jenjn79's Reviews > Angels Fall

Angels Fall by Nora Roberts
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Mar 26, 2008

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bookshelves: genre-romance-suspense, reviewed, author-nora-roberts, format-hardcover, stars-3

** spoiler alert ** On the simple side of things, I have to say that I enjoyed Angels Fall. Interesting storyline, characters, and romance. I was hooked into the story fairly easily. And at the same time, I also have to say that I've read better books, and better from Nora Roberts. It didn't quite seem to have that pulse-pounding mystery, and sizzling romance that some of her other books have had. Still, I liked the book a lot.

One of the things I enjoyed was that it was really a three-prong story. First you had Reece with her tragic past and all her current neurosis and her struggle to find a future for herself. The you have her relationship with Brody, and lastly you have the mystery aspect of the supposedly dead woman and who killed her. Those three aspects give the story a nice well-rounded feel. Even saying so, I didn't feel as if any one of those really stood out as outstanding.

The characters: I really liked Reece. I can see how some would find her utterly annoying, but that's only if you take everything she does out of context. She's a deeply emotionally scarred woman who is doing the best that she can. If I were in her shoes, I'd be checking locks a millions times too. I think NR did a great job portraying her daily struggle with life and her anal, O/C nature. She didn't let it wane throughout the book, or just intimate it after a while. She kept Reece's personality and "quirks" consistent which made the character more real. One thing I did get a little annoyed about with Reece (or the way NR wrote her), was how easily she blamed herself early on for the strange things going on around her. I know she had reason to suspect herself, but with believing she'd seen a murder, and the belief she supposedly had in herself that she was better, I would have thought she'd be a bit more suspicious. It just bugged me that it wasn't until Brody pushed the idea at her that someone was out to get her that she began to accept it.

As for Brody...a bit of an odd character. I can't particularly say he was highly lovable. He's gruff, no-nonsense, and a bit in-your-face. He's not very romantic or tender. On the flip-side, he's very honest and supportive in his own way. I was a bit surprised by his character once I got into the book. Normally, you'd think an author would pair off a character like Reece with a very gentle, sympathetic, soothing man that would help her back to herself. So it was a surprise that NR chose such a strong male lead for Reece. But the pairing worked for the most part. Reece needed someone who wouldn't coddle her or treat her like an invalid. Sometimes, though, I felt he was a bit too how he'd tell her to knock-it-off if she was about to cry and stuff like that. I also though NR skimped a bit on developing his character. She didn't really give us all that much of his background, just some major points to give him a place in the story. I would have liked him to have a bit more depth.

The romance: I liked Reece/Brody, but I didn't love them together. And I think it's safe to say that they wouldn't ever qualify for The Great American Romance. I liked that NR did a bit of a build-up with them. It seems like in so many books, the guy and girl meet and there's massive heat and lust and passion and they're falling into bed in the blink of an eye. Reece and Brody did fall into bed somewhat quickly, but NR gave them some time and space, some interaction to build things. I liked that. And I liked Brody's slow-slide into love. How he'd just suddenly realize he was doing certain things that he'd never consider doing before. It was amusing. In the end though, I just wasn't that attached to the pairing. They were an interesting pair and I rooted for them, but they just didn't have that really great pull, that strong emotional bond that makes them perfect together.

Thr plot: Good storyline, but I wouldn't really call it a meaty, overpowering one. But then, if the plot had been like that, I think it would have overshadowed Reece's character too much. I think the plot was rather realistic, though, even if a bit simple. Woman takes a walk and sees someone get killed....nothing hard-to-believe, or very original, about that. It is very simplistic, but it works for the story. It sets up a chains of events that keep things active and interesting. Back to the originality aspect, though, the idea of someone trying to discredit Reece by making her look crazy has been done before, probably numerous times. In the end, I think perhaps the plot could have been a bit stronger, a bit more convoluted, but that's just my opinion.

I read some reviews on the 'net that said the bad-guy was really obvious really early in the book, but it didn't seem that way to me. I had a character I was leaning strongly toward rather early one, but I kept second-guessing throughout the book, kept wondering about other characters. NR did a good job of allowing suspicions to wander. I always seemed to lean toward my #1 suspect, but at times I thought it could have been Mac, or Doc, or Lo, or for a brief moment, even Linda-gail. What tipped the scales, though, was near the end when the moon-pendant necklace was mentioned. Then I knew for sure who it was. So on that aspect of the story, I think NR did a good job of keeping me guessing, keeping me wanting to read more to find out who the bad guy was.

An interesting direction NR COULD have taken with this book would have been to make it much less clear that Reece really had seen a murder. There's not really any doubt that she did in the book. It would have added a great dynamic to make that point much less sure, to make the readers wonder if Reece is just nuts or if there is a murderer wandering around.

Random comments: One thing I thought early on was that I wished I hadn't known so much about Reece's character going into the book. The book jacket pretty much gives away the major point of her history, and the summary at Amazon was even more detailed. You know going in that she is the sole-survivor of a brutal attack, trying to put her life back together. I wished I hadn't know that. I think her character, and her idiosyncrasies, would have had a greater impact if I'd known less about her.

I enjoyed the small, side-storyline of Linda-gail and Lo. I almost kinda wished she'd delved a little deeper there, but that probably wouldn't have fit the story. Joanie was also a nice addition to the story. I liked her, along with the others in the supporting cast - Mac, Doc, etc.

So overall, I thought Angels Fall was a nice well-rounded story, but it didn't really stand-out to me on any level. But it was still a good read.

Most amusing line of the story (Doc is getting ready to do a Pap-smear on Reece):

"Looks healthy," Doc commented.

"Good, because it hasn't been getting any exercise in quite a while." When she heard Willow smother a laugh, Reece just closed her eyes. She had to remember some old saying about being careful of thoughts. They become words.

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Quotes jenjn79 Liked

Nora Roberts
“((Doc is getting ready to do a Pap-smear on Reece))

"Looks healthy," Doc commented.

"Good, because it hasn't been getting any exercise in quite a while." When she heard Willow smother a laugh, Reece just closed her eyes. She had to remember some old saying about being careful of thoughts. They become words.”
Nora Roberts, Angels Fall
tags: humor

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