Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Disclosure: I received a complimentary galley of this book from the Amazon.com Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
Didn’t Like It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
“Reviewed by Guest Reviewer/Jessica & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
This book is intense…Archon can and will fulfill that dark void in your library.” ~Under the Covers
In Archon we meet Angela Mathers, a tormented soul who is starting a new school after being released from a mental institution for brutally murdering her parents. Unfortunately, her hopes to start a new life, makes a turn for the worst when she decides to attend West Wood Academy. Her dreams turn into reality as she is pulled into a life of Angels, demons and witches. What Angela doesn’t know is that this may have been what she was destined for all along.
Archon is a dark and in depth book. It took me a while to get through it because there are a lot of elements to this story, so while I found myself intrigued I also found myself a bit lost at times. These characters however are ruthless individuals. They stop at nothing to get what they want and what they want is power, plain and simple. This book is intense, each character having his/her own darkness to make the book even more creepy and at times quite disturbing. There were some times where I found the story to be slow but things soon picked up and it was just a mess of bloodshed, tricks, manipulation and lies.
Now, I don’t want to get into a lot of detail because I don’t want to ruin it for you all and also because I felt like I should have done my homework before I read Archon so that I could be prepared for all the information I had to take in. (This means stop being lazy and read the definitions in the back of the book!) Archon isn’t a book to just pick up on a whim for a light weekend read.
Where does Angela lie in all of this? Well I can’t tell you that, can I? Or I’d totally spoil it for you! What I do know is there is no doubt in my mind that there is a second book!
Angels who are more corrupt than demons and witches who are more evil than the demons they summon, Archon can and will fulfill that dark void in your library.
*Review copy provided by publisher
“Despite an enticing cover and an interesting premise, this novel failed to deliver. The writing, or at least the descriptive prose, was well done with plenty of interesting word choices, but ultimately even this wasn’t strong enough to make the novel worth the time it takes to read it. From the unsympathetic characters to the vague descriptions of the supernatural abilities, none of it was fleshed out enough to be interesting, or even fully comprehensible. This lack of exposition really was the book’s main downfall. A fantasy novel of any type - be it urban or epic - still needs to be grounded in the reality created by the author’s imagination. Even if a book opens in an exciting, drama filled moment, throughout the remainder of the novel, there must be an explanation for just what kind of world this book is set in! Without a firm setting, the reader quickly becomes lost and when coupled with unlikable characters, there is little to connect with. Honestly, the synopsis of the book contains more of an explanation for the whole book than the first hundred pages! Had the book’s prologue been the 21st chapter (page 191 in my edition), some of the scenes would have been clearer. Of the entire book, that was the most explanatory chapter, actually. Adding to the setting confusion, is the uncertain time period. There were references to the Vatican and to soft-core pornorgraphy, which only added to the confusion of just when and where this whole thing was taking place.
Largely due to the disconnected feeling that resulted from the lack of a concrete setting, by the time I finished the book, I found every character to be completely unsympathetic. I had no interest in their fates and I had too many questions left over to even be remotely interested in waiting to see if maybe the second book would answer all of them. The only positive emotion I felt about finishing the book was relief. With that in mind, I wish that I had not even wasted the time finishing it in the first place. ”
“Love it! I knew it was a potentially great book the moment I saw it, and it is. Very mesmerizing and full of angels, longing with a dark seductive quality to it. Enjoyed it very much! The heroine was abused all her life by her parents, sent to a mad house because she can paint the gorgeous angels she sees in her dreams. With the world's prophecy that blood red-heads will lead to end of the world, the red-heads were brought to a special school where all their specialness and talents are cultivated instead of extinguished one way or another. Combine it with the non-stop suicidal attempts of the protagonist, the additions of angels, demons, desire, love and so much more, you will get a awesome book. But I must say the reader's point of view in this book is slightly confusing. Sometimes I'm not sure which character is the one thinking because there is a character's point of view, and sometimes it was explained as the narrator's point of view. Apart from this, everything is wonderful. The book cover is extremely beautiful and it's one that you can totally judge a book by its cover.”Michelle-ly wrote this review Saturday, June 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“What an interesting, bizzarre urban fantasy / gothic horror!! Such an original take on the entire mythos of religion, angels, demons, and all that exists in between. At first I was a little confused about what was going on and had to keep going back to figure out who's who, but to me it read like a typical British-style gothic novel that I knew eventually it woudl all fall into place. It's an almost post-apocalyptical, bleak parallel world... although set in Italy, I feel more of the British moors, stark and unforgiving. And such descriptive prose! I look forward to the next installment of mad angels, intriguing demons and half-demons, and one lone girl that seems to hold a dead angel within her soul...”Aimz wrote this review Tuesday, April 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A wild mix of angels and demons, each player having their own agendas, and the mortal with the power to destroy it all. LOTS of details and subplots to follow making this more political than romance in its presentation.
