Monday, April 23, 2012


Embrace is a young adult novel about angels. Although that description seems simple enough, the novel (and the series) have enough depth and interest to insure that I will read more. What was also different about this young adult novel is that it takes the romantic parts a bit deeper and certainly more spicy.

Now if only I could like the heroine. I tried to like her but Violet was too much of contradiction in terms. She seemed tough (she was almost raped and turned to kick-boxing and running in response) yet when she was finally going to sacrifice herself for the person she truly loved, she made the most appalling decision just before she carried out her self-sacrifice. She spent most of the book whining about how her crush Lincoln had lied to her. She would seem on the verge of forgiveness, then ignore him in favor of the enigmatic Phoenix. Then she would run and try to find Lincoln when she sensed he was in danger. Despite the understanding that she was some kind of souped up half-angel, she just seemed incredibly immature. Made me nervous about how she was going to handle all the power and responsibility she had been given.

Although I was disappointed in the main character, I really liked the plot. In Embrace, there are some angels who are exiled. They are given human form but with special powers. Some of these exiles are evil and others are good. However, over the centuries, they all seem to become evil or at least extremely self-centered. In order to keep them in check, Grigori or half-angels are created. If a child loses a parent within twelve days of birth, an angel will give that child certain of their own powers or characteristics. When the child becomes 17, they are then paired up with another Grigori and trained to destroy exiles. I will continue to read the series as long as the plot keeps me hooked.

What did this book have to do with my faith? I thought about my own concept of angels while reading Embrace. The whole genre of formerly evil creatures (from vampires to demons) who are now romantic and actually good (!) has made me think about angels who are supposed to be good, yet a close reading of the bible questions that perspective. Angels in the bible are war-like. They probably don't look like handsome men in bathrobes with feathered wings (why else are people afraid of them). They are God's messengers and instruments of destruction. In other words, they are not human. In fact, angels are extensions of who God is. They carry out God's desires. Good is not how I would describe angels. I believe we have tried so hard to make angels, like God, soft and sweet that we have forgotten God's anger, God's desires and God's power. We do have Jesus to see what God looks like but even Jesus had a core of tough love even while he partied with the lost.

I recommend Embrace if you are interested in similar plot lines. Otherwise, don't bother.

Happy reading!


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