boston and Ireland, which I found delightful, and involve mystery, suspense and romance. The characters of all four books are in each of the four after they've been introduced. The first book, The Widow, sets the stage for the theme throughout the series. The third book is The Mist and the last is The Whisper. Things seem to be happening in an ethereal way, but the mystery comes out in the end. If you read one, you have to read them all! I always find books through Amazon's used book system and these were found easily. I've never been disappointed in the price or the quick service of receiving the books. If you like mystery, these four Carla Neggers' books are a great buy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 stars

The Angel connects to The Widow through characters Abigail Browning and Bob O'Reilly. There is no need to have read the previous book, although it does explain the relationships between some of the characters.

Keira Sullivan, Bob O'Reilly's niece, is on her way to Ireland to research an old Irish tale told by an old neighbor of her uncle and mother. The night before she is to leave, a man mysteriously drowns in less than 2 feet of water. It appears accidental, but to Detective Abigail Browning, it is suspicious.

Keira makes her way to Ireland and finds herself in a bit of trouble. Her uncles makes some calls and Simon Cahill travels to save the damsel in distress.

A mystery begins to unfold of how all these seemingly unrelated incidents fit together. Is it Irish magic, the devil, or something else?

I found this book far more appealing than The Widow. I liked Keira and Simon along with Bob. The family dynamic was interesting. I still didn't find myself liking Abigail. She is just a bleak character with no depth. She played a large part in this book and those were my least favorite parts.

As for the romance part of the book, it was light. The main part of the story is the mystery and the romance barely mixes into it. I would have liked to have gotten deeper into the dynamic of the romantic relationship. I would not even call this book a romantic suspense.

I can't say this was an excellent book, but it was good. Neggers doesn't develop her characters enough, but this one had a bit more development than The Widow.
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