Monday, March 19, 2012

After Eden by Katherine Pine

Title: After Eden
Series: Fallen Angels
Author: Katherine Pine
Length: 5134 Kindle units (includes previews for several other books)
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

When Devi was little, she loved her brother Kai more than anything in the world. Then one day the most beautiful man Devi had ever seen came and took him away. Ten years later she meets a man named Oz who may be able to tell her what happened to her brother, but she may soon wish that she had never learned the truth.

The Good

I enjoyed most of After Eden a great deal. I like angel and demon storylines, especially ones like this that blur the good-evil divide between them. The particular mythology with the distinction between devils and demons (and no, not in the D&D way) was unique and interesting.

The relationships between characters in the story were never simple, which made them feel more realistic. Devi has difficulty relating to her parents, particularly her father, after she witnesses her brother’s abduction. She has a difficult time making friends, but she loves her best friend Kim, though she wishes that Kim would make better choices in her love life. Oz claims to love everything about the world, but he seems to spend most of his time alone in the used bookstore he recently acquired through unspecified means. The only person he seems to interact with is the devil Forneus, but that relationship has to be described as… Actually, I have no idea how to describe a relationship that encompasses both painful torture and repeated asking for favors. If you come up with one, let me know.

The Bad

It often seems that there are two stories going on in After Eden, one about Devi’s supernatural problems and one about her ordinary life. These two stories operate in parallel, but they don’t have too much to do with each other. Oz is present for both of them, sometimes in bookstore-owner form and sometimes as a teenage girl. And, yes, the switching bodies is kind of creepy. Anyway, the parts about Devi and her friend Kim and their ordinary high school life feel more like filler than part of the story.

And to cover what else is problematic, let’s move onto

The Romance

There is going to be a spoiler in this part. I am going to tell you something that happens about 2/3 of the way through the book, because I honestly cannot talk about the romance in After Eden without mentioning it. So if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now.

For the beginning of the book, I thought the romance between Devi and Oz was pretty sweet (as in “awww, so cute,” not like another word for awesome). I mean, he’s so excited to be with her, and he takes her out for pancakes, and I like pancakes. But then at one point in the novel, he shoots her. Like, with a gun.

Yes, he does it for plot relevant reasons. But you have to understand that I am the kind of person who won’t give any more money to the Twilight franchise because I think it promotes the idea that it’s okay for a boy to hurt you as long as he doesn’t really mean it. So I don’t even know what to do with a guy who fires projectile weapons at the girl he loves. Especially when we are told that it means he really loves her, because he will do anything that she asks. And all that she can think as she’s lying there with a bullet hole in her chest is that she wishes that she had kissed him once before she died.

Just… just… no. I am not on board with this. If a guy shoots you, that is not okay. There is no reason plot-relevant enough to excuse it.

Will I read more?

I debated about this. I mean, HE SHOOTS HER, FOR GOD’S SAKE. But the mythology and story were interesting. I might even have given it five stars if Oz had found a better way to tell Devi he loved her. Eventually my need to fill Sequel Tuesday won out, so be looking for a review of Beloved Purgatory in a few weeks.

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