Sunday, November 20, 2011

ARC Review: On a Dark Wing

Title: On a Dark Wing
Author: Jordan Dane
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: December 27

"The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for.
And Death would be my willing teacher."

Five years ago Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.

Now she’s the target of Death’s Ravens and an innocent boy’s life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey’s secret crush—starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death is with him because of her.

Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets. --Goodreads

Honestly, I don’t know if I can get my thoughts out coherently about On a Dark Wing. Even long after reading it, I was still thinking about it, wondering what exactly to say. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as great as I had expected. Truly, do not judge a book by its cover (and that is a gorgeous cover). I think the synopsis threw me off a bit before I started reading actually and instead I didn’t quite get the story I thought I was going to get.

The writing was solid and stunning-- that was a definite given-- and I read through the story so quickly that I surprised myself at my own timing. But there was still just something… off. I think it was the characters. There wasn’t enough there for me to know them, know what I’m saying? I couldn’t understand Abbey’s huge “mind-blowing totally in-love” with Nate despite they had never talked before… and I couldn’t understand Death’s sudden appearance. That was the biggest part. I would have liked more of an explanation for Death. He tells her (while I’m trying to stay as spoiler free as possible on how he does this and what leads to it) that he’d always been watching her, etc. But… why would she just now notice the signs? They’re kind of creepy and glaring, but after five years she only just begins to notice something strange? Wouldn’t it have been more effective if she had went through saying that she had been noticing something everyday during the last five years, and then he appears?

I don’t know.. That could have just been me nitpicking.

Another thing was that she’s fifteen. I don’t have a problem with this. What I have a problem with is that many times I forget that she’s fifteen because her voice and actions make her seem older--more like seventeen or eighteen. I had to go back and remind myself a couple of times that she wasn’t. Normally I like it when a character comes off a bit older than their age, but at the same time, it depends on the situation and the reading-- and here I just wanted to know that she was really fifteen. To add, I couldn’t picture her at all. I knew her likes and dislikes… but I couldn’t picture what she looked like. Was she tall? Short? At one point she says she has “fat thighs”, but what girl doesn’t usually think that? Her dad tells her she looks like her mother… well that would have been fine, if I’d known what her mother had looked like.

So my biggest peeve was the characterization. Generally, that’s usually what I look at the most because I do have a slight obsession with characters and connections. A story can be great, but if the characters are lacking-- then it’s downhill.

It had a lot of character shifts in the story but it still kept me engaged and didn’t lose me so that was good.
What I liked best was having the solid ending and knowing that it was a stand-alone novel with no cheesy set up to try and make an unnecessary sequel. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping. It looks like that way. I also liked a certain romantic element that was added, and worked, other than the other odd obsession that I couldn’t understand in the beginning that Abbey had with Nate. Jordan Dane fixed it toward the end and even though it seemed a little forced at first, the new romantic element added became sweet and beautiful and something I completely triumphed over.

I also liked how there was no religious theme here even though there easily could have been. It was just unique in itself. Death was an ethereal being-- and despite what it shows on the cover, it’s not a tale of a Fallen Angel with a lot of background or any of that.

Full of mystery and suspense… weird and twisted… On a Dark Wing kept me engaged and curious throughout the unique and romantic tale.

3.5 stars!




  1. Thank you! This is *EXACTLY* how I feel about this book. The characterisation, and therefore choices, the characters' actions, just feel a little off. Despite that, I'm really enjoying the book. It's engaging, the writing is beautiful, and I love the idea... but I keep stumbling across little quirks that leave me going 'huh?'

    In terms of Abbey, she kind of annoyed me... she's so horrid to her father, but I can't put that up to anything other than being a teenager. I hate to admit it, but I probably acted the exact same way as a teenager :S

  2. Lol thank you for the comment, Sarah. :) I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one that felt that way really. And as far as Abbey, I agree about her with her father as well. But like you said, that's likely a teenager thing, and I'm sure we all acted similar at some point or another too. :P Still glad you're enjoying it either way though. It was good despite the little quirks I had as I mentioned. :)

    Thanks again for the comment and for dropping by the blog! :)

  3. I just read this one today and I definitely thought Abbey seemed older than fifteen too. All of the teen characters did actually.

    I was happy with the second romantic pairing as well--more books should be like that. But the 'I see you now' line from the other guy had me thinking things might not be so smooth sailing if there ever were to be a sequel.


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