Friday, October 21, 2011

Angel Arias by Marianne de Pierres (Night Creatures #2)

Retra – now called Naif – has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn’t know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels.
But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?
First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn’t guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt – and Naif is caught in the middle.
Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.
The fate of worlds depends on it.
Angel Arias starts right after where Burn Bright left off ~ and it begins with the same dynamic energy that Burn Bright burned with ;) But where Burn Bright was mysterious, the world and plot swirling around the reader, Angel Arias has a different tone. It has an urgency and plenty of action, but this time Naif (Retra) is much more sure of herself.
The plot in Angel Arias is ambitious, secrets are revealed, unveiling more mysteries which showcase extraordinary world building: the world Marianne has created is intricate yet accessible. It's a daring kind of read, and just as original in flavour as the first book in the series. The scope of the book is fantastic (from time with the pirates, and seeing more islands), and I think the plot is best explored with no idea where it is heading (no spoilers here).

Aussie author Marianne de Pierres has a talent for throwing her readers alongside her characters in such a way that you are kept on your toes: the action is blended beautifully with plot twists and developments, the reader discovers things alongside the protagonist. There is foreshadowing, creating tension and atmosphere, but not clue-ing the reader in enough to make the plot predictable. It was the opposite. I was constantly on edge, even questioning the loyalties of certain characters, friends who suddenly seem like foe and enemies who have shades of goodness shining through.

I loved the larger scope of the book and yet somehow I missed that gothick-y vibe of Ixion (I am nostalgic by nature, haha). I cannot compare reading the first book in the series to read Angel Arias. I think I was so startled in my love of Burn Bright , like the first taste of chocolate, it was addictive, startling and delectable. Angel Arias did not stun me in the same way despite still being driven by that intoxicating vibe that made it impossible to put down.

It is not the kind of book I am normally drawn to (action, worlds, secrets ~ I am more often drawn to books that are less plot-driven, more character-driven) so perhaps I did not enjoy this as much as I *should* have. I think my enjoyment is more indicative of my tastes as a reader than the quality of this book. This is a book to enthral and ignite imaginations. Despite my wishing for more depth in the characters (with personal motivations, relationships) it is obvious the author cares for her characters (yet also has no qualms about putting them in harms way).

A small teaser: I was (incredibly, delightfully) pleased when the story suddenly swivelled, giving readers a taste of Lenoir's POV! A real surprise, it widened the scope of the story, and also, Lenoir is one enigmatic guy, so it was enlightening being inside his head).
Angel Arias was released in Australia this month (and it looks outstanding on the shelves)
Thanks to Random House Australia and the ever-lovely, always-awesome Marianne for my review copy


  1. I just bought this today and I'm really looking forward to it. I sent Burn Bright to a few of my American friends and they loved it, too, so I guess I'll have to send AA off once I'm done!

  2. From reviews, I can see that this isn't as good as the first which is such a shame since it blew me away. The gothic vibe was what I loved about it :(

  3. So when will this be available in the United States, because both of these are books that I think I would love!

  4. I have both her books to read. Great review! I love the art on the covers!



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