Author: L. Penelope
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Paranormal
It’s hard to be normal when you see the dead everywhere. So I gave up. I just focus on staying out of their way. But the guy haunting my roommate is different. He’s impossible to ignore, and now other people can see him too.
He says my roommate is the only one who can save him from an eternity of torment. But one night he follows me into my nightmare and rescues me from my demons. Now he’s all I think about. This must be what it’s like to fall… for someone who can never be mine.
A lifetime ago, I found my soulmate in the human world. But being angelborn means I don’t have a soul. When I lost my one true love, I lost my future and my freedom. Now, I have a second chance — she’s been reborn and I must gain her love again or serve out the rest of my eternal sentence alone.
But this time I am a fugitive with powerful angels hunting me, and I’m running out of time. You only get one soulmate, and mine isn’t the broken, scarred girl, who sees what no one else can. She’s a distraction I can scarcely afford — but I’m unable to stay away from her.
Before anything else, I received a digital copy of this book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, L. Penelope and Heartspell Media!
Angelborn is a standalone paranormal novel with a relatively short length of approximately 40,000 words. In this story, there are two kinds of Nephilim, or children who are half-human and half-angel: angelborn (born from an angel mother) and humanborn (born from a human mother). Humanborn Nephilim are born with souls whereas the angelborn are not. Caleb falls under the latter category.
Personally, I found the angel lore in this story refreshing. I really liked how the reincarnation of souls was employed and how it played as an important role in this story. I loved the concept behind soulmates. I don’t want to give anything away; just know that I really, really liked how the angel lore was crafted. Additionally, I loved how the author approached the topic of souls:
”Souls are beautiful and powerful, but not inherently good or evil. They’re just energy… the spark of creation in this world.”
Certainly, the author has quite the imagination, accompanied by excellent world-building. In this book, she introduced different otherworldly realms such as the Wasteland and Euphoria, which I liked reading about. Penelope was able to create an intricate history and solid plot regardless of the constraints due to her novel’s length – a feat that is beyond impressive.
Character-wise, I liked Caleb and Maia individually. They’re both characters of color. However, I wasn’t convinced that the two of them had chemistry. Honestly, the romance between Caleb and Maia was underdeveloped. Aside from that, Caleb and Maia’s characters weren’t completely fleshed out either. Although the idea of Maia being able to see the dead was intriguing, I don’t think it was fully utilized in the story. In fact, a lot of elements in the book were left to be desired – the writing style, the depth, the character development, the romance, and the ending. Still, I enjoyed reading Angelborn. Definitely a could have been better, could have been worse kind of read.
What makes this different:
The angel lore in this story was inventive, peculiar and very refreshing. Definitely worth looking into. It’s just sad that the author wasn’t able to fully delve into it and to give the readers a lot more depth.
Excerpt from the book:
”So angels are just using us? For power? We’re just batteries, like in The Matrix?”
”Perhaps.” He draws the word out into three syllables as he considers. “I don’t know what the matrix is, but, yes, your soul is an energy source, comparable to a battery. It moves through the lifetimes, growing and changing, becoming stronger and more powerful… the grand journey. Angels are tasked with cultivating souls, leading them into new bodies over and over, affecting their destinies and futures so that eventually, they’re strong enough to join the eternal flame – the driving force behind Euphoria.”
Review also available: Goodreads.
Guest review contributed by That Bookshelf Bitch. Aside from discussing books and sharing her personal insights, Shealea hopes to use her blog as an avenue to celebrate underappreciated and promising authors.