[Angeldust: Dark Angel V] Hanna Peach

This is the last review of a series that I’ve been reading. The review for the fourth book can be found here.  A huge thank you to Hanna Peach for providing me with Angeldust as well as the rest of the series! What follows is an honest review for the last book and for the series overall.

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After the events of Angelblood, Alyx and Israel have decided that they can’t wait until everything is right, both in the world and between themselves. They have to take advantage of the time they have together now, because they have no idea where there lives will be in the next few weeks. After uncovering Michael’s horrible plans for the angels, humans, and planet, Alyx and her followers have to stop him before they can come to fruition. As Alyx speeds off to uncover the secrets of Raphael’s charm in a lost Seraphim city, she puts her trust in her friends to continue protecting themselves against Michael and his followers, not knowing that Michael is moving against them more quickly than they’d prepared for. Angeldust has everything that is good and frustrating about the series as a whole in it, making this a final installment that concluded the main story line well but also kept some story lines unfinished for potential spin-offs.

The Dark Angel series has always had love triangles, and Angeldust is no exception. I understand that love triangles often make the young adult/new adult genre go-round, but they became something that was the norm in the series. It was no surprise when there were more that continued in Angeldust. I felt that there were too many and that characters were jumping from one person to the next like crazy, while also keeping feelings for their first love interest which annoyed their second. I didn’t feel that the spurned point of the triangle needed to find someone immediately. These events are happening so quickly that I doubted the spurnee could get over the rejection quickly enough to have a meaningful relationship with the new love interest.

That said, I still don’t feel like Angeldust went too much into the confessions of love realm. There’s always been a focus on the true issues of the world instead of the fact that Alyx loves Israel. I love that this series puts romance behind the fight to save the world. It really knows where the heart of the story is and puts romance (or at least, the desire to run away together) on hold for the greater good. Although I do love the Israel and Alyx relationship, I liked that I could rely on the plot being well-written and engaging without being bogged down by too much lovey stuff. The dialogue is intelligent and keeps us focused on what Alyx is working toward and the undercurrent of love never takes over.

Angeldust keeps the focus on Alyx’s strength and her guardianship duties. I love that she continues to grow throughout the series, even when it’s nearing the end of the final novel. For me, she never plateaued as a character; I always found that her actions were realistic, thought-out, and fast paced. Her movement drives the plot of the series overall, because without the decisions that she makes (although not always good ones), most of the books wouldn’t have much drive. Hiding from your enemies sometimes works and is necessary, but it doesn’t often read as an interesting novel.

One of my favorite parts of this series was the element of side-quests. It allowed each book to have a focus. The plot of each individual book was well-constructed to fit into the larger plot of the entire series. I was never bored while reading these books because they all fit together, yet were also really good reads on their own. Each book is unique in its own right,  but the drive of the main plot was there.  Within each individual book, most of the problems that were unique to it were concluded, with the exception of Angeldust. The things that were left open at the conclusion of Angeldust were intentional, and following the overall theme of this review, realistic. Things don’t always finish with a cut-and-dried conclusion, so that ambiguousness was a bit refreshing in light of novels that end sugar-sweet.

As always, the plot of the book was fast paced, continuing the momentum that started in the first book and didn’t stop until the final book. Simultaneous events are happening and are split between characters and areas, making it impossible to stop reading when there’s a break in the action of one to focus on another. It’s a bit relieving when they all meet up again, because the breaks made me worry that something bad was going to happen when the point of view was switched to another character.

As much as I enjoyed this book and the series overall, there was one teensy bit regarding the ending that I was disappointed about. As a series, it concluded well with the exception of that moment. It’s not the sort of hitch that destroys an entire series for me, but when I literally groan out loud (and on a crowded train, no less), it makes me a little bummed. Oh well, can’t have everything be perfect. It’s one of my little tics as a reader.

When I look back on everything, I really enjoyed this series. The characters, the world, the plot, and the romance, it all just hit me as something that was very enjoyable and mature. Hanna Peach has a gift for writing her worlds into the reader, and I heartily recommend this for people who like fantasy/paranormal and a plot that ties together in the end. I’d be interested in reading other novels set in this Seraphim world.

4 stars.

Again, a thank you to Hanna Peach for providing me with books 2-5 of the Dark Angel series.

 

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