Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"The Scibe (Irin Chronicles #1)" By Elizabeth Hunter

Note: The Second Book of the Irin Chronicles, The Singer, is being released today. If you haven't picked up The Scribe yet, now is the time!

I picked this up as an e-book on one of my prolific Kindle Daily Deal binges. The cover drew me, but not enough that I immediately started reading it.

When I actually started reading it, several months later, I grew concerned that I bought it by mistake (or a simple case of cover-lust). This book follows Ava as she seeks a cure for the "voices" in her head. I wasn't convinced that this would be anything other than one of those corny, really terrible romances that I accidentally buy on impulse. I mean... hearing voices? In a language you can't understand? And you can't figure out even a language that it might possibly be? Talk about cuckoo clocks.

I grudgingly continued, mentally berating the book on the improbability its plot being even viable for paranormal romance.

I was wrong. This book shattered my low expectations, while surpassing my 3.22 average rating (from GoodReads, love that feature). I presumed this book to only maybe scrape past the 3 star mark, when it, in the end, flew past my rather elusive 4.5 star degree quite easily.

The Plot:
Ava Matheson hears voices of an unidentifiable language in her head, that seem to emanate from other people. She's seen countless specialists of the mental and physical health variety, but she hasn't found relief, yet. Her newest doctor suggests a new specialist in Istanbul, and she says she may or may not visit him. (This is unrealistic- my medical specialists took as long as a year to get into). Anyhow, for the continuation of the plot, she goes. As she's a world renowned travel photographer, she's able to cough up the change and take the trip there. Our hero, Malachi spots her in Istanbul, due to his prey, the Grigori, having an obvious interest in her and trailing her every move. He decides to trail her as well, despite her obvious humanity. But is she truly what she seems?

Here's Why I Relished It:
The fallen angel trope is pervasive in romantic literature (yes, I consider romance literature, in some cases). Really, what is more dark-and-light/black-and-white than a man who is a fallen angel? They rebelled against God, choosing to join Lucifer in his bid to upend the "system". They were cast out of heaven, by a very irate God, who created them to be his messengers, his go-betweens, if you will. In this story, they're still in His relatively good graces. In the Bible, not so much. The mythology the author bestows them is fresh, enthralling, and completely different from what you'd find anyplace else. Fallen angels who use tattoos to enhance their powers? That ain't biblical. Tattoos are a major Old Testament no-no. And although I don't read too much "fallen angel" romance, I doubt that any have that.

The romance wasn't the ever popular insta-love. The hero describes Ava as "pretty" upon seeing her the first time, but only after prompted by his buddies. Not drop dead, cross my heart and hope to die gorgeous. I like this, as too often romance focuses on lust to brew feelings of "true love", and though something else is used to spark his interest in her, it feels authentic. And it is percolated slowly, over a reasonable period of time. Ava doesn't swoon upon seeing him either. Yes! This is romance I can tolerate without rolling my eyes.

There is a plot twist near the end. Do NOT read my review of The Singer if you haven't read The Scribe first. These books are indies, and deserving of your notice.

Rating: Wait for it, wait for it.... a giant surprise: 4.5 of 5 Stars for a lovely "fallen angel" romance!

Content: This is adult paranormal romance, with violence and sex scene(s). Ages 18+.

Page Count: 306 pages in the e-book

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