Opening Sentence: “That’s an incredible painting.”
This book turned out to be a hard read for me. There is an obscene amount of back story details and lots of little sub agendas for each character, that the overall story can get lost in the translation. I had to read it twice through in order to really appreciate Archon. This book, though worth it, will take a leap of faith on the reader’s part that things will begin to make some sense if you can just stick it out.
Angela Mathers is apathetic to life. She has just been released from a mental institution and is about to start attending the Vatican’s prestigious West Wood Academy in Luz. Accepted into the Academy not only because of her exceptional paintings of angels, but because she may be the One prophesized as the Archon; the Supernal Raziel reincarnated as a mortal and possible Ruin of the known world. For someone not even interested in living, this seems far-fetched. All she knows is that her dreams are haunted by two beautiful angels and she is unable to kill herself no matter how many times she tries. But her personal concerns become unimportant with so many different people, demons, and angels testing her and speculating on whether she is the one they all have been waiting a millennia for.
This is where most people are going to start to lose interest. There are too many different characters with too many agendas. Some want to see the Archon come into power, some would rather kill the Archon before she comes into her power. Is Angela the one foretold or isn’t she? Even at the end of the book, this fundamental question is still there. I have hopes that the series will start to make more sense as it progresses, because if the next book is like this one, I won’t continue reading it.
Although each character is strong, they are all basically flawed; which makes them far more relatable. Stephanie Walsh is the queen of the school; full of confidence and attitude. But she is still chained to her adopted mother’s approval. Kim is the bad boy that Angela shouldn’t get involved with; but he is fragile emotionally and longs for Angela’s love. Even the Supernal Israfel, who is one of the top three elite angels, has vulnerabilities that make him seem more “human.” Each of the main characters has so much depth to them and too many secrets to do adequate justice to in this little book. It almost needs an additional 400 pages to fully explore each player’s background and rationality.
The world itself is intoxicating. The City of Luz and its inhabitants are a major draw for me. An academy sponsored by the Vatican that encourages exploration of supernatural abilities outside their own Lexicon. I love all the little details of the dilapidated classrooms and dorms; how the townsfolk deal with murders like they are commonplace. Even the torrential and seemingly increasing violent weather are all indicative to the overall tension of the book. It is these details that help balance out the endless barrage of plots and subterfuge by the characters, helping the reader gage the mounting tension that is rising toward the climax of the story.
One of the few things that I did not like about this book was Angela. At first, she is only going through the motions of life. She has no desire for anything other than her death. By the end of the book, she is looking forward to what is coming next in her life. So, where was the turning point for her having such a dramatic change of heart? Was it her sacrifice of her dreams to call up a spirit of an angel? Was it sleeping with her lover for the first time? Was it meeting the angel of her dreams and realizing that he is really not all she made him out to be? I’m not sure when it happens, but I am sure that it seems almost too drastic a change for it to be believable. It feels like Angela isn’t reacting faithfully to her essential character. I find it hard to relate to her as a person.
So, what is the Archon anyway? I can’t give a good answer to that. There are so many different interpretations offered about the prophecy, that no one has been 100 % correct. I had hoped that it would become clearer at the end of the book but alas, it was not meant to be. Perhaps the next few books offer what has been teased in this first one; a decent explanation to what all of this stuff means. If you decide to take the plunge into Archon remember this: Don’t get caught up in the details and just let the book flow through you. If you do that, it makes it a much more enjoyable read.
I don’t care if I’m the Archon or not. I don’t have to open that damned Book to put Stephanie where she belongs.
She left the room, clattering down the steep staircase and along a hallway that emptied into the broken church. Angela splashed through the pebbles, hardly even giving a damn about her surroundings. Her brain burned like the stone around her neck, and it seemed to her that through that Eye, she could see the whole universe and everything in it, and how much it deserved to be in her hands rather than in those of a greedy, ignorant person like Stephanie.
This is my world.
Where was that thought coming from? It was the voice that had reminded her how to subdue Troy, and its pitch and tone was still like her own, but much more forceful. Briefly, Angela flashed back to that long-ago dream, when she’d stood before the angel who’d spoken to her so mysteriously.
