Monday, January 27, 2014

Jenn's Review: Wake

Wake: Book Two of the Whisper Series (Whisper Trilogy)

Author: Dana Faletti
Series: Whisper trilogy, #2
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 290
Obtained: publicist
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Rating: 2.75/5
Bottom Line: Touched By an Angel meets Buffy
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Just get it at the library...
Blurb: Fans of The Mortal Instruments and Fallen will love the second book in Dana Faletti's Whisper trilogy! When 16-year-old Callie Evans learned she was more than your everyday suburban teen, everything changed. One minute she was a typical high school student, the next, a demon-slayer extraordinaire. As a newly discovered Arc angel from heaven, Callie’s destiny is to fight the Darks that prey on human teens. 
But when Callie meets Romuel, one of the most powerful angels of all time, her reality is shaken once again. Romuel will force her to become what she was meant to be, but will her boyfriend, fellow Arc, Joshua, be able to set his pride aside? He doesn’t appreciate Callie’s attentiveness toward the older, wiser immortal Romuel. Joshua found her first. And he’s not willing to share. 
Is it Callie’s highly active imagination or does the Dark population seem to be multiplying exponentially in her world at an alarming rate? Newsflash: She’s not imagining things. They’re everywhere. And she’s got to find a way to stop them before it’s too late.
Join Silas, Jules, Jixer and the rest of the immortal crew in a story that will wake up the world to the war that’s been raging since the beginning of time, a war in which whispers are the deadliest weapons of all.

Review:  With the huge billing "fans of The Mortal Instruments and Fallen will love" I expected big things from this series.  It did not deliver.  However, I can say that I liked Wake much better than the first book in the series, Whisper.
Whisper

I had a hard time getting into this series, because I kept tripping over the writing.  Every author has their own style of writing, and I rarely comment on such things, but when their style disrupts what it is they are trying to convey, it is frustrating.  It's not that Dana Faletti's writing style was choppy so much as full of hiccups.  I don't mind metaphors when they are smoothly incorporated, but here I felt bashed over the head with them.

I found myself continually tripping over the dialogue.  Having her characters replace the words 'hell' and 'shit' with 'hello' and 'shugar' was meant to be endearing but wasn't.  Also one of the Micro Angels has an accent that is phonetically forced on the reader, which is a tricky thing to pull off; I kept stopping to match the accent on the page to the one in my head.  Also, Ms. Faletti uses a plethora of causal Biblical references, sometimes without purpose, that I wish she'd really owned and expanded upon.  It gave the plot a lack of depth.

Unfortunately, I felt no attachment to any of the characters.  They are all two dimensional at best with no humor or darkness.  The characters don't struggle; nothing is complicated.  There is supposed to be romantic confusion in the novel but it is resolved before it begins so it comes off as merely a plot device.  Occasionally, Ms. Faletti switches the point of view from Callie to Josh for entire chapters.  I didn't feel like this was necessary to the story as it is often a present tense version of what is then told to us by Callie in the past tense.

However, Wake gets to the heart of the story.  The premise is intriguing and Ms. Faletti is starting to put it all together.  The big conflict has presented itself, and though it is still underdeveloped, it held my attention.  While parts of it were slightly predictable, there were definitely enough  twists and turns to make it interesting.

With a good editor and some further development, I think this series would make a fine middle grade read.  By the end of this novel, I found myself starting to invest in the characters and where they are headed.  Unfortunately, it is a little too late for me.

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