Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jenn's Review: Danann Frost Falls From Grace

Danann Frost Falls from Grace
Summary:  Danann Frost is thousands of years old, yet young for her kind. She is a creature of the Light, an Angel, one of the Seraphim; a race of beings that live beyond our world. She has been cast out of paradise and Fallen from Grace, all for the love of a Dark One - a vampire. The only problem is, Seth did not want her and told her to go and not come back. Danann has made a life for herself amongst the vampires of this world and they protect her fragile nature. She and the vampire Asher live on the fringes of the human world; love and loyalty cannot separate them but trouble and vengeance are on their way. After two hundred years of enduring the crippling punishments of her Fall, Seth walks back into her life but he is bitter and angry and out for revenge. Thank God he is after someone else...or is he? Can Danann escape the dark intentions of her once-beloved for whom she Fell from Grace, or has she put all those that she holds dear in danger? Journey with Danann as she takes the path to taking back her Light and ascending to be Angel once more. Will the Archangel Uriel surrender her Light or will Danann be doomed to walk in darkness forever?

Review: I liked this book and didn't like this book all at the same time. How is that possible? There is a wonderful story here, but it is buried and in need of pruning.

The novel begins with backstory, Danann's fall from grace, which is imperative to the narrative, but it means so much more once it is given the context of the main story, her struggle to regain her Light. Without that context and conflict, it comes off flat. Therefore, it is over eighty pages before I really connected with the character of Danann. Her backstory is so much more interesting once you gain perspective on it. It would have been even more interesting if it had been revealed a little at a time, trimmed down and told as flashbacks and dreams. Don't get me wrong, the story needs an introduction, but if it were me, I would have started with Uriel casting Danann out and with Seth's dismissal of her, then skipped to present day from there.

Also, because the backstory is so neatly laid out at the beginning of the book, there are no surprises. Everything is revealed. The reader knows what happened between the characters, is aware that it is all a big misunderstanding, and then spends the rest of the book waiting for the characters to figure that out too, which can be frustrating.

I do, however love Danann and Seth -and Asher and Mia too. Joanne Valiukas created something special. The characters are wonderfully rich and I would rather have spent more time with these four than all the minor characters, interesting though they may have been. I did get a little frustrated with Danann's and Seth's trust issues. They went back and forth a few too many times for my tastes... Although if I hadn't known the entire backstory, those too would have been more interesting. There is also no denouement, so the ending, after such a big build-up, is rather abrupt. I understand leaving things open-ended, but I wanted just a little more closure.

I would definitely give this author another chance. Joanne Valiukas has a fascinating concept that is fully conceptualized; I think, if taken out of linear chronology, the story would not only be more cohesive, it would be a blockbuster. I look forward to reading more from Joanne Valiukas. I expect great things from her.

Final Take: 3.0/5

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