I recently finished Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow. I received this novel from my good friend Tanner as a Christmas gift… I think two years ago. I’m reeeaaallllllyy bad about receiving books as gifts but not reading them until much later… Honestly though, it feels like when I finish a book there are five books added to my “To-Read” list. I’m sure someone can relate to this!
Strange Angels is a fantasy YA book. I thought it was a fun read but I also didn’t really think there was anything about it that stood out from the other vampire/werewolf/paranormal YA novels or series. Maybe that’s okay to some people! I tend to get exhausted of a certain genre after I’ve read books that seem like they are repeating each other’s plots and settings, but if you are the type of reader who generally wants to read anything that has those fantasy elements, this is a must read.
Dru Anderson is a teenage girl who is constantly on the move with her ex-Marine father. He is a demon hunter of creatures of the Real World, and Dru is training to become one. (I thought it was interesting how St. Crow made the world of fantasy creatures the “real” world.) Dru is sarcastic and witty, and so is St. Crow’s writing. Her writing makes Dru seem like a relatable character and that was a factor that made reading this book easy. Early on in the novel, Dru’s father goes out to hunt a creature he’s been after but doesn’t come back the same… He was turned into a zombie, and when he came back to the house he and Dru were temporarily living in, Dru had no choice but to eliminate what was left of her dad. On top of the fact that she is now alone, she struggles with what her grandmother called “the touch”, which helped her dad find these Real World creatures. Dru is unaware of the great power within her that will later blossom in the series, but for now it is a gift that she does not feel blessed to possess.
Enter Graves, the guy who is goofy, kind, slightly puppy-love sick, and basically Dru’s sidekick. He notices one day when Dru skipped class, and the next time she showed up and left, he followed her out of the classroom. (Stalker, much? Is he related to Edward Cullen? Just kidding. I still love the Twilight series.) At first Dru finds him annoying for trying to wiggle his way into her life by following her around, but after a couple of chapters that reveal him helping Dru any time she needed help, and genuinely being a nice human being, he grows on you. In a freak attack at the mall Dru and Graves have been bunkering in- the first of many attacks that leave them rattled- Graves is thrown into Dru’s reality when he is bitten and changed into a loup-garou (half werewolf). Throughout the novel, Dru and Graves fight off Real World creatures that are all coming after Dru, but she doesn’t know why and can barely keep Graves together to take it all in.
We later meet Christophe, who is a djamphir (half vampire) who is also, apparently, Dru’s “guardian angel.” Christophe rocks Dru’s world by revealing to her that her mother was a very powerful she-vampire and that she too will become one very soon. Sergej, a vampire that has been after her mother and later whom her father was trying to hunt all of these years, is behind all of the attacks that have been happening. Can Dru hold on for the bumpy ride that leads to her destiny? Is she willing to even accept her destiny, or the change and responsibility it will bring?
I’ve read from other reviews that this first novel takes a lot of time developing the three main characters, and that other books in the series have more action. St. Crow does a good job of character development without dragging details out. Although there isn’t a lot of action, the scenes that do have action also hold a lot of information and foreshadowing for what will happen later on. I probably won’t pick up the rest of the novels in this series only because I’m a little burnt out on vampires and werewolves for now, but if you aren’t, then definitely finish the series and let me know how it is! If you like Vampire Academy by: Richelle Mead, The Mortal Instruments series by: Cassandra Clare, or anything to do with vampires, werewolves, and/or paranormal, you should check this book out purely out of love for those elements.