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A Shimmer of Angels (The Angel Sight Series) (edition 2013)

by Lisa M. Basso

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2013515,329 (3.61)None
Member:BailsChris
Title:A Shimmer of Angels (The Angel Sight Series)
Authors:Lisa M. Basso
Info:Month9Books, LLC (2013), Paperback, 321 pages
Collections:NetGalley Books, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

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Originally Reviewd at Witchmag's Boekenplank

*I received a free copy through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion*

I had a hard time relating to Rayna. She’s been in a mental institution for three years because of her “illusions.” And she’s terrified that they will return and she has to go back. She doesn’t want to be separated from her family, again. Those three years were more than enough. In comparison: I had a very bright and easy-going life. The only thing I had to worry about was doing my homework and tasks. Therefore I had a hard time imagining the fear and frustration Rayna must have felt. The doubt every time she saw something she isn’t supposed to see. The worry that she isn’t normal. Because of this lack of empathy she didn’t come alive. She stayed “flat” and that took away a lot of the joy reading this book.

She’s also a bit too pessimistic for my taste. Okay, I understand that if someone discovers you’re seeing winged beings once again, you’ll be sent back. That you don’t want to be sent back. But to live every second of your life in ear of being sent back because you see them once again? Those beings don’t harm you, do they? So why won’t you ignore them? As long as Rayna doesn’t open her mouth nobody will know right? And if you decide to write everything down, because it’s too much to handle otherwise, please hide your diary somewhere safe and not out in the open. Someone else might come in and see it. That one had my eyes rolling.

Enough about Rayna. It’s obvious I couldn’t bind myself to her, so I went on, looking for other interesting characters. And found none. They other personages also didn’t feel very alive, “fleshed-out.” Distant angels, I could understand, but no lively humans? Not so much. Especially if it’s friends and such. It made reading this story a bit of a struggle. Now, after reading, I’m only able to remember Kade. And that’s only because he’s a delicious dark and handsome guy. That tends to stick with me ;) The others? Not so much. They didn’t feel important enough to be remembered…

Talking about Kade, he’s the only one who made the story interesting. The mystery he presented, the link with her mom… My mind was hard at work trying to solve everything, connecting all the dots. There’s also a very nice angel world that kept me from being bored. And of course the enigma of what Rayna’s part will be. That’s what kept me motivated to read till the end. The end, which felt rushed, that managed to raise my interest once more. It raised my curiosity and left me with some unanswered questions. I don’t know if that will be enough for me to want to read the next book. Although Rayna grew a bit in this one, I don’t know how she’ll be in the next and I don’t think I’m up for another angst ridden book…

Conclusion

2 HEARTS. The protagonist, Rayna, is someone I couldn’t relate to. She had such a different upbringing than I had, that I just couldn’t imagine how that would feel. This made her feel a bit “flat” to me. She also has a tendency to imagine the worst, every single time. Also not something that made me like her. I’m too positive for that. The rest of the characters was as dull, or even duller than Rayna. Except for Kade, he’s the one who made me finish the story. The puzzle he represented was too hard to resist. And this whole new angel world I got to discover. That’s what kept me reading, unfortunately, that was not enough in comparison to the rest of the story. ( )
  Iris-Boekenplank | Dec 22, 2013 |
The world says Rayna is crazy because she thinks she sees wings. The doctors tell her it is her way of believing her mother went to a good place after she passed away. She convinces herself, and everyone who has control over whether she stays in the mental health clinic, that she no longer sees wings. Being in remission, they allow her to go back to school. Her family struggles to rebuild their relationships. Her father thinks she is very fragile and doesn't want her to even go back to school, let alone take a job at the local diner. Her sister becomes resentful of her illness and the time it has caused her to be away from home, the relocations the family made to help her feel better, and the pain she causes her family by not being normal.

