I have such intense feelings about this book. And they’re not all good ones, so I’ve waited awhile before writing the review in the hope that my feelings will have calmed a bit.
It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”
Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.
Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.
A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…
Lets start with things I liked. With Lincoln topping the list! He was awesome. I basically loved every single thing he said and did. I loved that you could tell how he felt about Violet right from the start even though he barely says anything. He was just so well written. Even during the parts when you don’t see much of him I always felt as if we knew exactly what was going on with him and why he was doing the things he did. And I just loved him.
Griffin was a fun character as well. Grouchy but kind, my favourite type of character. And I loved the mythology of who and what they all were. Very interesting and I’m eager to learn more in the following books.
Violet. Sigh. Okay, for the most part I really liked Violet. The only times I didn’t like her were…well, we’ll get to them when we talk about the next character. She was very active in the plot, didn’t just let things happen to her, which I always appreciate. She wanted to go out and find all the clues and discover the truth and such, she just kept being held back. I liked her relationship with her mother and the mysteries there and what they might mean for the future.
I do hope the whole, “partners cannot be together romantically” thing is explored more and explained better because right not it just feels like a convenient plot device for Violet and Lincoln to hold off on kissing. I understand why they need to hold off on getting together…it’s a series, you can’t give us everything we want in the first book, I’d just rather there be a real reason for it. With repercussions and such.
Okay, now. The thing I really didn’t like. Phoenix. All of him. In fact I hated him. A lot. And not in that “I love to hate Snape” way. No. I think he was poorly written and does the worst thing a character in a YA book could ever do. Emotionally and sexually manipulates a teenage girl without it being made clear that he is an a$$hole. From the first moment you see Phoenix he is manipulating Violet in one way or another. Whether it is the traditional way people use emotional dependance to get what they want or the fact that he can literally make people feel whatever he wants them to feel.
So, there’s this scene where Violet is overcome with lustful feelings for Phoenix, and throws herself at him. He is, of course, making her feel this lust. He stops Violet before things go to terribly far, but the fact is she was ready to rip off both of their clothes and then he gets mad at her for thinking that he would let that go too far. He says it would be “cheating” if he let it go too far. All I could think was, “No. No, that would be rape, actually.”
And, as far as storytelling goes, this is fine. Characters are allowed to be evil jerks. But not once does Violet seem to realize that he manipulating her. A different character, in a different situation, takes control of her mind for a brief second and makes her answer some questions, and she immediately calls it mind rape. Which it is. But she never seems to make the connection that Phoenix was doing the exact same thing to her. Except WORSE. And yes, she does get mad at him at one point. But nearly mad enough. And she never, never, has any emotionally repercussions from being manipulated by him.
I can’t say more without spoiling a LOT but lets just say, I’ve left out the worst part of the Phoenix/Violet relationship and the whole thing makes me so angry.
Am I going to read the rest of the series? I will, at least, read the next book. For two reasons. To see if the Phoenix situation is dealt with in a better, more in depth way. And because I really did love the mythology and Lincoln.
Though if book two makes me as angry as book one, then I will not be finishing the series.
I feel like I got a little ranty there. I did enjoy a lot about this book, it just all got overshadowed by the anger I have for Phoenix and I need him to die a horrible death and I need Violet to come to her senses and see how much he did hurt her, both emotionally and physically.
Have you read Embrace? What did you think?