Cassie Farrier has suffered horrifying nightmares as long as she can remember. Dreams that keep her awake at, meaning she's never had a full nights sleep. But then on a school trip to Germany she starts to recognise places and people as scenes from her dreams and uncovers a sixty year old massacre. Now her nightmares are in her waking moments, her parents are fearful for her sanity and reveal a long covered secret about Cassie they'd never before told her.
Desperate to stop the endless nightmares and get to the route of her problems Cassie accepts the help of a Doctor specialising in reincarnation and past life experiences. At a special retreat she meets others like her for the first time and starts to make friends. But the Doctor isn't everything she seems and Cassie and the other residents are now in danger, right in the here and now.
I hadn't heard a lot about Bryony Pearce's debut novel, Angel's Fury, when it landed on my doorstep but after reading the synopsis and press release my first impression was 'wow! This sounds so good!' It seemed to offer so much packed into one book, I couldn't wait to get started. And it does have very many elements, blending paranormal, historical and psychological thriller so that even after reading I can't put it any one category.
Angel's Fury is certainly unique and combines a plot and topics I've never come across before. I'm fascinated by reincarnation and really enjoyed Bryony Pearce's spin on the subject. Cassie's dreams are interwoven into the plot, also with a first person perspective, distinguishable by italic text. These were my favourite aspects of the book, containing vivid imagery which at times is upsetting but always beautifully written and emotional. The book has quite a few surprise twists and I particularly liked the biblical references and angel mytholgy.
However, despite the brilliant premise and the very well written historical accounts, Angel's Fury just didn't quite hit the mark for me. I think the book lacked a tenseness, which in turn affected the plausibility of the story. I didn't find the villain sinister enough, and struggled to really believe in parts of the plot. I expected to be gripped with this book, but sadly I just wasn't. While I liked the character of Cassie herself (she's a free thinker from the off, brave and a little bit kick ass to boot) I thought several of the other characters also fell a little bit flat and their fascinating backgrounds should have been expanded on more. I also had a huge problem with Cassie's feckless parents, who might just be the silliest pair I've come across for a long time. I really didn't understand some of their actions.
Angel's Fury isn't a terrible book. I enjoyed parts of it very much indeed and loved the overall idea behind it. I thought the historical sections were especially well crafted, the biblical angel story clever and interesting and the way Cassie's present and past life dreams blended in and out of the story was seamless. It just didn't blow me away as much as I hoped and it all boils down to that lack of tension that moves a book from a good read to unputdownable.
Published by Egmont UK July 2011
Thanks to the publishers for providing a copy for review.