Monday, November 28, 2011

ARC Review: On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

Published Date: December 27th, 2011
Finished Date: November 28th, 2011
Format: eARC via Netgalley
My Rating: 3.75/5

Blurb from Goodreads:
"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.

My Review

A darkly beautiful, unexpected psychological thriller On A Dark Wing turned out to be. It did shock me, but in a good way.

Abbey and her mom got into a car crash when she was ten, and after the eighteen-wheeler crashed into them and silence descended, a glowing apparition-like boy made up of the sky and animal clouds adrift walked up to her. She felt warmth envelope her as he came closer, and when he stretched out his hand, Abbey almost took it, but then she heard her mother's broken voice call her name. Abbey pulled back, but Death was there to collect one soul, and thus when her mom died and she lived, Abbey took all the blame unto herself.

Now that Abbey's in high school and falling for her school's superstar, Nate Holden, her situation isn't much better. She prefers to keep a low profile, and she's a sort of outcast, what with her dad being a mortician and her living room and basement housing the newly-departed. Her only friend came in the form of the wheelchair-bound boy who was once a sportstar now turned outcast, Tanner Lange.

Abbey's been OBSESSED with Nate Holden for the past forever, and with his big climb up Denali coming up, she can't wait to stalk his progress up the mountain that could rival Everest herself. Tanner is a sort of a computer genius which he termed cyber-banditto, and he managed to snag this radio which could tune into the same frequency as Nate's team's. But Abbey forgot that the time has come for her and her dad to go to this cabin in Healy again to celebrate her mom's birthday and remember her. Well, Abbey throws a tantrum, but she went along in the end.

Strange things are happening aound Abbey and Nate, more so at the cabin in Healy. Ravens are appearing outside their houses, and whenever Abbey's out of her house or the cabin, she feels eyes on her. Usually when time comes for her father and Abbey to go to that cabin, she'll try to spend some alone time at this ridge near the cabin where she and her mother used to go, trying to remember the times before when her mother's smile would warm the peaceful, snow-filled setting. But this time, something's different. This time, when she looks up, dozens of ravens fills the trees surrounding her, and when she looks back, Nate Holden stands there. Why was Nate there? Isn't Nate climbing up Denali right now? Even though she's confused and a little unsure, she befriends him and lets Nate kiss her. But then she finds out that Nate did go climb Denali. But if Nate's in Denali, who's the one that she's spent hours talking to?

And when up on Denali, Nate and his friend gets caught in an avalanche, he's got a real chance at making it back alive, but Death has a funny way of working. And since Abbey's been on his shortlist since years ago and Nate has a special place in Abbey's heart, he has crossed paths with Nate already half-dead in the crevasse where he'd fallen, and Death may not want to let him off his hook that easily...

This review is so long already! Haha, ok, I'll try to keep it as short as I can.

I loved listening to Abbey's voice as she narrates her story. It switches occasionally to Nate's, Tanner's and Nate's mom's POV sometimes, but the majority is still in Abbey's. I loved the way that she was a little sarcastic, but not overly so, a little childish sometimes, but mature in others. Her train of thought and emotions were easily relatable and understandable, being a teenager myself. It was very realistic - her natural defiance/rebellious spirit towards her dad, her obsession over a boy (though I don't have one, but it's still relatable), her sarcasm and witty jokes. Her sarcasm really kicked a punch - it was SO funny! Haha, it made reading OaDW so very enjoyable. Example:

Earlier in the year, [Mrs. Akkerman a.k.a Teacher a.k.a. Akk the Yak] assigned a project to keep a daily journal of everything we learned in her class. I know, sounds lame, right? Well, it was crazy lame. I bought a notebook just for her class and started that journal, but on day one, I got drool on the first page from where I’d fallen asleep. After it dried, I wrote one line.

Fell asleep today. Will try again tomorrow.

By the time I turned in the assignment, every page had the same entry and enough dried spit to keep a CSI team busy for weeks. When she saw my journal, my teacher called my dad in for “a talk.”

......but Mrs. Akkerman ended up giving me a B+ anyway— for doing nothing. I knew other kids had gotten worse grades, despite filling their journals with enough excrement to fertilize the Matanuska valley.

She's not afraid of using a little cuss words here and there, but none too major, and never sounding uncouth or coarse. However there was one part that got a little too sardonic and emo, and her obsession with Nate got a little overboard (dreaming about him talking to and kissing you's fine, but don't do it so incessantly!). But it was just a tiny portion that I thought is negligible in the whole scheme of things.

Furthermore, I loved Dane's writing style, phrasings and diction. It was beautiful and mature in a way I find sorely lacking in many YA and some Adult Fiction novels.

The. Plot. Was. Amazing. And that's probably an understatement, but it was very well-thought of, very detailed, and it flowed like a movie. I can practically see the story playing out in my head! As she switched from Abbey's POV, to Nate's to Tanner's to Abbey's again, it never got confusing and it never dulled the suspense even though we knew things from both ends. It's really weird how she does it; It's like I know who's the "killer/criminal", but I still got so afraid and I still had to second-guess eveything! I thought that I've seen all types of YA, and normally I can pretty much guess the storyline and ending of a book, at least roughly, but I couldn't for On A Dark Wing. At all. It's extraordinary, I tell you. Really amazing.

The only negative point about OaDW is its slow pace at the start and middle portion, and since I'm not a fan of mystery and thrillers, I wasn't enjoying it all that much or overly-excited about it initally. It was only the humor and sarcastic wit of Abbey pushing me on. But I didn't need the push when it neared the three quarters mark. From there, it's heart-pounding action and cool revelation after the other. I LOVED the ending. One of the best I've ever seen. There was closure between the father and daughter, between old friends and new ones, and a beautiful new relationship forms. It was beautiful. Bravo Dane, bravo.

I was expecting a typical YA talking about Angels (suggested by the cover) and human heroine falling in love, lol I really did, but it turned out to be a mix between YA psychological thriller and mystery with tiny hints of paranormal romance (just a teeeensy tiny bit). Dane even addressed a very controversial topic about Death. What happens After? What happens WHEN you're about to make the transition? Other than the slow start On A Dark Wing will keep you glued to its pages and it will induce lots of emotions in you - an example would be fear (yes, I did feel fear. I read it at night and I literally got scared), and another is sadness, then contentment). It is a great book, and one that I will recommend to my friends.

*Egalley courtesy of Netgalley and Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.*

Random Musings:

I went to read Dane's acknowledgement page, and lol, it was kinda funny.

"To my agent, Meredith Bernstein, I have nothing but gratitude for your common sense and good humor. You are my guard ian angel in designer shoes.

Special thanks as always, to my crazy family and..."

And a VERY COOL quote from Dane:

"I want to say: laughing is a vacation where you don’t come back ten pounds heavier."

My Rating


A Bookalicious Story is now an award-free zone! Thank you for thinking about me tho, really!

I love comments. :) I may not be able to reply every single comment, but know that I read and appreciate every one of them. Thank you!

Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...