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The White Raven by J.L. Weil is an exciting YA paranormal with a young plucky heroine, Piper, whose mother was recently murdered and an old fashioned hot alpha-male bad-boy, Zane, who makes it his job to protect the heroine from the same forces that killed her mother. The angst and sexual tension between the two main characters was very realistic. The hero reminded me a lot of the hero in Meg Cabot's Abandon series, which is a reimagining of the Hades/Persephone myth. In the Abandoned series, the hero is the keeper of the underworld. In the White Raven Zane is the son of the Grim-Reaper who helps souls cross over into the after life.
I absolutely loved the premise of this book, which is not that unique: one group trying to destroy a much smaller group so they can possess all of the power held by the smaller group. What is unique though is that three different communities live in Raven Hallow and each one has superhuman powers with characteristics similar to certain bird species. I especially appreciated the thought that two souls can reach out to each other and be synchronized, especially across different "breeds." What I didn't like was how foul-mouthed Piper was, especially when she is verbally sparring with our hero. I've never heard a teenager or an adult swear that much and I have two teen daughters myself, and chaperoned many buses full of bandies on several road trips over the past six years, including one very long trip to Disney. Don't get me wrong, a little swearing here and there is to be expected, but Piper's vocabulary is 50% bad words with another 25% of nothing but negativity. Her character would be much more believable and likable if her language were toned down.
I listened to the Audible version of this story narrated by Caitlin Kelly. She had great intonation and pace, including differing voices for male and female characters as appropriate. Her portrayal of Zane is swoon-worthy! Her narration certainly contributed to my enjoyment of this book and the overall rating reflects it. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I struggled to finish the first few chapters - never reached the halfway point, let alone the end of this mediocre YA novel. It takes real talent for an author to write authentic young characters that can appeal to youth as well as adults...let's be clear, that J.L. Weil does not possess this level of talent. The main character's inner musings are shallow and barely tolerable...even her mother being murdered before the book's opening doesn't make me as a reader get on board with her. She literally says "I'm different from other girls" when in fact her inane complaints make her seem like every annoying girl stereotype ever committed to paper.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful