Monday, April 23, 2012

Angel Town by Lilith Saintcrow - review

Angel Town
Lilith Saintcrow

Jill Kismet series #6
urban fantasy

cover -
this series is intense, the main character rarely has anything to be happy about, the fights are hard, life is hard, SHE is that the barest hint of a smile there? could something good be happening? What I like about this cover is the stark atmosphere remains, there's her sword, it's obvious she's going to a fight - the fight of her life? and yet there is this hint of a smile, like she knows something good is going to happen...

If you thought Heaven's Spite was an intense book, this one is really intense! This takes off right after the events - those shocking, cliffhanger, "Oh My F=ng ***" events - of the last novel. Those final events of the last novel cause Jill to wake up in a strange place - without any clue or idea of what or who she is - what she was doing, what's going on. There is absolutely nothing. She somehow makes it to a diner, where a mysterious man buys her a meal...and she begins to remember a few things. Which just gives her a few more questions. Jill must figure out not only who she is, but she has to remember what she was in the middle of. Is she going to continue her previous life, are her memories true memories? Who are her allies and can they even trust her when she goes back? So many variables to work through; is there something else going on? Was she a pawn that unwittingly followed some Machiavellian script? Will she ever be free or safe? How did she get to where she woke up? Was she dead? {Will these questions ever END? Am I now doing what I hate to read? question after question after question?} Things begin to fall in place, puzzle pieces start to form a picture, and it's not a pretty picture.

With this final novel, as with all her novels, Lilith Saintcrow brings you into a story, as if you were inside a virtual video {or something like that} . With every scene, charms are jingling, smells are smelled, pains are felt, and the scar - her demon mark is basically a side character - makes itself felt. All of this combines to bring you right into the action. I like this about Saintcrow's writing - the demon mark isn't mentioned just once at the beginning of each book - it's used as a character and a mood detector. The same with the charms and all the other descriptive detailing. Plenty of atmosphere, the virtual reality without the tech.

I really enjoyed this final novel of the series. Though reading it was bittersweet, because I knew it was going to be the last and I was enjoying it so much. I wanted to get to the end, and yet I didn't want to finish it because it's the very last novel. Angel Town is a dark, compelling, gritty story. The storytelling is stellar and as the final in the series, Angel Town stood out with the shocking beginning, the intense situations Jill was in and the incredible ending. If you're a fan of dark, gritty storytelling with flawed, tough yet slightly vulnerable heroines, then you're going to enjoy this one. Saintcrow outdid herself with the ending to this series with its fitting - it's not Happily Ever After, it's more maybe we're going to be happy, definitely we're going to suffer more, but hey, here we are - ending.

Luckily for me and other die-hard fans of Saintcrow/St.Crow work, Ms Lilith is hard at work writing more novels. Unfortunately for me, some of these are only available in e-book form. One day I'm going to break down and get something that enables me to read e-books easily - but this is way in the future. I still prefer to hold a book in my hands, see the cover whenever I choose without having to scroll through or hit a button to take me to the cover pic - to SEE the covers in full color and to be able to simply riffle through the pages when I feel like it. Hell, even the SMELL of a book is important to me. This is my longwinded way of stating that there is definitely more coming from Lilith Saintcrow - for a complete list visit her homepage. I'm happily waiting to read more of her fantasy or urban fantasy work, and looking forward even to some more of her Young Adult work.

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