Tag Archives: In the Arms of Stone Angels

March 2011 Releases

Done with February 2011 Releases. Here are March’s. To see future titles and dates, check out Reading Wishlist.

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[REVIEW] In the Arms of Stone Angels – Jordan Dane

Jordan Dane
In the Arms of Stone Angels
Harlequin Teen (US: 22nd March 2011)
Buy (US) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

I almost gave up on this during the first chapter, and then again circa page eighty. I continued reading, if only to find out what happened, and I’m glad I did. But my word, these characters really angered me.

When we first meet Brenna Nash, she’s as emo as emo gets, wearing her misery like it’s something to be proud of. She reiterates that she doesn’t care what others think, but that she mentions it so often is like she’s protesting too much.

Then there are the stereotypical mean teens, who are clearly bad with no shades of grey. They assault Brenna. They vandalise her home. They lie to the police to protect themselves. And the motive for Heather Madsen’s murder? Flimsy at best, yet it’s usually the motive for other murderous teens in fiction. Then again, is there ever really a good enough motive for murder? Somehow I don’t think that last thought was the purpose of this story.

The real drawcards are the Native American elements, specifically involving the Euchee tribe. The line between spiritual and magical is blurred, which is fascinating, but doesn’t explain Brenna’s ability to connect with catatonic White Bird. And the identity of her father isn’t revealed, which leaves me to believe there’ll be a sequel. And if not, these dangling threads are rather annoying.

Still, I’m not sure I want to read another book set in Shawano, Oklahoma. The undercurrent of racism is uncomfortable, and the rampant drug and alcohol abuse, as well as assaults… These characters are difficult to like, to even tolerate. Joe and White Bird are rather perfect, though – where are their flaws? The sheriff is initially frustrating, but later develops into someone better. And Brenna…well, at least she’s not so emo anymore.

Stick with the novel, or at least skim-read until something captures your fancy. Brenna becomes more tolerable, but that first chapter and the points of view from the mean teens really bring this book down.

7 New Covers (Armintrout, Battis, Dane, Falls, Jay & Navarro)

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