Everything is going okay for a while until it happens again. Cam enters the scene, a new kid at school with glorious white wings. She tries to hold it together and pretend she doesn't see them because she doesn't want to be locked up again. Things escalate though, when Cam figures out she can see him, and for the first time ever she sees black wings when Kade shows up. This leads her through a battle between good and evil, angels and fallen angels. She has to deal with deaths of her classmates and ultimately try to save any more from being casualities in this war.

I enjoyed most aspects of this book. Some parts of it were a little difficult too see as really happening. Oddly enough, it wasn't the angels or supernatural aspects. It was more like the part where Rayna was allowed to keep her waitressing job when she seemed to be so bad at it. The part where Kade dressed her up like a hooker, why did he do that? Then she was cut very badly and bleeding everywhere when she broke the window out of a car, and dressed like a hooker, but when she showed up at Lee's house that way it didn't seem like anyone found it odd.

I liked the character of Kade more than Cam. But, Kade gets to be the rough and tumble, throw caution to the wind guy, and Cam has to be on his best behavior. Kade is a fallen angel, but there is that romantic notion that he fell from grace for the love of Rayna's mother. He has black wings but his actions show he has a good heart.

The end wasn't really an end, there is so much of the story left untold.

I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  TinaMarieSays | Oct 15, 2013 |
Thanks Netgalley for giving me a chance to read this awesome book before time!

To read this review and more pop by my blog, Drugs Called Books

A Shimmer of Angels has been, to me at least, a great read. I loved the world it presented, and I think Basso managed to give a fresh breath to the well-done theme of angels and to create a world that was both familiar and unique. I'm not the biggest fan of Angel books, as I haven't found one that has blown my mind yet, but this one came damn close!
The book also managed to get some very unexpected reactions out of me (all good), which I'll expand on in this review.

The book starts with Rayna, three months after her release from the hospital (where she spent three years, in and out), and with the "end" of her "remission" - after three full months of being 'sane', she's seeing them again - the wings. It was a really good start, as it introduced her, some of her personality traits and her behavior, in a way I found interesting, informative--but not dull.

The characters of the book were very good.

Rayna is the main female character, and the story is told from her point of view.
She was a character I had much sympathy toward; frightened out of her mind of getting back to the bin, frightened out of her mind of the angels she sees, frightened out of her mind to find out they aren't hallucinations. And through all the fright, she somehow manages to come out as strong, moving forward and acting even with the fear. I had much respect toward that, and I believe we'll be able to see her grow a lot throughout the next books; seeing her slowly get rid of her many fears and becoming the strong person you can tell she is.
Rayna is also loving, compassionate and kind, which I loved.
I think somewhere among everyone telling her she's crazy, Ray really became so. Not in the crazy way they talk about, but in a different way coming out as paranoia and panic attacks. This is not a bad thing. I think it added to her character and in general to the book. And, anyway, stick a healthy person among the crazy and eventually it'll rub of, one way or another.
One thing that I did hate; her actions toward the end. More on that soon.
Wow, what a block of text I wrote about that one!

Cam is an angel, sent to protect a certain person from becoming a soul in Hell's army. He's the "good" and "sweet" guy, the shinning angel, but I found little love in me for him. I didn't feel we got to know him well, and he abandoned Ray twice. I can't really tell you about his traits as I don't feel I got to see them really, but Ray says he's calm, serious, and has a very good garb on his emotions.

Kade is the fallen angel, and he's totally swoon worthy! He plays himself a bad boy, teasing Ray and telling her all kind of lies and frightening things to get to her, but in the end he was the person that cared most about her and protected her most. He hides himself behind the mask of the 'bad boy', but was very sweet underneath (when he let Ray see it). I wasn't expecting his character, and I wasn't expecting to like him so much. I feel like I got to see and know him a lot better than I ever did Cam, and I also think he took over much more parts in the story than Cam did. Not complaining at all, here.

Lee is Ray's best--and only--friend. I feel like I should mention him even though he's not a big part of the story because he's freaking awesome! He curses using Doctor Who references! How can you not love him?!!!

