Friday, 8 February 2013

Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi

Publisher: HotKey Books
Format: ARC
Published2nd August 2012
Number of Pages: 352
Book: For Review*
Genre: Dark Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance, Urban Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Gritty Realism, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Sarah Mussi

Review From Goodreads:
Would you move heaven and earth for the one you love? ANGEL DUST is a powerful, gritty and utterly modern tragic love story with a twist. When Serafina, the brightest and most beloved of all God's angels, is sent to collect Marcus Montague - the original badman - and take him to Hell, she finds herself powerfully drawn to him and makes a decision that places her in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell. Can Serafina fall in love without falling from grace? Can Marcus's soul be saved? And just who is the mysterious and ever-so-helpful stranger Harry?

“I will help you.  I will move Heaven and Earth to help.”
Serafina is one of God's best and brightest angels.  Normally, she stays in Heaven, but since the Declaration of War, she must come to earth to collect souls.  
It's then she sees him, Marcus Montague.  She knows she must collect his soul and she knows he isn't bound for Heaven...  And yet, she's drawn to Marcus, the "original badman", the gangsta. 
But now she has to snuff his life out and take his soul away. 
And all Serafina wants is to give Marcus more time, time to repent. 
It's then Larry shows up, a "gentle being in white".  He offers her something, something she can't refuse...
But how far is Serafina willing to go to save the gangsta's life?  How far when Heaven and Hell is at war, when everything Serafina's ever know is at stake...?
From the moment I laid eyes on the blurb (and gorgeous cover) of Angel Dust, I was enchanted.  After hearing Sarah Mussi talk about it and chatting a bit with her, I was positively itching to get stuck into the story.  I have seen some negative reviews, but I must say I loved it.  I do love angel books, and the fact this one had a definite Romeo-Juliet inspiration meant I was even more happy about it.  And this book was brilliant.  I really, really loved it and can't wait for more by Mussi. 
Serafina was actually quite cute: she was so naive and unworldly.  She kind of made me laugh at times with all her enthusiasm and cuteness!  Of course, at other times, I could hit her for her naivety.  She was so trusting and unworldly – she didn't see things coming we saw a mile off.  I loved seeing her grow and challenge everything, hitting perfectly all the controversy around Free Will and Rules and how far one should go to save the one you love. 
Marcus was sweet, but personally not someone I'd risk falling from Heaven for.  He did have many good points, like how he cared for the people in his "territory" and how he wanted to take care of his family.  But, uh, why did he call himself the "Man"?  He did try to be better and he only wanted to help.   I saw his potential, but I didn't really know him as well as I'd like to.  
There were some other good characters, like Larry-slash-Harry or Kamuel.  Larry-Harry was funny but seriously, Serafina?!  And Kamuel… I so wish he were in it more!
The romance between Serafina and Marcus, I must admit wasn’t totally believable.  The way she just saw him once and just fell so in love she was willing to break the Rules?  It just didn’t seem totally plausible.  Then again, she did mention that he was her "temptation" – does that mean he was like her soulmate, the one person alive who could pull her from Heaven?  I just wish it was a little more clear or less insta-love-y.  But as I read, I must admit that the insta-love started making a little more sense.  And when they had those moments, I really felt it - the love, the chemistry. 
I loved that this was written from the angel's POV.  The only other book I've come across like that is Halo, and I must say that Serafina is a much more likeable character.  And her language was much easier to read; more like an average teen and less like a 19th century poet.  But I get off topic: the point is that reading from an angel's perspective is brilliant – the most mundane thing seems magical.  And I really felt that Romeo&Juliet influence – the forbidden love, the star crossed lovers whose feelings should not exist yet burn brighter than Heaven.  I'll admit that the beginning of the story was a little slow.  But with a war brewing and oh-so-many rules for Serafina to break, it didn't stay that way for long!  And the story was just so much more than just a forbidden romance, a mission to save a human's eternal soul from Hell.  It was so much more complex and twisty.  And while I saw things coming when Serafina didn’t, I think we were meant to – it just added to the overall suspense and kinda horror!
I loved learning about the angelic world: lots came from the bible inspiration and stuff, but what I really loved was the description of the road to Hell.  And Heaven – as amazing as it all was and how rich it was in places, I still felt like it could have been a little more padded out.  I saw the outline in my head, but bits weren’t in technocolour. 
I hate naive characters - normally.  But somehow Mussi made Serafina angelically innocent without making her 'Too Stupid To Live'.  I must say though, I'm not 100% why she fell for Marcus quite so hard.  But, Mussi perfectly captured that overwhelming, all-consuming nature of first love, emphasised by it being felt by an immortal being who had never known love before, who had only wanted to save the one she loved...  It was really powerful. 
So, yes, this book has very strong points and some let downs.  The strong points were more than enough to keep me hooked and I absolutely can't wait to see what Mussi brings out next.  
But, more importantly, yes: Mussi wrote a brilliant book that had me hooked start to finish.  There was something so magic about her writing - she made many of my usual pet peeves things I loved most about the story.  I think Mussi may be magic, if you ask me.  I can't wait for her next book.  And I really think most will love this too, 'cause its magic. 

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Halo by Alexandra Adornetto
Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

Happy Reading
* This book was received from HotKeyBooks in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love magic! 4 out of 5 stars . . . good enough for me to check it out:-) Thanks for the review!