Saturday, 22 June 2013

Outcast by Adrienne Kress

I was looking for something new and fresh when I requested Outcast (Goodreads) off Netgalley. I'm delighted to say that the book delivered on every level. And look at that cover. Isn't it great?  

In Outcast, we meet Riley, our socially awkward, hyper-intelligent heroine who has recently lost her best friend/almost boyfriend Chris to kidnapping angels. Or that's what the whole town - whipped into a fervour of angel worship by the local pastor - likes to believe happened. Once a year, for the last six years, angel-like beings have swept down from the sky, swooped into town, and carried off the young and healthy at an event the townspeople call the Taking. Chris fell victim last year and Riley still isn't over it yet.

Now, with a new Taking looming, she's in no mood for angels. So when one arrives in her backyard, looking to kidnap her, she does what any self-respecting Southern girls would do - she blasts it in the face with a shotgun. So far so good. Only when the dust settles, it isn't an angel lying at her feet but a very hot, very naked young guy named Gabe. After an understandably rocky start, Riley and Gabe set off to solve the mystery of the angels. Along the way, they also discover romance. Gabe, with all his worldly experience, meets his match with the very insecure Riley. I thrilled at their love. It was perfect. Not too fast. not too slow. Beautifully sketched with a totally unexpected twist at the end.

The Characters
They are delightful. I so enjoyed being in Riley's head and could read many more books with her as a narrator. She is so dry, so wise, so sharp, and so awkward, all at the same time. And Gabe? He's the perfect bad good guy. He successfully charmed every girl in town - including me (I took up residence for the duration of the book) The minor characters also step off the page. The pastor who control the town with his angel fever is exactly what you'd imagine such a person to be. Fantastic.

The Angels
While Adrienne Kress's angel-lore is very different to my own personal angel theology, it's well thought out and had me convinced for the duration of her story. What more can an author ask for? Whether I still see Archangels in such a poor light, I'm not so sure . . .  But that's why we read, isn't it? To explore other ideas and to enjoy other possibilities.

Sex and Language
There is some bad language, but it's pretty innocuous.  Although Gabe spends the first chapter naked, there is nothing steamy in this book. It's a fantasy I would happily let my kids read. So if you're looking for a fun read, this is it. I ripped through it in a day, lapping up every moment of the action.

Four shiny angels with gleaming gold wings.

Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read it.


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