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5.0 out of 5 starsGreat story, beautifully told
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2011
I'll start this review with a disclosure - I've been a fan of Jordan Dane's work for awhile now, and have found all of the thrillers she's written for adults to be highly suspenseful, and highly distiguishable from the bulk of what's out there in the marketplace. I picked up Stone Angels mainly because it's a new work by one of my favorite authors but also because I occasionally read young adult fiction (13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and Leave Myself Behind by Bart Yates are two of the best). So I admit I expected to like this book. Turns out I was mesmerized - and that's not an exaggeration. Brenna, the teenaged girl at the center of the action, is perfectly drawn as a complicated character with admirable integrity who's haunted by uncertainty and guilt over a difficult moral choice she has made. The action is driven by her relentless quest to determine if she "did the right thing," despite the mounting risk to her own reputation and eventually her life. It's also driven by honest emotions that are intensified by her age and by the circumstances that have shaped her life. She's on a moral quest that a lot of people will find compelling, and all the more so in the startlingly vivid teenaged world that underscores the action. I highly recommend this to teen readers and to any parent of a teenager who likes to read (even more so to parents who wish their kids would read more). It has the pacing, suspense and depth that demonstrates just how good a book can be.
In the Arms of Stone Angels is a debut YA novel by Jordan Dane - an already established author of romantic suspense - and what a debut it was! Brenna is a teenage girl filled with angst and disillusioned with the world around her and her place in it. A young girl who blames herself for events that she didn't understand when they were happening. Brenna has this whole I don't care, F the world attitude - something that came off very well through Jordan Dane's writing loud and clear.
I don't know if this would be categorized as a paranormal story - but I was definitely intrigued by the whole Native American Spirit Quest that White Bird was trapped in and how the connection between him and Brenna was so strong, that guilt and anger and even a misinterpretation of events could tear apart what is a true friendship.
In the Arms of Stone Angels was a remarkably deep story, emotional story that gripped me right from the beginning and help me tight throughout the entire adventure.
3.0 out of 5 stars... – the speaker might be very eloquent and really good at reading out loud or you might get unlucky ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2016
Sometimes listening to an audiobook is a hit or a miss – the speaker might be very eloquent and really good at reading out loud or you might get unlucky and get a speaker that sounds as if she is doing a commercial the entire time. This is basically what happened with this book. Other than the time she was speaking in the main character’s voice, she literally sounded as if she was doing a commercial with that high pitched overly excited voice which irked me to no end. It took me some time to get used to it and actually follow and like the story. But it was just so annoying especially because the speaker’s job is to really bring the characters to life and they can either make it or break it and she failed so miserably. Whoever hired this speaker should get fired for hiring someone so poorly trained in the art of reading out loud.
Now that I got the audiobook/speaker out of the way, I actually enjoyed the book itself. I found the character, Breanna, to be a complicated person. On one hand, I understood her guilt from what happened two years ago but on the other hand, I didn’t understand why she left things the way she did. After pointing her fingers at her best friend and somewhat boyfriend to the police, she and her mom got up and left town without once looking back. For someone who felt guilty for doing so and upon returning to the town, went to find White Bird immediately to see what happened and how she could help, I didn’t understand why she left town in the first place and why she didn’t even want to go back until her mom forced her. It didn’t make much sense. How can you feel guilty and try to help yet didn’t even lift a finger for two years?
I did enjoy the supernatural aspect of the book especially with the paranormal part. While I enjoyed it, I wish the author discussed a little about how exactly she came about to seeing ghosts. There was no mention about whether or not this was something from childhood or if this was developed later on in life. It was more like “oh! She sees ghosts. Let’s move on now.” It was certainly a little strange but I guess it helped with the overall supernatural element since the whole Indian thing and spirit walking is somewhat considered as supernatural.
Another thing I didn’t really understand was the whole relationship between her and White Bird. Were they actually together or just friends that happened to kiss that one time before the shit hit the storm? Why was she the only one who was able to touch him and get sucked into his waking nightmare? My only conclusion was that she was somehow special to him and therefore was able to do so. However, what if it was because of her ghost ability that allowed her to be more sensitive to the other side? So it was a little confusing.
Overall, I did enjoy the book except for the annoying reader (seriously, one of the worst audiobook reader I have ever read) and some of the unanswered questions. I would recommend it for those who are interested in a little mystery with a supernatural/paranormal twist.