Monday, April 30, 2012

Book Review - Until Next Time
by Amy Lignor

Visit the Until Next Time Tour Here

How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.

*          *          *

Despite my usual preference for Austenesque fiction, I occasionally branch out into other genres.  In recent years I’ve read a few titles that have a bit of a spiritual/paranormal theme to them, including a novel centered around angels.  In particular I’m thinking of Illusion by Frank Peretti, Arson by Estevan Vega, Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine and Angelology by Danielle Trussoni. For the most part I’ve found these novels fun to read, while they usually do require a bit of belief suspension in certain areas of reality, theology and science.  They’re entertaining reads, not meant for spiritual education in general.

In many ways the same can be said for Amy Lignor’s Until Next Time, the first book in her Angel Chronicles series. It’s a bit of light Young Adult fiction, not meant to be taken seriously by those in serious theological study, despite its angelic themes.

I tried to keep this in mind as I read Until Next Time, seeing it as an opportunity for a fun diversion amongst the clouds with the angels and on earth as they went about their heavenly duties.  But ultimately Time just didn’t fly with me.  I found Lignor’s writing to be frequently unclear and clunky, with odd leaps in her narrative that I found difficult to understand or appreciate. I liked her main characters, but I often found myself scratching my head at events that were occurring within the storyline.

Lignor’s spirituality seems to be somewhat loosely based in Christian theology, as there are references to angels from the Bible, some of the Gospel saints, and even a cameo from Christ Jesus Himself at one point.  But those looking for a lesson in theology really need to go elsewhere with this work. Characters can be made half human and half angel (not scriptural), and people seem to be living multiple lives, if I understood the story correctly.  But again, there are plenty of spiritual titles out there that are fun to read and aren’t scripturally accurate.  That’s not a deal breaker for me at all.  I just found some of the references to be a bit odd and distracting to the story as a whole.

Another distracting aspect of the writing was the extremely anachronistic manner in which the characters spoke while residing in 19th century Ireland.  There were a few references to the Irish accent abiding in the speech of the characters, but little to no effort was made to speak in an 19th century way in this story.  To some extent I suppose the writing could not have been too accurate, as I imagine the dialect in that region at that time would probably be very difficult for me to understand.  The English language evolves wildly over the generations.  But much authenticity was lost in setting the story in that time period.  It would have been much more believable if these characters were existing in the 20th century or later.

Until Next Time
did have its pleasant moments. The main characters had a great rapport with one another, and the romantic elements were enjoyable without being too racy. There was a bit of colorful language throughout the book, but it was very mild and PG-rated. And while the theology was skewed in some odd directions, religion (and Christianity in particular) seems to be held in high regard.

I think in my case, I just didn’t match the target demographic for this group, as a married 41 year-old mother of two.  Sometimes my age doesn't come into play when I review a YA title, but in this case I believe it did. I don’t want to give this review too harsh of a negative review, as there may be those of a younger age group who may enjoy the book more than I.  It’s a quick read, and if you’re looking for some light fare, a bit of adventure and romance with a decent serving of odd spirituality mixed in, this might be the title for you.  I might not be able to say “Until next time” to this series, but perhaps someone a bit younger than I may want to check this one out.  I encourage you to visit the other stops on the Until Next Time blog tour and read others’ opinions. With an informed view, you may find that this might fit nicely in your To Be Read List.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, I'm glad you enjoyed the rapport between the characters. I agree, you can feel the relationships come through on the page. Thanks for your review.



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