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The Second Sign Paperback – January 8, 2013
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I did ultimately finish it in the hopes that it would get better, but apart from the first few chapters, I was simply bored to tears. I was expecting equal parts paranormal and romance but got romance-romance-romance with some paranormal stuff bandied about once in a while, and mostly crowded near the end. The Insta-Love between Gabby and Jake was of the especially grating variety, because even though the story does (sort of kind of) give an actual reason for it, it's no excuse for their FEELINGS to take up almost the entire book. I think the first chapters were the best in large part because the two had not met yet! Gabby and Jake seemed like interesting people in their own rights then, and so did some of the others like Gabby's brother Max and Jake's sister Jenna, but as soon as they met, everybody got personality transplants. By the end of the book, I was so bored by the tedious love story that I couldn't care about anything else.
This book also has some issues with sexual consent. Whether it's boys pressuring girls or girls pressuring boys, the casual ease with which everybody treats sexual misconduct is troubling. And one's ability and desire to remain friends with those who have tried to rape or molest? That should not be the yardstick by which one measures one's goodness as a person.
There were also many of the common indie-book problems with grammar, in particular all the awkwardly structured sentences I had to read twice to decipher. I'm sometimes willing to overlook this stuff to a certain extent in indie books that I find otherwise good, but less so in this case. Fixing some of these problems might have gone some way in fixing others; a real editorial eye might have caught all sorts of things from the grammar to the characterizations to the pacing.
In the end, for me, getting through this book was a real exercise in disappointment and time wasting. If only Arroyo had stuck to writing a real horror novel (with or without romantic elements). The gory horror scenes in this book were by far the best written, so that's clearly a talent begging to be tapped!
One of the things that I loved about this book is that although it deals with angels, fallen angels, and things that we are used to, or familiar with, Gabby is neither an angel or a fallen angel. She’s something totally different and in a way refreshing, as this particular topic is quite popular with YA writers. Also, as I’m a huge fan of Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush series, it was great to see this sort of topic written in a style that was also quite unique, and fresh.
Ms. Arroyo offers a glimpse into different aspects of faith at the beginning of the book, which is done in a way that lets the reader know immediately that the author’s not here to sway them into a particular school of thinking, but rather, the author is offering information that will come to play later on in the book’s plot.
One of my favorite things about Ms. Arroyo’s The Second Sign was, that the reader is never quite sure what new twist is about to happen, as the book is full of surprises. The pacing is really good, and soon, the reader will be so immersed in the story, that it’ll be next to impossible to put the book down.
The characters are well written, and I must admit that though I loved Gabby, I kept turning the pages to find out more about Jake.
Four out of Five cookies!
This is a fantastic debut YA paranormal romance by Elizabeth Arroyo. It has a powerful YA voice from the point of view of both Gabby and Jake. Both are strong characters trying to deal with extraordinary events that threaten to even break them. They may do things that infuriate the reader sometimes, but they are teens, after all!
The strength of this book lies in the mythological, world building, and wonderful writing style. I love the twist the author has on the myths of angels and demons, including among them the soulless. These legends are woven into the modern world seamlessly. The backstory had enough detail and was spread out to keep the mystery surrounding it. Elizabeth paced everything perfectly to the great climax at the end.
I can't wait to read more from Elizabeth Arroyo.
I didn't initially think I'd get that into the book at first since it looked like it is geared towards a female demo. I can admit when I am wrong. There was just the right mix of action (murder/suicide) and suspense to keep me interested, but without it going over the top.
It was a fun read and if you are unsure about the getting the book, I'd say give it a try on the kindle. There were nights when I even skipped Call of Duty to read this book and any gamer out there knows that is quite a feat in itself.
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I was given a free copy of The Second Sign by Xpresso Book Tours for an honest review.Read more