Saturday, March 03, 2012

Review: Airel by Aaron Patterson & Chris White

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Aaron Patterson & Chris White
Series: The Airel Saga, #1
Release date: August 31st, 2011
by StoneHouse Ink

Goodreads / Purchase

All Airel ever wanted was to be normal, to disappear into the crowd. But bloodlines can produce surprises, like an incredible ability to heal. Then there’s Michael Alexander, the new guy in school, who is impossibly gorgeous…and captivated by her. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she can hear the sound of pages turning, and another, older story being written. It is the story of an ancient family, of great warriors, of the Sword of Light, and the struggle against an evil so terrible, so far-reaching, that it threatens everything. Airel knew change would be an inevitable part of life. But can she hold on when murder and darkness begin to close in and take away everything she loves? Will she have what it takes when the truth is finally revealed?

*A copy was provided by Aaron Patterson for review purposes*
Airel, with its beautiful cover and promising synopsis had me swooning over it. It sounds original, mysterious and full of action. This is all, in actuality, what we get. The angel lore is unique. I especially enjoyed how it’s told in dual, past and present, point-of-views. These become two very different, interesting plot lines that merge together for an exciting spin. My main problem, and what made this fall flat for me, were the characters.

Airel leads a normal, average life when she meets Michael. She immediately falls head over heels for him. I felt their relationship was very artificial with no chemistry behind it, which is almost always the case when it’s so instant; I never get a chance to feel the passion take hold. I also had difficulty connecting with Airel. She has a nice personality, but nothing stands out; she’s just very average. I could not comprehend some of the decisions she made either, that, to me, seemed nonsensical. When you see someone get murdered and the killer has seen you, stay with the crowd, don’t go hide in a bathroom stall alone! As for Michael, he’s a good character but I can’t say I have a clear picture of him in my head. I feel like I didn’t get to know him all that well. These characters are a part of one of the two storylines. The second storyline, happening in the past, has much more interesting personalities. Which is funny because I’m not usually into the mighty warrior stories. However, this one is exciting with a fast pace and good action scenes. I did feel a bit lost past the halfway point where the battles and twists started to all mix together, but I was still able to keep up for the most part.

What I do have to applaud is the way both considerably different storylines are weaved together so flawlessly. The jumps from past to present are never confusing. In addition, the pacing is made so that you always want to go back to the perspective you were just pulled out of, but equally happy to stay and finally see what’s happening in the current one. Although the story can feel a bit drawn out at times, this dual perspective definitely helps keep you entertained. As for the plot twists, I can’t say they took me by surprise, but there are still a few that I hadn’t completely figured out. 

Overall it’s not a bad novel, If it wasn’t for my non connection with the characters I probably would have enjoyed this much more. It seems to be the type that people either love, or just don’t.

2 Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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22 Responses to “Review: Airel by Aaron Patterson & Chris White”

  1. Amy

    It’s too bad you didn’t like this one. I really enjoyed it. I think I gave it 4 stars. I thought it was really interesting how the story lines combined. I do agree she made a lot of dumb choices. I am interested to see what happens in the next one with the way this one ended.

  2. Kathy Ann Coleman

    Sounds interesting, but yes, I hear you loud and clear about character connection. Either the lightbulb goes off or it doesn’t. It always makes me sad when that happens and I’m reading something I thought was otherwise good — it’s just as likely a “me” thing is a “written” thing, and as a writer myself I feel like I missed something vital somewhere.

  3. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    The cover is really beautiful, it’s a shame the book didn’t work out from you. From reading the synopsis and your review, though, this one just seems too samey to a lot of stuff I’ve already read. Also, Insta-Love makes me want to run far, far away.

    Thanks for your honest and balanced review. 🙂

  4. Giselle

    Thanks ladies, and roro 🙂

    @Amy: I saw your review on Goodreads and another of my friends really liked it so it just wasn’t for me.

    @Kathy: Yes it definitely depends on the reader. Some can connect with a character and others just don’t. The storyline was good though, even if it was a bit slow at times.

    @Leanna: Yeah insta-love is just not my thing, but it’s so common. Bleh.

  5. kimba88

    I love the cover and what you have said about the two story lines weaving together..its really hard when the characters fall flat though…..great review

  6. Suzanne

    Thanks for your interesting opinion. I have seen this around a view times before and couldn’t decide if it was something I would be interested in or not. I’ll give it a miss I think, the romance in books is part of what makes the book for me, if its lacking then this is not for me. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    Character is important to me for my enjoyment of a novel. The premise of Airel looks interesting though, so I’ll probably flip through the first pages when I come across it to see if it’s something I might read.

  8. Celine

    Sad that you didn’t enjoy this book, Giselle! The cover really intrigued me to read this book but perhaps it’s not my cup of tea as well! Anyway, AWESOME review, Giselle! I loved how honest it was! ♥

    I hope you have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

  9. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Aww, that’s a bit disappointing to hear! No connection to the characters is one of the worst things that I know when reading… :/ I was definitely curious about this one, but I think I’ll have to look into it a bit more before deciding whether to give it a go or not… Great review though:)

  10. Giselle

    Thanks guys! I’m sad I didn’t like it more but never know, maybe you’ll all love it. It wasn’t awful – just not my thing.

  11. Elodie

    I hadn’t heard of this one before .. The cover looks so pretty 🙂 !! Too bad it wasn’t worth more espressos 🙁 Thanks for the great review Giselle !!

  12. Shellie

    Bummer you didn’t like this one. I liked it, it was one of the first books I got on my nook so it’s been almost a year since I’ve read it.

  13. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    I was one of the people who was absolutely head-over-heels in love with this one, particularly the Arabia plot line. I think the Airel & Michael plot was a little bit cheesy in the beginning, but as it progressed then meshed with the other story line, I just thought it was amazing how everything came together. And now I’m having a royal fit to read Michael when it comes out. I agree, though, people are either gonna be of the love-it or just don’t camps. I absolutely loved it. And the Sword of Light? My favorite part.

    Thanks for your thoughts, Giselle!