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Jovienne (Immanence) Paperback – May 9, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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This book hooked me at the beginning and swept me through Jovienne's story in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. It's an urban fantasy tale with elements of horror. The scenes are eloquently set, full of fierce action and near visceral emotional anguish.
I cannot wait for more from this author and certainly hope there will be a sequel.
And this is only book one.
First of all, I didn’t realize how much this story revolves around angels and God and such. Yes I could have expected it based on the cover but the synopsis didn’t give too much indication regarding this so I went into reading with hope. Well, this hope of mine got dashed pretty quickly but regardless of my dislike of angels there are a couple of great ideas in it.
My main problem other than the topic, was the writing style or more like the way the story was presented in a discursive and unfocused way. And this didn’t help me create a clear picture of the world building which is complex but really confusing and holey. Not just the supernatural aspect of the story but the basic world too. Sometimes I felt like it had a dystopian background with the devastation some scenes represented but I couldn’t be sure because it was just a feeling I got during reading. So in the end I didn’t understand the meaning behind half of the plot and it bothered me so much. I tried; I really did but had no luck in really immersing myself in the story.
As for the characters, the story is told from 4 different points of view and this was my favorite thing about the book. These four characters not just completely different but also represent different sides of the world, the story even though they all had something common. I loved how it showed the good, the bad and everything in between.
There is Jovienne, who is an abhadhon, basically an enforcer angel who does the dirty work for God. The thing s though she is really didn’t want to become one but her loneliness and infatuation with her teacher lead her to this path. She only realized that she had a choice when it was too late. So in the beginning she is bitter about her predicament and starts to fight tooth and nail to get out of it or to find some freedom. As she progresses she finds out a lot of things about her past and herself. She could be interesting character but her point of view is specially detailed and there is a lot of extra information and scenes that just confused me about her. But she is a fighter for sure. I absolutely loved her connection with Eitan. Their bickering was a great addition to the story.
Then there is Araxiel, the demon who got a taste of freedom from Hell and doesn’t want to go back. no matter what, so he is even willing to approach the one who can send him back and offer her a tentative alliance, at least until he reaches his goal after that everybody is for themselves. He is cunning and greedy and manipulates others around him spectacularly.
Or Andrei, Jovienne former teacher who is lost, who was lost even before meeting the girl. I didn’t particularly like him; he is a bit of a coward at the beginning and makes a lot of bad decisions but slowly starts to redeem himself.
I didn’t enjoy the book and even think that starting the book after Jovienne training and the initial realization of her new powers created an empty space in the plot and also helped with my confusion. It’s a shame because I had high hopes for this book.
A new author to me but such an eye catching cover. I'm always on the lookout for original urban fantasy and certainly feel that this books ideas ticks all the right boxes. Yes it's about Angels so if theology not really your thing then it might not suit but as it's the story of a human woman who becomes a warrior for God I thought I'd give it a go.
It's hard to like Jovienne and even though she feels that she has been manipulated and is used I really couldn't quite see past her bitterness at times. Yes she is incredibly brave ( although some might say foolhardy ) but her anger meant she makes hard decisions and takes such stupid chances. Yet this book details her progression in such a way that I found it hard to put down.
Frankly at first I was a little confused by the authors use of different perspectives as she introduces characters that initially have no bearing on what Jovienne is going through in San Fransisco and then it all falls into place as the connections start to happen.
Andrei was a sort of mentor and trainer to Jovienne and clearly has feelings for her but having pushed her away it's hard to trust him and yet he does have redeeming qualities.
Nathan is introduced as a man marked by stigmata and he turns out to be more than instrumental if Jovienne is to rise above her base instincts. Sometimes she can resist anything except temptation !
Then we have Araxiel, a demon hiding on Earth with no desire to return to Hell . His selfish thoughts are consumed with his own wellbeing leaving him with the cunning idea of manipulating Jovienne and quite frankly he does a pretty good job.
We do meet other characters as Jovienne isn't the only one fighting against the Demons and the author lets her imagination play here. Are Angels all good? Do they always do the right thing? Perhaps more importantly though is what is the right choice as after all we were all given free will . Plus just what does it take to become demonic?
So many questions and yet some answers trickle through. There's very good reason why Jovienne is the way she is and her past helps define her. Hurt, betrayed and yet she carries such guilt because of one small childish action and I understood why her own survival meant little to her.
It's a little wordy at times which occasional meant it felt dry and I wanted more feelings, more humanity I guess. Yet Jovienne really wants to help but her hands are tied. Speaking of hands those blessed by God have unusual powers that range from being able to move at great speed occasionally to the use of ghost like hands that stretch like something out of the Fantastic Four ! Plus I understand the use of more angelic terms but some of the words used just didn't wow me. All in all very different to other books I've read and it's the start of a series that hopefully will be fleshed out enabling the various characters to show more warmth and feelings.
This voluntary opinion is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and feelings are honest and I believe fair