Sunday, 3 January 2016
Review Time! - Dark Hope by Monica McGurk
Title: Dark Hope.
Author: Monica McGurk .
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Angels.
Series: Archangel Prophecies (#1.)
A few starting notes:
I received a free digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. NetGalley provides review copies from publishers in exchange for fair and honest reviews.
It's strange isn't it, just how many angel books are set in the Southern states of the USA? Still, this seemed interesting, so I decided to give it a shot.
When Hope was a small child, she was abducted.
Miraculously unharmed, she was left with only a strange tattoo-like mark on her neck as a reminder of that day. Well, that and the effect the whole thing had on her parents of course.
Now little Hopie is a teenager - trying to forget about the past and forge a new life for herself in a new school.
But there are things that Hope doesn't realise - things which will drag her into a world of angels and Fallen Ones.
The focus on human trafficking involved here was not only bold, but also carefully handled. Nothing is explicit, the implications tell the tale for you.
Working with such a sensitive topic - and actually becoming involved in anti-trafficking work, as McGurk has done - is hugely admirable, and hopefully McGurk's work will help to make a difference.
I found the last third of this book the most readable and the most involving - this is the portion, at least as far as I'm concerned, where McGurk gains some confidence and begins to truly carry the reader along in the plot. Credit where credit is due, it's a good plot.
It's in this last portion of the book where Hope's parents really come to the fore. Parents? Being useful? Actually doing something? In YA fiction? I know! It was nicely refreshing, I have to say.
Not so great bits:
The religious stuff isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea - but then, it's an angel book, inclusion of religious-y things is almost a pre-requisite.
The violence, the implied sexual abuse, and the general topics of trafficking and abduction, as well as other, less prominent issues, may be distressing to some readers.
I did have some trouble really getting into this book - but that may just have been me, rather than the book.
What bugged me was the stupid decisions. McGurk used to write Twilight fanfiction, and seems to have borrowed a couple of Bella's stupid pills to give to Hope - stupid decisions, I'm telling you.
Luckily, this is fictional - but this is not a healthy way to conduct a relationship. Never let yourself be treated like this - please.
Fans of angel books will be happy with this offering. True, there are some problems, but it's competent and shows some promise; authors brave enough to take on sensitive topics in compassionate yet realistic ways are always worthy of praise.
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