The moment I saw that Doranna Durgin is the author I absolutely flipped and couldn't receive it fast enough. She blew me away with her beautiful and perfect portrayals in at least two 'Ghost Whisperer' series novels.
Unfortunately, this fell far below the standards of her 'Ghost Whisperer' work. I was quite let down.
While the points explored, of the importance of maintaining the trust factor between Angel and the rest of the gang and Angel when subdued into a vulnerable state is concerned about being unable to protect Connor were valid and strong, there was some redundant dialogue, an incompleteness to a side story and mild characterization and canon flaws.
The keeper's role consisted of the exact same dialogue down to the wording, same went for the Angel narrative regarding Connor which is sloppy and irritating.
What I had the most trouble with was the effect the venom had. It's supposed to have crippled Angel with the healing pace of a human but the way that is portrayed here is not really a contrast from the TV show (note the way Cordelia was seen patching him up on several occasions and how he is quite able to feel physical pain in the show) nor is the opposite effect it has on the rest of the gang equivalent to what is normal for Angel.
There is also the notion that the gang had been taking Angel's lack of vulnerability for granted that to me had no basis.
The secondary demon of focus had so little development that it's final act before being slain was all that made sense of it, it lacked proper closure and an assumption made by Cordelia regarding the slaying unsettled me because there was no evidence to support it.
Fred was inaccurately portrayed for the time period. We're in mid-season 3 here which is clarified by the presence of an infant Connor which also means it's post-'Fredless' when she officially clicked in as part of the team. So we shouldn't have been seeing her so awkward and not quite in place here.
There was a similar flaw with Gunn in the beginning when he was shown to not have a complete trust of Angel. There might have always been a wariness in him given his nature and history but the way it was done here was misleading to me as a reader. It had given me the wrong impression of the time period. Until Connor was first mentioned I'd thought it was set in early to mid season 2 when he was the team's newest member.
By far the best element of the story was Angel's reactions to his physical interactions with Cordelia though these moments were so few. Yeah, I'm a Cordelia/Angel shipper so that was pleasing for me.
Overall an interesting but not really a satisfying read.
- Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment (1 October 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0689864310
- ISBN-13: 978-0689864315
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.2 x 17.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
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