Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound #1
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Review by: Tessa
Myla knows something is wrong when Purgatory is worse than Hell.
She has to face the real monsters--the human souls who would do anything to create chaos. She also has to fight them.
Myla is an Arena fighter in Purgatory. Her job as a quasi-demon is to prevent evil souls from getting into heaven.
But Purgatory has gotten a makeover since the ghouls took over. Quasi-demons are not residents anymore, but workers who cater to the ghouls' every whim.
When her world is crumbling, Myla is ready to bring her fighting skills outside of the Arena.
This book has so much potential. The premise was amazing, Myla is such a strong female lead, and the setting is unique.
But this could have been a 300 page book. Honestly, there was 200 pages of useless gossip, romance, and over-dramatic teenage angst.
When I started Angellbound, I expected a book full of action, sass, and demons. The first half of the book turned out to be like a diary of a bipolar teenager. Myla went from fighting a wicked soul in the Arena to gossiping with her best friend. There was more conflict in the high school than in the Arena.
If you can get past the gossip and catfights, then the plot is actually quite amazing. There are not a lot of other YA books with the same premise. The main conflict was revealed slowly, which required a lot of patience on the reader's part. But the last quarter of the book really made everything up for me. The ending also exploded with action and mystery.
My peeve with this book is useless dump of unnecessary information. Entire chapters were dedicated to the petty problems between Myla, her best friend, and her best friend's boyfriend. It was almost as bad as a television soap opera.
Also, the building of suspense was not discreet at all. At one point, her mother actually says, "That's all I can tell you right now." Personally, I think this is a cop-out for creating real suspense.
The world-building was the most unique aspect of the book. I have never read anything exactly like it. The story takes place in Purgatory, the place in-between Heaven and Hell. This is the place where souls arrive to be judged and delivered to their final destination. There was balance between Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory for centuries, until the ghouls stole control of Purgatory. Unlike the amount of gossip, the use of description is perfect. The entire world is described, elaborated, and explained. This is one of the most important things an author should do, especially with a fantasy novel like Angellbound.
Myla- Even though Myla is literally part demon, it is really easy to connect with her. She is stubborn, hot-headed, and sarcastic. Her jokes and insults kept the story alive.
"That makes sense. Not knowing girls fight; it figures you all live under a rock."
"I'm not mopey. I just want to eat ice cream and cry like it's my job."
She is confident, but willing to accept her faults. This trait has gone extinct in YA fantasy. Either a character is cocky and arrogant, or kind and naive. Myla is the perfect combination of both.
Oh, and she has a devil tail with a mind of its own. What more can I say?
Cissy- She is Myla's gossipy best friend. Cissy always has Myla's best interests in mind, but she can get carried away and let her envy become a demon. She is sweet, diplomatic, and shy--basically the best friend Myla could ever want. I just wish her character was more developed.
Zeke- He is Cissy's love interest who really got on my nerves. He was arrogant without any redeeming qualities whatsoever.
Myla's mom- She is the most interesting character in the book. In the beginning, she is just a shell of the
Her love for Myla is seriously sweet, if somewhat excessive.
There was a ton of romance in this book. If you dislike excessive romance, then avoid this book. It is still a clean book, but there is a lot of romantic scenes. I do not want to give away any thing about the main romance.
The ending redeemed the rest of the book. It was 150 pages of fiery action. Mysteries were solved, battles were fought, and decisions were made. The ending set up the sequel quite nicely.
I will be reading the second book, The Scala, in the near future.
The excessive gossip and romance hides an amazing story. Myla is a wicked heroine who brings a new meaning to strong female leads. If you can tolerate the first half of the book, the second half definitely made up for it.