(The Violet Eden Chapters #1)
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.
Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.
A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…
Embrace is a maze made up of light and shadow, each step we take alongside our protagonist exposing us to both in equal measure as we twist and turn through a story where it seems as though we're the only ones denied a map to help navigate the labyrinth, and we tread carefully in a world of angels who defy all previous definition. One of the more fascinating elements of the story is the angel mythology itself, giving us beings free for the most part from any ties to organized religion and God who occupy a realm all their own where light and dark don’t necessarily correspond to good and evil, but rather each type muddies the waters and we must open our minds to a new interpretation full of blurred lines and complex lore.
For as interesting as Ms. Shirvington’s history of angels is–our naturally inquisitive minds itching for more of the fresh and new relationships between human, angel and Grigori while reading–protagonist Violet poses a rather unique set of problems for us. Her behavior through ninety percent of the book is confounding and at times downright frustrating, her seemingly illogical anger toward Lincoln for withholding information from her causing us to grit our teeth and groan out loud every time she opens her mouth to berate him. Yes, someone she loves desperately kept secrets that involved her, but his intent was never the slightest bit malicious, and so while we understand her initial pain and hurt, the intensity of her continued reaction to him tests the limits of our patience as she seems to grant extraordinary leeway to a stranger while denying the young man she supposedly loves even the smallest of courtesies.
It’s not until the very final pages that we come to understand Violet’s behavior fully and completely, and while the revelations suck some of the heat out of our ire, we’re given so little time to deal with the person Violet actually is as opposed to the one we’ve seen for the past three hundred pages that we’re left somewhat at a loss as to how to feel about her. We want to believe in her and disregard her words and actions based on our new information, but the end of this first installment finds us before our opinion of her can really change. Thus, we finish this story with a character who is a complete stranger to us despite all the time we’ve spent with her, and we now have to wait for the second installment to reintroduce ourselves to a young woman who will hopefully prove herself more worthy of our affection.
Overall, Embrace is a rather tricky read given our tumultuous relationship with Violet, Lincoln and Phoenix, but ultimately the world is interesting enough and the characters certainly written in a way that guarantees an emotional response whether positive or negative that our desire to pick up the next book is strong upon finishing.