Book Review: Flight

 

review-cover-flight

Title: Flight [The Crescent Chronicles 1]

Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy

Genre: New Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, Urban

Rating: 4 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I have some pretty mixed feelings about this novel. Going into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know much about the series, and I hadn’t taken the time to read the synopsis. Right away, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually well written. The book was remarkably free of typos, missing words, or grammar mistakes that I’m used to seeing in many e-books these days, in fact, one of the first things I noticed about the book was the clear, fluid writing.

If there’s one thing I could peg on the author, it’s great characterization. I was immediately drawn to Allie and her best friend from the very start of the book. The two girls couldn’t be any more different, but it was easy to see why the girls were friends. The banter between the characters started out strong and really struck a cord as being believable—and that’s something I’ve found to be rare in a lot of fiction. Dialogue isn’t easy to write, and the author did a spectacular job of it.

Here’s where things got tricky. The story started off strong—as I said, the writing was clear, the characters had unique personalities, and the dialogue was well written. Unfortunately, I began to notice that the narrative lacked. The author didn’t spend a lot of time on descriptions of anything relevant. I could tell you, for instance, that Allie’s Range Rover was lavender—a color she didn’t particularly care for (Her favorite color is Blue by the way, and she apparently looks great in Red)—but I can’t tell you what Allie looks like. I know her best friend is blonde, but I can’t tell you if she’s short, skinny, or what color eyes she may have. The author had this strange way of glossing over all descriptions except for the most irrelevant details.

For instance: At one point an entire paragraph is spent on the wainscoting, chandelier, and travertine tiles of the hotel floor, but the very next paragraph when the main male lead was identified the entirety of his description fell to: “incredibly hot guy” with “muscular arms and chest”. It made no sense to me why certain aspects of the scene were elaborated upon, but others were left entirely by the wayside. This continued to be a theme throughout the book, and while it served to quicken the pace of the chapters, I couldn’t help but feel that I was missing out on important information from time to time.

As for the plot: I would label this as more of a romance than a fantasy/paranormal read. Yes, there are supernatural beings in the story; however, the majority of the book is spent on Allie’s relationship with Levi, and little else. That’s fine. I like romances, but don’t go into this thinking you’re going to get a plethora of world building and action scenes (which are typical in fantasy/paranormal novels) it’s mostly going to be about relationships.

Now, before I press any further, let me say: I really enjoyed this book. Despite the little flaws in the narrative and the lack of a full plot, I liked it. I loved the characters, I loved the dialogue, I loved the feel of the relationship that was at the heart of the story—but this isn’t what I’d call a true Romance. If you have an objection to spoilers, I suggest you skip this section, I’ll signal when the spoilers are over. Let me explain:

SPOILERS: From the very beginning of Allie and Levi’s relationship, he was pushy. The man wouldn’t take no for an answer, and basically followed her around, inserting himself into her life until she gave in and consented to go out with him. In real life, this would be incredibly creepy. In a book, I can usually let it slide as long as the Romance turns out to be a real heart-felt relationship. Novels are meant to be a form of escapism, and it’s okay to enjoy a bit of the dark pleasure that comes along with this kind of broody, pushy male. (By no means assume this is okay in real life though.) The guy thought he was being charming, and had already fallen head-over-heals for Allie, so while he may have crossed a few boundaries, I can live with it; I know he was being an ass because he didn’t know how else to win her heart… and believe me, Allie can be hard to persuade. However, as the story progressed, Levi became worse. He had obvious secrets he was keeping for Allie, and at times purposefully intimidated her. Eventually he basically forces her into an engagement by his society’s laws and doesn’t even tell her what’s going on. That’s not okay. The more he tried to apologize to her and weasel his way out of being in trouble (but still with every intention of making sure she followed through and married him) the more icky it felt to me. He stripped her of any choice in the matter, put her life in danger, and I’m not convinced he was actually sorry for it so much as sorry he got caught at it before he could make it sound like she was getting a good deal. END OF SPOILERS

The result of this (the spoilers), is that I wasn’t 100% behind their relationship by the end of the book. There were a few moments where I was ready to say “okay, he was an ass, but he really loves her, so maybe she should forgive him….” but the longer the whole sequence dragged on, the more I grew angry at Levi. By the end of the book, I wanted her to be nowhere near this guy—and to not forgive him at all. It’s almost tragic the way the book ended, and it left an unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Does that mean I didn’t like the story? No. I loved it. I’m okay with the way it turned out, even if it didn’t turn out as romantic as I wanted it to. Knowing that there’s subsequent books, I’m more than willing to keep reading and see if the two characters ever iron out their relationship, but I won’t deny that I still feel uneasy about Levi. Maybe the author will clear it up for me in the next book (which I’m going to go read shortly). I hope so. I’d certainly recommend this book to others, but if you haven’t read the spoilers, I shall warn you: The romance side of this story isn’t as heart-felt and fuzzy as you’re expecting. It’s still a wonderful book (minus the few things I mentioned), but I think you have to look at it in a different way than your usual Romance in order to enjoy the way this book ends. This isn’t necessarily a story you’re going to giggle and squeal over. You’re more likely to want to punch the main male lead.

I will say this in closing: I sincerely loved the characters—even Levi—despite their flaws and actions. I think they were well written… they just weren’t written the way I expected.

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