Angelbound - Audiobook review
by Anca Antoci
Author: Christina Bauer
Amazon: Buy from Amazon
Our review: 3.50 (read)
The cover looks stunning and made me stop scrolling and request an ARC. I received this audiobook from NetGalley, and I was excited to listen to it because I knew the author narrated it. Who knows better than the author how to portray the characters?
For the most part, she did a fantastic job. My only objection is Myla's mother. I understand the author tries to give each character a unique voice, but she tries too hard. I cringed every time I heard Myla's mother speak. The author was not trying to mock the mother, but it came across that way and was a bit irksome.
Myla is a half-demon, half-human hybrid. Wrath is her deadly sin, making her an excellent fighter. Myla is a resident of Purgatory. Despite being a demon, her mother is terrified of her own shadow and acts more like a skittish kid. She attends school and battles in the Arena. She damns souls to hell (while her mother cowers flinchingly with her hands clasped to her ears).
Quasi-demons have traits inspired by biblical sins. Myla’s is Wrath (with a secret side of Lust), and her best friend Cissy is Envy, for example (and that shows throughout the novel).
Purgatory High's classes are...fascinating and focused on best serving their ghoul masters, and I had a lot of fun reading about their curriculum.
Most of them are well-rounded and thoughtfully crafted. Myla is a tough kickass character, but she’s a little too perfect. I love her strong, but I wanted her to be vulnerable too. As perfect and as unbreakable as she is, it’s hard to relate to her.
The love story
Since everyone hates demons, the relationship between Myla and Lincoln, the self-righteous Thrax prince, is scandalous at best. So it was fun to watch it happen, even though they went from hate to love pretty fast.
This was my favorite part of the story. Christina Bauer has developed a realistic universe with clear rules and well-thought, original mythology (forget what you know about angels, demons, or Purgatory). We encounter many creatures (ghouls, demons, angels, thrax, quasis) plus variations resulting from mixed breeding. The author has a vivid imagination, and that translates into an atmospheric read. There’s a lot of world-building and information to keep up with.
Although I loved the overall story, I think it was overwritten. The writing is fluid, but we get too much information that doesn’t move the story forward. It’s more like a day in the life of a quasi-demon. Usually, when that happens, I skim over entire pages until the action picks up again, but since this was an audiobook, I had to listen. This might not be a problem for many readers (only impatient ones like me). So don’t let my observation dissuade you from reading this book if it piques your interest. Different strokes for different folks!