Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White

While I appreciate the creative supernatural elements of Airel, the setting felt somewhat hollow and the plot very intricate.

The story is broken into two basic settings that alternate–Boise, Idaho, in the present day and Arabia in 1250 B.C. It’s a story about Airel, who can’t figure out what is happening to her. Sometimes she is abruptly sick, and other times her injuries magically heal instantly. She has also become very attracted to Michael, the new boy at school, and unbelievable to Airel, he is showing an interest in her too!

Airel was a well-developed character, and I enjoyed her relationship with her friend Kim. Michael was understandably mysterious. The reason I had trouble connecting was the lack of setting. While there was a bit about the town of Boise, I couldn’t get a picture of Airel’s life. Her parents were very seldom mentioned. I couldn’t picture her life in school, or her house or bedroom. While I sometimes complain about excessive details about the setting that some authors subject us to, in this book I felt the opposite. The current day setting was somewhat a void for me, and made it difficult to picture Airel.

The Arabian legend part of the story was better, and ended up tying up nicely at the end of the book. The legend was quite complicated, though, with new characters and new names for characters appearing often.

The setting was kind of jumpy for me, abruptly changing from one place to another, even within the same time period. Then we are introduced to another setting in the present day, with different characters. A prologue adds another setting and time (Germany in 1897), never connects with the story, and serves to just add to the confusion.

At times the prose was very stilted. Sometimes so much so, that it didn’t make sense to me.  “I dreaded not only the seconds as they ticked, as I rode inside them, but I also dreaded those that were coming for me, like judgment day” (p. 42.) That sentence, and many others, just seems unnecessarily complicated  and confusing to me.

Typographical errors don’t bother me too much, although I know they can really throw some people off a story. There are more than the usual amount of typos in this book. Also, in one spot a paragraph is repeated. I read the Kindle version, so maybe this won’t be a problem in the print version.

Patterson and White have created a complicated supernatural world, with a legendary back story that has manifest itself in the present. This is the first book in a series, and the ending was unsatisfactory, which will make the next installment much anticipated. I will recommend this to fans of angel stories, if they are willing to sort through all the details.

Published by StoneHouse Ink (ebook, April 26, 2011, paperback August 31, 2011)
425 pages (qualifies for my 350 Page Book Challenge!)

Rating: 2.5/5

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  1. Sorry this wasn't more fun. The cover is gorgeous though.

  2. While it sounds like it had good potential, it bites that it didn't live up to expectations (esp. because that's a great cover!). *sigh* Well, at least you got your challenge book in!
    Happy reading,
    Mary @ Book Swarm

  3. Sounds interesting, even though the story seems a bit choppy. The cover is beautiful! Makes me think of Fallen, and other books of that ilk.

  4. The copy you were sent was the ARC and that is why there were some typos. So far we have been getting great feedback, I am sorry you did not enjoy it more. Thanks so much for the review and taking the time to read. Aaron

  5. This was a great read it left me wanting more. Can't wait to find out what happens in the next books.
    Carpet Repair Seattle


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