Friday, June 04, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Strange Angels and Betrayals, by Lili St. Crow.

As yearly tradition dictates, we spend the Memorial Day weekend in the back woods of Wisconsin, on the banks of a river, just yards from a waterfall. Idyllic, peaceful. We're all readers, so it ends up being a bit of a Book Fest. This year, my daughter and I both read three books, our favorites being the first two installments in Lili St. Crow's STRANGE ANGELS series.

According to Lili's website, in STRANGE ANGELS, Dru Anderson has been “strange” for as long as she can remember. She travels from town to town with her father, hunting the things that go bump in the night and eat the unwary. It’s a weird life, but a good one–until it all explodes and a zombie busts into her new house.
Alone, terrified, and trapped in an icy town, Dru’s going to need every inch of her wit and training to stay alive. Can she trust the boy who is just a little too adult–and just happens to get bit by a werwulf? Or the strange blue-eyed boy who tells her she’s heir to a long-forgotten power? Can she even trust her own instincts?
Because Dru is not the first in her family to be killed by the darkness of the Real World. The monsters have decided to hunt back–and now Dru has to figure out who to trust, who to fight, and when to run. And not incidentally, she has to figure out how she’s going to get out of this alive.
And she has to do it by sundown, or it’s all over…
From the start, Dru's voice grabbed my attention. She is gritty, tough and unapologetic. The tasks St. Crow puts on her character gives new meaning to "torturing your hero." At one point, after the kitchen door is broken in, I though Oh no she didn't, but she DID. A sick, dark twist that I agonized for the character and applauded the author for going there.
St. Crow's take on the vampire and werewolf lore is a fascinating twist. Personally, I love the Russian/Slavic language useage with terms like schola, svetocha, djamphir, werwulfen, and the nicknames that Christophe usages for Dru. There's a nasty critter in STRANGE ANGELS that gets all fired up, just sayin'. The half-werewolf and half-vampires have their own unique powers and statuses in a world Dru and her father had only danced around the edges of. But after that kitchen door breaks down, Dru is plunged into the Real World head first and ends up running and fighting for her life.
Oasis for YA rating:
I highly recommend this book for readers who like kickass heroines and a breath-taking dance on the darkside.
Then we have the sequel, BETRAYALS, which my daughter and I inhaled possibly quicker than we tore through STRANGE ANGELS, and not because of length, but because we couldn't help ourselves at that point. We were just...hooked.

According to the blurb on St. Crow's website Dru Anderson’s parents are long gone, her best friend is a werwulf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)
Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England Schola for other half-vampire teens like her, and there’s a big problem—she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide.
When murderous vampires start showing up and the body count begins rising, Dru has to figure out who to trust and when to run–or tonight might be her last…
St. Crow really upped the stakes in this one. Gut wrenching emotions as Dru's life continues to shatter and fall in dangerous shards around her. More twists, more action, and building sexual tension between Dru and the two leading men in her life. Characters are thrown into the dark of suspicion, others prove how damn loyal they are. Dru maybe tearing break-neck down wild, terrifying paths, but she has a very loyal companion insisting on standing by her side, whether she picks fights in the classroom, or the entire school is attacked by the vampire henchmen of the biggest, baddest vampire around.
Oasis for YA rating:
A raucous ride of a sequel, filled with plunging twists, a wild parkour run, fights scenes and a half-vampire coming into her own.

If there is one complaint I could possibly raise it would be the occasional introspection in the midst of dialogue. I found myself back-tracking to see the last bit of dialogue to understand the response farther down the page. But it wasn't enough to cast even a hint of a pall on my enjoyment of these books. I'd borrowed them from a friend and now have to buy them both, along with order the third installment JEALOUSY because these books are serious Keepers!

Gratuituous linkage:
Lili St. Crow's website: Writer on the Dark Side
STRANGE ANGELS on Barnes and Noble
BETRAYALS on Barnes and Noble
JEALOUSY on Barnes and Noble


  1. Okay I'm totally going to have to add this series to my TBR list which is already a mile long! Great review. Thanks! Renae

  2. I read the first one, and it really was both a page turned and a totally unique twist on the vampire/were mythology.

  3. These sound totally like my cup of tea and will look forward to getting my greedy hands on them.


  4. You won't be sorry, ladies! I am rereading the second one now. ^_^


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