Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review – “Strange Angels” by Lili St. Crow

Dru Anderson. Night Hunter. Knife Wielder. Heart Breaker.
Dru: Sixteen-year-old Dru has what her grandmother called the touch—a sixth sense that drives her from town to town to hunt ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional reanimated corpse. But when evil comes knocking, can this loner tough girl stand the heat. Or is it just a matter of time before her blood turns cold?

Graves: Goth boy Graves has a big crush on new girl, Dru. And with his lopsided grin and shaggy hair, she's noticed him right back. Then a wulf bite threatens to change him for good, and Dru will have to keep her distance ... or else.

Christopher: Christophe's ice cold baby blues and wicked smile are the kind of looks that kill. He's got a hunch that Dru is way more special than she knows. Trouble is, he's not the only one who has caught her scent. And it will take more than his razor-sharp fangs to take out whatever—or whoever—is hunting her.

Can Dru stay alive long enough to fall for one—or both—of the guys hungry for her affections? Find out in the thrilling new paranormal series from Razorbill, STRANGE ANGELS.

Dru Anderson's not afraid of the dark. But she should be.
Writing as Lil St. Crow for her debut young adult novel, urban fantasy author Lilith Saintcrow with Strange Angels has crafted an intense tale of self-discovery and survival. The central character, Dru Anderson, is a sixteen year old girl, whose single-parent father is a Hunter of the supernatural. Dru assists where she can and has been trained in martial arts and the use of firearms. She also has some limited untrained psychic abilities. Never long in one place, Dru is always the outsider among her peers at whatever school she attends. She also fears abandonment having lost her mother at five and exists in a constant state of fear that her father might not return from one of his missions. A lot for a young girl to shoulder.

Not shy about throwing her characters into the deep-end, the opening chapters have Dru killing her own father to save her life when he returns from his latest foray as a zombie. This leaves Dru grief-stricken, alone without family and bereft of any idea about what to do next. And so begins her terrifying journey into an unknown future.

Seeking safety and the comfort of people around her at the mall, her shock is evident from this inner dialogue –
Hello, Officer? Can you help me? My dad got turned into a zombie. You know, we've been traveling around getting rid of things that aren't real and this time they hit back. I really need someplace to stay—but can you make sure I have some holy water or something wherever it is? And some silver-jacketed bullets? That'd be sweet. Yeah, that'd be totally cool. Thanks. And while you're at it, can you tell the guys with the straitjackets that I'm really sane? That would help.
Dru ends up taking temporary refuge with another outsider from her school but the enemies that transformed her father are hunting her and Graves gets caught in the crossfire becoming infected in a werwulf attack. Graves accepts his new circumstances with surprising aplomb and as events progress Dru learns to trust, rely on and care for Graves. Their evolving relationship and reliance on one another is adeptly handled and contributes greatly to the appeal of the story.

Only when the enigmatic djamphir Christophe, a member of the Order, approaches them to become their protector against their common enemy does Dru come to realize how little she knew about her father’s activities and the depth of the threat against her. Christophe unveils some truths about her mother’s death and her own unique nature that further undermine the foundation of her previous life but also gives her some hope about her new role in the scheme of things.

The world-building offers some nice twists and fresh takes on the various supernatural entities to give Strange Angels its own unique flavour. Action sequences are plentiful and vivid playing out to the very last page. The backdrop of constant and oppressive snow storms greatly ratchets up the tension and sense of isolation, creating a dark and foreboding atmosphere that enhances the supernatural conflicts.

Strange Angels will most definitely whet the appetite for fans of young adult urban fantasy and leave them wanting more. It is a strong debut which I think will quickly earn its’ place at the “must read” table in the ever-expanding selection of excellent YA series. The conclusion of Strange Angels, while not exactly a cliff-hanger, clearly sets the stage for a whole new exciting adventure for Dru and company.


Read an excerpt from the Prologue.

Penguin Group/Razorbill
Published: May 14, 2009
ISBN #: 9781595142511
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 301

Strange Angels YA Series:
(as Lili St. Crow)

  1. Strange Angels (2009)

Jill Kismet

  1. Night Shift (2008)
  2. Hunters Prayer (2008)
  3. Redemption Alley (2009)
  4. Flesh Circus (2009)


  1. Steelflower (2007)

Dante Valentine

  1. Working for the Devil (2005)
  2. Dead Man Rising (2006)
  3. The Devil's Right Hand (2007)
  4. Saint City Sinners (2007)
  5. To Hell and Back (2008)

The Watcher Series

  1. Dark Watcher (2004)
  2. Storm Watcher (2005)
  3. Fire Watcher (2006)
  4. Cloud Watcher (2006)
  5. Mindhealer (2008)

The Society Series

  1. The Society (2005)
  2. Hunter, Healer (2005)

The Keeper Books
(as Anna Beguine)

  1. Smoke (2007)
  2. Mirror (2007)

Watch the book trailer for Strange Angels.


  1. I just got this book. I have to say I think it is great that YA UF is exploding.

  2. I just ordered this book, it looks like a good book. I haven't read any of Ms. St. Crow previous books, this will be my first. Thanks for the review.

  3. KB I look forward to your take on this one. I find Lilith Saintcrow's novels much darker than a lot of urban fantasy amd that includes this YA novel and I quite like that.

    Fantasy Dreamer if you like Strange Angels then you are have a lot of great series of hers to look forward to!

  4. I am so sad that I still don't have a copy and I would if I could, but that aside this reminds me of Supernatural. I love the TV series and a lot of the events in here strike a similar cord in this particular vine. :) It's not identical, but this is so interesting and I love dark.

  5. Doug,

    I read the first couple of books in both the Jill Kismet and Dante Valentine series - but couldn't get into either series. I'm looking forward to trying this one.

    Thanks for the review. :)


  6. Harry from a media perspective there are some similarities to Supernatural. I also thought that Dru had some characteristics similar to John Connor from the TV Terminator series.

    Michelle I think you will find this quite a bit different from her other series.

  7. Love the book trailer. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. I'm soooo excited about this one.

  9. Princess Allie it was funny timing because Lilith Saintcrow blogged about it the same day as I was putting up my review. Didn't know about it before that.

    Hagelrat I'd love to hear what you think once you've read it!

  10. I never really watched those TV series to know for sure, but I take your word for it. :) I am not saying that it is a bad thing, but a good thing, because I really like the show and more or less can work for the public.


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