24 June 2011

Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

The only creature who can harm an angel is another angel.

Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen-year-old Griffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terrae Angeli.

But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world.  Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give Griffin the courage he needs to face the monster still haunting him?

Book was received in exchange for an honest review.

A very promising debut.  There are pros and cons with both writing style and plot but there’s something in the characters that makes me anticipate the next book’s release.

I love the archetypical hero’s story.  It’s what makes me love stories like Harry Potter and Eragon.  Griffin is an earth-angel who is realizing the heart of his situation: human versus angel.  While he struggles to figure out the balance, he’s haunted by a jaded past.  His struggles and obstacles were the perfect challenge for him and created a very enjoyable story.

I rooted for Griffin 100%.  What really grabbed me about him was his humor because I’m a sucker for funny guys, but also his sensitivity (girls love a guy in touch with his emotions) and his loyalty.  Griffin’s passion for saving people didn’t come off as cliché as I had started to fear it would. 

As I read, I started to dread the romance.  I was afraid that it would turn out to amount to several pages worth of description about what drew them to each other.  But besides the initial, Wow, he/she’s pretty cute there wasn’t much to drag down their relationship.  I actually began to cheer for Katie because she’s wasn’t a complete girl about some things. 
“Fire, you’re fast!  I almost didn’t  beat you,” Griffin gasped.  “Notice I said almost.”

”Well, I let you win.  Frail male ego, you know.”
Excerpted from the ARC edition, page 84

I mean, I wanted to smack her about some things but otherwise, I liked her attitude.

The one thing that bothered me was Nash.
  The kid was way too much the archetypical bully.  Griffin’s reactions were good (Go Griffin!) but the whole thing with Nash just didn’t fly well with me.  I could see it coming a mile away and he didn’t put a lot of originality into the story.  And the final confrontation between Nash and Griffin just annoyed me because Griffin was such an idiot about it.

In terms of writing: it was rough but I liked the way it was set up—half journal entries, half narrative.  The plot was straightforward and I think the story could have been greatly lengthened if more detail and depth had been added.

However, I loved Griffin’s story.  I blew through this story so fast; I was sorry to finish so quickly.  Now I can’t wait for the sequel!  I can see a lot of potential in Darby Karchut’s style.  I can see that with time and practice, she will flourish into a household YA name.

Book Info:
  • pages – paperback, 174
  • published – June 28th, 2011
  • publisher – Twilight Times Books
  • genre – urban fantasy
  • received via – author
  • rating – 4/5
  • sequel - Griffin's Fire (2012)