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Dirty Wings by Sarah McCarry
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The second book in Sarah McCarry's Metamorphoses' trilogy, this novel actually goes back in time to introduce us to Cass and Maia - the mothers of the heroines from McCarry's first book, "All Our Pretty Songs." Maia is a lovely, but sheltered, teen - a piano prodigy living with her rigid, overprotective adoptive parents. Cass, meanwhile, is a tough kid living on the streets - she's used to taking care of herself and no one else. But when she meets Maia, everything changes.

I'll confess that I am somewhat continuing to read this trilogy as it checks off a requirement in a book challenge that I'm doing. But, McCarry's books are always very well-written and interesting, if not a bit strange. I actually enjoyed this one a bit more than the first. The story was a little more clear. Much like book one, I still maintain that I would enjoy these books more without the odd mystical influence hovering in the corners of the pages. In this novel, Maia and Cass eventually meet Jason, with whom Maia falls in love with, and with whom it seems that Minos (the shadowy man from the other world) is trying to lure away... or, as Cass fears, does he just want Maia?

It's all a bit confusing and such a strange side plot to a story of troubled teenagers falling in love and rebelling against the world - which would work just fine on its own. Oh well. I'm still hooked and will read the last book. McCarry has a beautiful voice and this book is very poetical, much like the first. The story flips between present and past in this one, which can be a bit confusing, but also makes the book fly by. It's a compelling read, if not one that will leave you a bit frustrated and wanting more. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
This book is actually a prequel to All Our Pretty Songs. Dirty Wings is about the parents of Aurora and the narrator of the first book.

Maia is a gifted piano player who lives a sheltered life until she meets Cass, a street girl who teaches her how to speak her mind and steal what she needs to live. Switching back and forth between "then" and "now" McCarry takes you from when Cass and Maia first meet to after they have run away together.

It was difficult to wrap my brain around this sheltered young talented girl being Aurora's mother, the tripped out junkie from All Our Pretty Songs, but you start to see how she got to that place and why Cass knew she needed to protect her daughter and why she tried to protect Aurora.

The same skeleton man from book 1 haunts Maia and her musician boyfriend that haunted Aurora in All Our Pretty Songs, only this time Cass tries to save her friend instead of her daughter.

McCarry's descriptions are still poetic, haunting and beautiful and Renata Friedman's narration is hypnotizing. This book is a beautiful addition to this trilogy but I was left a little stumped by the ending. I realize that after reading the first book that we have an idea of how their lives turned out but this one just sort of ended leaving me a bit lost. ( )
  ReadingGrrl | Jul 28, 2015 |
The first book in this series, All Our Pretty Songs, was a book that appealed to me for its uniqueness. It was a weird and often disturbing read and those flavors extended to this book, a prequel of sorts. It answered so many questions, even questions that I didn't even always know that I had!

This is the story of Cass and Maia, the mothers from the first book. In AOPS, there was a lot of wondering about why these two were the way the were, what made them into the people that they were. These girls come from such different worlds. One came from a privileged life with all the opportunities in the world. The other came from a disadvantaged home, with little of even the most basics of things. Against all odds, they bond, even if that bond is often dark and always codependent.

The story goes back and forth from the beginning of their friendship to the present time in that book, all of it before the timing of the second book. That back and forth really illuminates the changes the girls go through, the way their lives transform over time. Like the first book, the story is dark and disturbing, painful and raw.

Although this is part of a trilogy, it is an odd trilogy. The first book is set considerably into the future from the second. There is still a gap in time between the time of the second and that of the first. I am hoping that the next book will cover that time because I think there is still a lot of story to tell between Cass and Maia.

Things to love...

--The unique style to the story. It feels like a chemically altered reality and it is fascinating!

Things I wanted more/less of...

--The paranormal aspect. The blurb touts this series as an epic story of the battle between good and evil. There really isn't any epicness to it. There is the Persephone theme, but it really isn't played up to the level that the blurb suggests.

My Recommendation: I really like this story. I embraces its uniqueness, its weirdness. It is different and fresh! ( )
  Kiki870 | Jul 15, 2014 |
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"In this retelling of the Persephone myth, an unlikely friendship develops between Cass, a teenaged runaway, and Maia, a piano prodigy imprisoned in the oppressive silence of her adoptive parents' house. When Cass frees Maia from her sheltered life and the hypnotic blue-eyed rocker Jason appears on the scene, an ancient evil is awakened"--… (more)

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