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The Last Archangel Paperback – July 14, 2011
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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Xandir is the main character with every other chapter is in his viewpoint while throwing in various other characters in between. He's a different kind of hero from my normal reads: quick to anger, self-centered, short-sighted, and at times quite reckless. Yet he still has a moral drive which compels him to save every day people. It's quite an odd combination, but in a way, very realistic.
I mentioned other characters. The Last Archangel steps into the mind of quite a few of them: Judy, a college language professor; Jarom, a cherub and Xandir's apprentice; and Eden, an abused spouse. When I first started getting into the different POVs, I expected each to be a catalyst in the story. What I found was, though they played a part in the grand tapestry, they truly were only single threads. The true story is Xandir and how the way seemingly unrelated plot lines work their way back to his journey, and eventually his final outcome.
I think the idea of having mini-plots and weaving them together to create a grand finale is an awesome idea. I've seen some wicked movies use that technique. In The Last Archangel, I think it ended up being the weak point.
When I thought about why, I believe it's because the characters didn't have enough interactions to really make me care about their overall predicament, particularly Judy and Eden who seemed to disappear toward the end of the book before reappearing.
In my mind, The Last Archangel was two separate stories which are briefly touched. There was Judy and Eden who had their fight--a strong enough plot to stand on its own, but the characters lacked the ability to do much about their situation. With virtually no involvement from Xandir, Judy and Eden's story seemed to be nothing more than filler. Then we had Xandir and Jarom with an entirely different fight--also a strong plot. Really, I believe if the novel only included Xandir and his predicament (with Jarom as his side kick), the entire story would have been stronger.
So was it a bad story? Not at all. It was quite decent, I would say. In fact, if my reading list wasn't a million and a half books long, I'd probably read The Last Archangel again just to achieve a better appreciate for the entire story line.
Overall, Mr. Young did an excellent job creating an alternative world loosely based on Christianity and angels. I wouldn't call it a Christian read because the world he created deviated quite a bit in some areas from the bible and relied on worldly misconceptions. However, it was still quite an interesting interpretation.
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review
The one big thing that the description from Goodreads fails to mention is Eden. Eden is a mortal woman who goes through tonnes in this book...and I mean tonnes! I won't spoil it for you though because it is some juicy stuff. To be honest, she wasn't my favourite narrator ever, and I definitely preferred Xandir's parts, but in her situation I can sympathize with how she reacted. At the same time, sometimes I just wanted to smack her. In the end though, I think she came out of it stronger, and judging by the cliffhanger ending, I think she'll have other books to make up for not being the strongest of characters when it came to handling her life choices.
Now onto Xandir. He was awesome! Not always the smartest (but he did have his genius moments lol) or the most patient, and definitely rash at times, but when it came down to getting things done, he was definitely the person to do it. His swords, for justice and mercy were so neat! I love how they're represented on the cover too! I loved reading the parts of The Last Archangel where he narrated. While, I liked Eden's parts, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see things through Xandir's POV. I liked Jarom too, or Lil' Halo as Xandir called him, he was pretty awesome, and I loved seeing him evolve through his adventures. Just in case anyone is curious, Jarom's a cherub...yup, like Cupid! :D
I thought that The Last Archangel was an awesome story, and it definitely kept me up late at night reading. I encourage everyone who likes a story filled with action to give it a read. Especially readers who like stories that have action and aren't just all about the battle, but about the journey and the evolution that it takes to get through it, too. In fact, this book kind of reminded me of Greek epics in that way. Xandir took on a task and had to go through stages to complete it, kind of like Odysseus on his way back home to Ithaca (not exactly the same, but it had a similar feel),...and as a reader you're lucky enough to get to tag along for the ride :D
***I received a review copy from the author for an honest review and to participate in the book's blog tour.
Most recent customer reviews
I really liked Xandir as the protagonist.Read more
I think whoever wrote the synopsis/description of The Last Archangel, did a terrible job at selling this book with a few words.Read more