Now she remembered at least a fraction of what he’d said, though she wasn’t sure how much sense it made.
For now, though, it seemed right to agree.
This is my world. Time to enforce the rules.
The Books of Raziel Series:
FTC Advisory: HarperCollins provided me with a copy of Archon. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.”
“Disclosure: I received a complimentary galley of this book from the Amazon.com Vine program in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Angela Mathers is plagued by visions of angels, supernatural creatures who haunt her thoughts by day and seduce her dreams by night. Newly released from a mental institution where she was locked away for two years, she hopes that her time at the Vatican’s university, the West Wood Academy, will give her a chance at a normal life. Unlike ordinary humans, Angela is a blood head — a freak, a monster, the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy of overwhelming death and destruction. Only in Luz, the Vatican’s wondrous enclave, are blood heads accepted and encouraged to discover what kind of powers or special abilities they might possess.
But within West Wood, a secret coven plots, and demons and angels roam the streets searching for the key to open Raziel’s book — a secret tome from a lost archangel. Some are determined to destroy Raziel, while others, like the beautiful Supernal Israfel, one of the highest of the high, wish to free him. And when the Archon — the human chosen to possess the spirit of a dead angel — rises as foretold, they will control the supernatural universe.
Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, Angela holds the key to Heaven and Hell — and both will stop at nothing to possess her.
My Thoughts: This book is haunting, full of darkness and storms. Any sense of light is quickly overcome with storm clouds and ruin. The characters are complex, full of contradictions, and you never know which of them you can trust or believe. Beautifully written! This is true dystopianism, no sense of brightness to be found, yet the darkness is strangely compelling, strangely lovely, enchanting, luring you to your doom. Angels and demons have little to distinguish themselves, other than their point of origin. Good and evil are relative terms. Highly recommended.”
“gave up. very depressing, couldn't be bother to waste my time. Beautiful cover though, too bad the inside wasn't as good”4liverpool wrote this review Wednesday, February 1, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Angela Mathers, with her stain of dark red hair and alabaster skin – a freak, a monster, a blood head, and perhaps the possible fulfillment of a horrific prophecy, remains haunted by angels. One in particular with beguiling blue eyes and magnificent bronze wings who seduces her dreams. Her only escape from the nightmares is her paintings that depict the dark visions that have possessed her mind for years.
Newly freed from the mental institution she spent the last two year of her life in, Angela is hopeful that attending Westwood Academy, the Vatican’s exclusive univerisity, will bring her peace and will finally provide and explanation for the dreams and visions that plague her mind. The university is a school for students, specifically blood heads that possess super-natural powers, and among them is one special blood head that is more powerful than them all: the Archon, the human reincarnation of the dead angel Raziel. When the Archon arises as is foretold in the prophecy, they will rule over the supernatural universe.
Angela, already struggling with her own life and its sense of normality, has no desire to conquer the supernatural universe, but the choice may not be her own. Torn between the man she loves and her obsession with the beautiful angel who haunts her dreams and paintings, she must choose what is best for her and for the world, for she is the key to Heaven and Hell. Both will stop at nothing to have the Archon on their side of this battle between their worlds.
Sabrina Benulis, author of Archon: The Books of Raziel, has really put a fascinating spin on her own unique and complex version of Paradise Lost; of heaven, hell, and life on earth, how and why the angels fell in the first place, and the impending apocalypse prophetically called the Ruin.
I would recommend this book to young adults and those comfortable with a Gothic style genre as well as the supernatural. I received this book compliments of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review and would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.”
Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Bernulis was a bit of a challenge. Where the first few chapters were very confusing and I was so lost that I couldn't even remember what I read a few pages back. However, I did read on and finish the book, and I can say that at about 130+ pages the story started becoming very interesting. Sabrina Bernulis has a thought-provoking take on angels and it's a side which made myself more drawn to finishing the story. There were small tid-bits that were like 'Ah Ha!' moments that you should have seen coming, which I really liked. The way Luz was described in detail was well written and vivid that I imagined a dystopian demonic world or a medieval age revolving around Angels & Demon lore. What I didn't like is that early in the story there was a bunch of character dumps that I had difficulty catching up on whose who. And although it did get better as you read on there were still little hiccups that get me confused all over again.
On a note on past reviews that have mentioned about Angela's constant attempts at suicide -- they were a bit exaggerated. It was mentioned from time to time, but it was because it leads to an important part in the story/climax.
Final thoughts, It may not be for everyone but it is still worth reading if you're not easily driven away by literary hiccups.”