Thursday, April 12, 2012

Devil's Kiss (Billi SanGreal #1):

“What, no balloons?' Billi asked drily.
'You want balloons, join the circus.”
~ Devil's Kiss, by  S.C. 
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Bilquis SanGreal knew without a shadow of a doubt that a time would come when she would have to choose. Choose between what she wanted and what was right. She just never guessed the choose would leave her so broken. 
As the only girl to ever be apart of the Knights Templar the pressure is on for Billi to show her worth, lately however things seem to have taken a turn for the worst, no longer is the Knight's this magical noble destiny Billi always sought out to be apart of. But now that she's seen the underbelly of the beast she realizes that the Knight's Templar does not make heretics but martyr's. Grueling days spent locked in a basement sparing with grown men tends to harden a girl, and while juggling the recent return of her childhood best friend - the ever self-sacrificing proclaimed oracle Kay - teenage emotional baggage and the sudden chance meeting of Michael a handsome ethereal man on the subway, there is no doubt that Billi has her hands full. 
When her Michael surprises Billi by understanding her more than anyone ever has in her entire life, Billi even surprises herself by accepting a date with the mysterious boy, however her nerves are prickling and as she begins to fall for both Michael and Kay she can't help but wonder. When is everything going to fall apart. In one single movement of male bravado Kay manages to shatter Billi small resemblance of a normal life. Using a sacred artifact King Solomon's Cursed Mirror, Kay unleashes the Templars most feared and dangerous enemy. The Archangel himself, the Angel of Death. It is exactly what Billi has long been training for, the battle that will make her a Knight for the rest of her life or end her life.
With children falling ill around her town Billi comes to realize that it is the Archangel's doing, his plan formed to bring people back to Christ, through fear, he vows, people will turn to faith. To save the world from one of the most vicious plagues since the Bubonic Plague of 1348 Billi makes a deadly deal with the Devil to receive the only weapon forged holding the power to kill an angel. But can Billi follow through with it, can she actually kill her father? Or is losing the love of her life to the Unholy worse?
I have to say reading this story threw for a loop, coming off a Meg Cabot novel I was almost to say devastated by its harshness, however that's not to say I didn't devour SanGreal tragic life. I mean honestly who hasn't thought of living in an old and historic castle, who hasn't wished they grew up like Buffy the Vampire 2.0 and who hasn't wished they knew Latin, just because.
Her chooses though, I would not ask for. 
Chadda's writing style was pungent and strong and I adored it. You do not tell a story such as this and use light fluid words, no they are supposed to be harsh and dignified. I must detour from this however to point out what I did not like about this story, the beginning. Summed up the whole four stars right there, it was dull and boring and for me I read the first two pages of a book to see if I like it and then if I like it I skip to the back of the book and read the last page. Don't ask me why, its weird. 
Anyhow, I got a dozen or so pages in and was already switching to another book. When I finally did come back to it, for that lack of any other unread book, I was deeply surprised when the story decided to all of a sudden become something energetic and wondrous. And the climax of it, now that was something no one will ever see truly coming, nor the ending for that matter. Because when you it is done, and your settled into the falling action, another big whooping climax comes by to steal the first ones thunder.

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