On May 12 I got an e-mail from a complete stranger. Her name . . . Keri Neal. In her e-mail, she asked me if I would like to review her latest book, FLIGHTLESS. Now, I’m normally hesitant when I get these e-mails as I receive tons of requests for reviews. Sadly, I have to turn away more than I can accept for various reasons, the primary ones being the stories are not YA, the topics aren’t ones I feel comfortable with, and/or I wasn’t impressed by the blurb. But when I read the following line, I knew I had to get a copy of the entire story to review.
“Flightless is a love story set in modern day. The protagonist is a former guardian angel who falls in love with a human girl.”
Okay, Keri, you got my attention, and with a click and a big “Yes!”, it was in my inbox. Folks, let me tell you, this is one of the best YA novellas I’ve ever read. It’s quick paced, has tons of drama, and is loaded with suspense. Pen is a very ‘naughty’ red-headed fallen angel but he’s got a heart of gold. Jade is a complete mess, haunted by a tragic event she witnessed when she was six years old. Together, they find their strengths and come to terms with their pasts, but their path to the future is paved in treachery. The cast is brilliant and the story well-played.
I had some slight hiccups in the beginning with sentence structure. There seemed to be too many sentences strung side by side with the same cadence, but that quickly ironed itself out. Flightless is also told from two points of view. For some people this might be a little distracting. After the first switch, it didn’t affect me anymore. In fact, I liked the telling of the story from two sides, and the transitions were very well done.
I would have liked to have known a little more about the character, Flinn and Jade’s background. Both are touched on to a satisfactory level, but I would have liked a bit more so I could ground myself in the whys and hows of the events that happened in Jades’ young life.
I do have to say the pace is perfect and the story is a quick, energetic read. My final score: 4.5 stars.
Thank you, Keri, for the opportunity to read your novella. I will definitely check out your other published works. For the rest of you, continue reading below for the excerpt of FLIGHTLESS, and to find out more about Keri Neal. Also, Keri said she might drop by today, so make sure you leave a comment below and say hello.
Pen and I are lounging under a big white umbrella. I am curled up with my head on his chest. His heartbeat is steady and slow, his breathing shallow. He is asleep. I pinch his arm playfully. “You’re going to miss it.”
He takes a deep breath and chuckles. “I’m awake. And I’ve seen my share of sunsets.”
I turn my head and rest my chin on his chest. His eyes are still closed. “You’re a grouch, you know that?”
He opens one eye and stares at me. “You know I’m going to find you. You don’t need to do this.”
My throat burns with emotion. “Yes, I do. You might not make it in time.”
Both his eyes open and stare blankly up at the umbrella. He is angry. His jaw clenches and his nostrils flare.“It’s almost time.”
I crawl up and lie down, straddling him. My blonde hair makes a curtain around us. He looks sad as he reaches up and holds my face. “I don’t know how to say goodbye to you.”
I smile. The sun is glowing in the horizon. Its resting place comes alive with color. I see it all happen in the reflection in his eyes.
“Yes, you do.”
I press my lips against his, urgently stealing every taste of him. I pull his lip through my teeth, and he groans loudly. The sound is erotic. Suddenly his hand is on the back of my head, pulling me roughly against him. His lips are not gentle anymore. They are rough and scaly, like a snake. He is hurting me. I push hard against his chest, only to realize my hands are bound. I start to cry as the sun descends into its salty grave.
Keri Neal designs book covers. FLIGHTLESS is her fourth published book.
She lives near Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, two hamsters and a snake. She crochets, sews, reads, paints and loves all things artsy & craftsy.
Cover Artist: booklovers.kerineal.com
Available on KDP Select and Paperback
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Release date: May 30, 2013