Author: JK Allen
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Angelborn is the first in a trilogy centering on Ginny Gracehurst. She’s the typical sixteen-year-old girl until circumstances force her to confront the truth about her father—he’s the Angel Grace. As a half-angel, Ginny becomes the target for the demonkind, including a powerful half-demon named Jacob. Angelborn focuses on Ginny’s introduction to this hidden world of angels and demons and how she adjusts to her newfound powers.
Overall, I love the pacing of the book. It keeps a quick momentum going while not being overwhelming. Allen sprinkles in just enough slow scenes to give readers a break while also whetting the appetite for what comes next. The action-packed scenes move fast, but in a good way that makes sense and flows with the rest of the story.
I also loved how Allen wrote the characters. They are a good balance of complex characters who are believable teenagers and yet straight-forward enough to work well for the young adult genre. She shows great character growth for her protagonists, which does well in keeping them from becoming perfect Mary Sue type caricatures.
Finally, I appreciated Allen’s attention to detail. Whether it’s in the character growth, the plot points, or descriptions of a setting, Allen does an excellent job of adding details that are clear, relevant, and needed. She doesn’t bury the reader in minutiae either, which I think can be the kiss of death for a book in the young adult genre. The final thing I loved about the attention to detail is that Allen makes it believable for this fantasy world to co-exist in our world. The seamlessness with which she blended the fantastical with the real was masterful.
Honestly, I have little here at all. I enjoyed the book. So, please, anything I say here is getting quite nit-picky.
One spot that might have been nice to see just a little different was more growth in Jacob as the villain. Now, since this is just book 1 of the series and Allen leaves us hanging with what Jacob is doing, that may still be coming.
The other piece I think could have been clarified some in this book is the dynamics going on with Aiden’s background. Aiden is a human living with the Alliance fighting the demons. This is significant because they have allowed only descendants of the Angel Grace to do so before. Yet, Allen hints at there being disgraces in his family’s past and he’s treated poorly by some Alliance members because of his lineage. Now, the end of the book discloses a little of why that is, but the pieces don’t quite seem to fit for me yet. I’m guessing some of that may come back in the next book, Heavenfire. At least I hope it does, so it clarifies this part a little more for me.
Get this book and read it. I promise it will be worth it. If you’re a fan of young adult and urban fantasy, it’ll be even better. Allen is an author to keep an eye on for certain. I give Angelborn 4.5 out of 5 stars.