Sunday 16 March 2014

Book Review - Dominion

Author: Melody Manful
Series: Guardian Angels #1
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 20th December 2013
Publishers: Melody Manful
No. Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy - Melody Manful
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
I Dare You.
Look Over Your Shoulders.
Do You See Them?
They are behind you...
They are always behind you.

Abigail Cells had a nightmare the day before she met Gideon, the new guy in school who has every girl drooling just to be near him. In her nightmare, she was murdered by a magical creature. As she gets to know Gideon, she begins to remember pieces of her nightmare, and was shocked when Gideon turned out to be the creature from her nightmare. Who is Gideon really? Should Abby allow herself to fall completely for him, or is he the next disaster waiting to happen?

I know what you're thinking; 'not another angel love triangle, seriously Amanda?' Well, take a seat and let m explain you the thing. That cover is very misrepresentitive of the actual content. Yes, there are two angels and yes, there is a leading lady, however, she doesn't constantly wear yellow ball gowns and look like a damsel in distress and the hero on the cover isn't necessarily the real hero inside. This is where I explain to you a thing.

Throughout the first third of this book, I didn't like it at all. I honestly felt like the writing wasn't strong enough, the characters were too cliche and described with as much enthusiasm as a coffee drinker has when they find out you've only got tea. The whole plot itself was quite boring and uninteresting and I would have seriously dnf'd the book if it wasn't for the fact that I had been asked to review it by the author, so I sat down, I sucked it up, and waited it out. Abigail, Ms Leading Lady was one of the reasons I was so torn up at the beginning because Manful had created a character who had two completely different sides to herself; she was this bad-ass, CIA trained chick who could handle a AK-47 as well as herself in a fight, yet face to face with an attractive boy and she becomes your usual star-struck teenage girl that every other young adult books has; after a few more chapters, I had convinced myself this book was going to become one big cringey love triangle, yet I was proven wrong.

The longer I read the book and the further I got into it, I began to appreciate the different perspectives Manful provided, angles from Abigail, Gideon and Tristians point of view all helped create multi-layered characters, all suffering their own emotions, thoughts, feelings and strains, and while I found that Abigails personality and skilled wit shined through, and Tristians sarcasm was rich and vibrant, I found myself most attached to Gideon, and the further I read, the more that increased. Gideon had this bad boy attitude in front of other people; he's violent and dangerous and feels nothing when he makes people suffer pain and torment, yet he's definitely one of the damaged and gentle characters I've read in young adult for a while. Manful really helped develop Gideon into a relatable character who suffered the loss of love from his parents, recalls never having had a friend and is convinced he's one very evil, selfish young angel, and it's heartbreaking to see what he went through and what has made him how he is now. If there was any single thing I could pick out in this book that impressed me, it was Gideons development from zero to hero, especially considering the final scenes of this book.

I do have to admit, the writing was disappointing, alongside the plot developments until very near the end, not to mention the world building and lack of believability, but I guess there's only so far you can go when you've got two vengeful angels battling one another to save and destroy someone. The writing wasn't the strongest thing I'd read; it could have had more descriptions of the world, especially considering there was at least 3 different settings; Abigails house, The Grand and The Underworld, and I would have liked a little more power in some scenes, some more passion in the hot scenes, some more emotions in the touchy feely scenes, however, overall, I have to say, once I got into it, it flowed quite easily. I really feel that if I hadn't stopped and started so much, it would have flowed even more, but you can't change the past. There is mature content in this book, a definite steamy scene, so be warned.

There were plenty of times were I found myself overcome with emotions though, specifically towards Abigails and her two different, opposing sides. I felt like the schoolgirl Abigail never merged with kick-ass trained Abigail, and I think when you're going to create a character with such depth, you should really allow them to flow from one to the other, however; I did have to say;

'New Abigail is one proper kick-ass, out of control fighting chick, woah. I like that bit of her, the scene was fantastic, and writing fast paced, and she was calm and content, smooth and sarcastic and I need that version of her in my life, oh boy, if it continues, she gets an extra star just for development, jesus!' you can see, I did get a little overwhelmed with feelings on some occasions and that means that this book must have been good. I did have problems with the romance and a number of questions surrounding it, and I seriously questioned just how calmly and easily Abigail allowed Gideon and Tristan to be more permanent and physical fixtures in her life, but I have to say, the slight mythology aspects, and the character developments and the final scenes are what won me over. I had previously felt that there wasn't much plot at all throughout the entire book, however, the last few chapters I really felt that I had received some answers, and that huge plot twist and the minor ones throughout, oh boy I should have seen it coming and predicted it, but I honestly had no idea, and I found that cliff hanger absolutely unacceptable and cruel, because I'm swayed entirely to read the sequel.

Do not be fooled by this cover and description, because there's so much more involved in this story that just a girl falling in with a dangerous angel; it's rich in development, and quite steamy, with a touch of sarcasm, family, grief and emotion involved. If you're looking for a book that will surprise you, this could definitely be for you, and if you're looking for a hidden hero in the shadows, then trust me, you need to read this book. I'm quite eager to get my hands on Euphoria and Elysium, as I'm really intrigued in how the characters will continue to change and mold into something else. Sometimes, the hero you want isn't always the hero you come to expect.


  1. Great review! This sounds like an interesting one but must admit that I am in no hurry to go pick it up myself. I haven't seen this one before though. Nice review Amanda :)

    1. Thank you! I think it'd be a good one to pick up when you're looking for something surprising and different :)


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