Wednesday 14 May 2014

Book Review - Scala

Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound #2
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 17th December 2013
Publishers: Ink Monster LLC
No. Pages: 532
Source: ARC - Ink Monster LLC
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Nineteen-year-old Myla Lewis has transformed into the Great Scala, the only being with the power to move human souls to Heaven or Hell. Although she no longer fights demons in the Arena, Myla still has tons of ass-kicking to do as she redefines the afterlife and rebuilds Purgatory's government.

Unfortunately, her world falls apart faster than she can put it together. An enemy out of Myla's past is sapping her powers, making her weaker by the day. Even worse, her angel bound-love Lincoln has mysteriously disappeared. As her true enemy becomes clear, Myla discovers that all the after-realms are at risk. After losing so much power, does she still have the strength to save her world?

Reading Angelbound was an experience I don't remember as clearly as I'd like to, but I do remember feeling as though I was pressured to read it quickly as when I received it, it was close to the release date, and unsurprisingly, Scala was much the same, gaining an ARC copy seven days ago. However, the difference between my feeling pressured to read Angelbound quickly and Scala quickly was that I was strangely excited to see where Bauer took this series. I said I would like to read the sequel and see if it improved and that's what I've done. I've read it's sequel and thankfully, it did improve.

Scala starts off at least two months after the events of Angelbound, and I appreciated that there was quite a gap between the ending in book one and the start of book two, it allowed for an out-of-the-box develop of characters and other plot details that would have only taken up unnecessary pages in the story and that's always a feature I enjoy. I means that I can get to know the characters again, mimicking the time away I've from them between the releases and it also means that some cheesy and boring areas have been washed away and won't make the plot dry and lack entertainment value. I was also pretty impressed with how quickly Bauer got to work on developing the plot for Scala, and also how she managed to make this installment stand out on it's own from it's predecessor; yes, it was pretty predictable at times, but it didn't, in my opinion suffer from middle book syndrome and neither did it feel as though it lead up to some spectacular set up for the next and I assume final installment, it was paced well, there were plenty of action scenes to go around and the romance feature was developed and considered throughout and while I have a few problems with the language used to define a part of Myla's personality and the amount of present day slang and slurs used in the book such as 'cray-cray', overall, the writing was as strong as previously and it flowed pretty well. The world wasn't as strong as it was last time however, and that would be another drawback from the level of enjoyment this installment could have given me.

From a character development and romance point of view, Scala excelled much more than Angelbound. Where I had struggled to connect to Myla in the first installment and thought she was quite a gushy, and overly cheesy character around Lincoln, I found her to be much better and much more enjoyable to read about in this novel. It was fantastic to finally see her out of the school environment and doing more rather than saying more, being in control and using her authority to her ability, but also embracing herself much more around her friends, family and Lincoln which was nice to see. Of course, there is the romance side of things and I having been more prepared this time for steamy and highly tense scenes between both Myla and Lincoln is was much more enjoyable. I appreciated that Bauer included the the very normal and believable traits of being sexually attracted to someone, the touching and feeling, the teasing and being pretty damn hot on occasions and also covered subjects of masturbation and personal pleasure, which I seriously don't think are covered enough in young adult/new adult novels which is a shame. Bauer has a raw talent for both bringing out the sexiness and appeal of their very lustful relationship, but also the sense of commitment and generally quite sweet nature between the characters. Myla's relationship and development with her parents was also wonderful to see, her newly developed relationship with her Father was very realistic and actually really enjoyable, and the banter that spread between the family as a whole was lovely. I think it's a shame that in this novel Myla spent less time with Cissy with both work commitments and her relationship with Lincoln taking more of a central stage, but overall, what you did see of their friendship was anchored in place as is still firm and strong on both sides.

Overall, there was something about the writing or the plot that I couldn't always take to, and still now I can't place exactly what that is, but it did bother me throughout, however, the plot points, the twists, the developments and the surprising none-cliffy ending was quite pleasant. Actually, I take that back, the none-cliffy ending completely threw me having read the description for Armageddon, I totally had this assumption that I would be left with Myla in Hell, but alas, I got a very good ending to a very good book. I'd also like to mention how much I'm liking that some self-published authors are releasing their series all in one year, less waiting to lose sense of the world and plot and much more enjoyment for readers. It's fair to say that when I read Angelbound I was going through a dislike of so many Angel vs Demon styled fantasy's and I think that affected my enjoyment and my review, however, Scala has proven to me that this is a good series, and for people who enjoy the Angel/Demons aspect with a touch of magic, ghouls and a romance that will have you smirking your face off, Angelbound is a good one to start.


  1. Ooh, I haven't heard of this series before, and just realized it was the second book of a trilogy (it IS a trilogy, right?). I didn't read the entirety of your review, but I got the gist of it :) I'm glad it was a good overall read, because honestly, many second books out there suffer from the middle book syndrome, that I was a bit afraid this one would suffer the same fate. Thankfully it didn't, and I look forward to a more enjoyable and unique spin to the Angel/Demon trope! :)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    1. It is a trilogy yes Faye, it's a great one, a good solid relationship, good secondary characters and good, but predictable twists, might be worth a look at for you? :)

  2. I remember seeing your review for the first book, think you gave it 3 stars, and not really thinking too highly of this series. But, I'm pleased to see that it gets better with the sequel and improves on the things you disliked with the first one. The use of cray-cray in a book would actually drive me cray-cray lol. Middle Book Syndrome is a very real and very tragic thing, thankfully this didn't suffer from it ;) At only 175 pages this must be quite a quick read to get through, haven't seen a book that short in a long time.

    1. I gave it around 3 stars at the time yes, but I do think that had I read it now, I would feel differently and more positively about it. For an indie author and an indie publisher, I think this series is really good and really strong, and definitely didn't suffer middle book syndrome. It was just too quick to read because the length, such a shame..


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