by L.A. Banks
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
March 29th 2011 by Pocket
Provided by publisher for review
Celeste Jackson has fought all her life against a fog of hallucination and substance abuse, but it’s not until she meets her protector, Azrael, an angel who has left the safety of the Light, that she learns of the evil forces that have been trying to ruin her, and why. A fierce battle for control of the mortal realm is brewing, and only Celeste—with the help of theRemnant, her half-human, half-angel brethren—can stand in the way. Together, Celeste and Azrael must gather an army of sensitives to defeat the dark powers that have ruled humanity for centuries, but time is running out. If Azrael surrenders to his growing desire for Celeste, he risks being trapped among humanity forever. But the longer he stays, the harder she is to resist. To save the world, Celeste must draw on her own dark experiences with addiction to help Azrael overcome the one temptation that could possibly make him an eternal prisoner—his obsession with her.
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I’ve had L.A. Banks on my radar for a while but haven’t had the chance to read any of her work until now. Surrender the Dark really captivated me; it was a moving tale of Good vs. Evil and the Light battling the Dark for human kind.
Celeste lives with an abusive boyfriend, sees demons and has been diagnosed as mentally insane. Though her bible-toting Aunt raised her she is on the brink, contemplating the great sin of suicide just to make it all end. When Celeste is at her lowest a tall, dark and sexy man approaches her, claiming to be an angel sent to protect her.
Banks really brings the darker side of addiction and poverty to light here from the streets of Philly and NYC, capturing the essence of her character’s surroundings perfectly. I’ve never been to the northeast but I could clearly picture it with Bank’s seamless writing.
Azrael, the Angel of Death, was chosen for and accepted a great mission; to fall to the Earth, find one of the Remnant and save humanity. Little did he know, she was the key to all.
When Azrael is brought into human form it is a painful and frightening experience, and he despairs. But once he finds Celeste, she teaches him about the world around them, about clothing, food, money and even today’s politics. She also opens him up to new, unknown feelings that lead him down a dangerous path.
As he starts to explain to Celeste his mission and her destiny the story slowed down immensely and the religious beliefs, which is a main focal point of the plot, got deep but it is an essential part to the story. Though some of the discussions about energy, light and double helixes went over my head I still found it interesting.
Trust starts to develop between Celeste and Azrael but so does their attraction, and for an angel in a new, human body, desire can be a scary thing. And for us readers, it can be pretty funny.
Each of these characters is complex and I was drawn to their struggles and development immediately. Individual they are strong, but together they are a force to be reckon with. Once they become a team the action starts but the romantic tension is a continuous undercurrent throughout the story.
The secondary characters were a fun part of the novel as well, each with their own issues to cope with, you yearn to know more about them and how they can help, or hinder, the main characters quest.
Though it is not have a fast-paced, the plot remains steady and Surrender the Dark was a great read. Both heart-warming and thought provoking. With love, faith, and hope being a bright message throughout you will not want to miss this enlightening reading experience. And I for one am looking forward to it's sequel, Conquer the Dark, set to be released in October.
Rating: 4 Wines Glasses - Loved it
I am giving away my own lightly read, looks-new-because-I'm-a-book-freak, copy to followers who have a US address.
Just fill out the form below and I will choose a winner at random on April 15th. Good luck!