Now let's talk a bit about the romance, shall we?

The summary doesn't let on about this; but we've got a love triangle going round. Bad boy vs. Sweet boy sort of thing.
This is one of the only books I can say I didn't mind the love triangle at (and that's saying something) and also the only book I can think of in which I ended up rooting for the 'bad guy' (i.e Kade) with all of my might. He was just so much better than Cam! Scratch that; if Rayna doesn't want him I'll take him!
Even though I didn't agree with Rayna's choice of guy (I've got a feeling or rather hope that it'll change in the next book), I enjoyed the romance simply because it created new feelings inside of me, such as screaming at the girl to pleaseeee pick the guy I like, or thinking to myself that I didn't mind the love triangle.
I did, however, think Rayna fell for Cam rather quickly and out of nowhere. I think their relationship should've been build up a bit better, but I liked where it ended in this book.

I also loved some of the concepts of the book, such as that one way for an angel to Fall is to fall in love with a human. It was just so unique and creative in my opinion (first book I read that was like that). I also find it peculiar; love's the purest emotion out there. Why would that emotion be count as a sin? I hope Rayna will explore that in the next books, especially if she wants to win the guy she likes.

The ending... well, that was the part that made me lower the stars. Up until then, I thought I'll give it a five stars (yep - most of the book's that good!)
Rayna, in my opinion, acted really stupid here. I couldn't decide whether she didn't think about the consequences of handing the bad guys such a weapon (like more deaths, only now deaths for Cam's kind as well), or if she did understand but didn't care as long as her family and friends were safe. She kept being angry with the guys for [saving] her, but I'm glad they refused to apologize for that, as they shouldn't.

As for the writing, it was really good. It flowed well and made complete sense, and I enjoyed reading it.

So, as I already said - a really good book! Really looking forward to reading the next in the series... so please publish it already!

To read this review and more pop by my blog, Drugs Called Books ( )
  Nitzan_Schwarz | Sep 25, 2013 |
A Shimmer of Angels started off well, but at around the 40% mark I was really struggling. By that point it was feeling "messy" - I'm not sure how else to describe it. It lost its flow and Rayna was really beginning to annoy me; her constant insistence that she didn't want to go back to the mental health facility and refusal to believe what was right in front of her drove ME crazy.

When the finale finally rolled around, the only character still holding my interest was Kade - frankly, I think he was the best of the bunch: strong, conflicted, and carrying secrets. He also had the whole "bad-boy" vibe going on. Rayna's friend Lee had promise, but disappeared halfway through the book before making a brief reappearance at the end. The twist with Rayna bothered me with its randomness. I think there was a very good idea buried here, but the execution left something to be desired.

I really wanted to like this one, and I think author Lisa M. Basso shows promise (Kade and Lee demonstrate her ability to write interesting characters and it started off strong), but I'm not going to be racing out to get book 2 when it appears. ( )
  eomalley | Apr 13, 2013 |
Such a great book. I’m not the biggest fan of books about angels, but I really enjoyed this one. The only thing that kept me from loving it, and giving it five stars, is the fact that the main character, Rayna, annoyed me sometimes. It didn’t happen too often though, and when it did, I wasn’t that annoyed. Just a little. Everything else, I loved.

Overall, I really liked A Shimmer of Angels, and I can’t wait for book two, A Slither of Hope. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0985029439, Paperback)

In this compelling and spirited debut novel, 16-year-old Rayna Evans has spent the last three years in a mental institution for seeing angels—intent on remaining free, she ignores signs that she may be slipping into a world she has tried to climb out of. When her hallucinations begin showing up at school, can she keep her sanity and prevent students from dying at the hands of angels she cannot admit to seeing? Psychiatry, fantasy, and realism come together here in a story of a young girl struggling with identity, secrets, and confronting her greatest fears.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:19 -0400)

Sixteen year old Rayna pretends she doesn't see angels, until students start showing up dead, forcing her to reveal what she's seen and what she knows.

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