Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Title: Griffin Rising
Author: Darby Karchut
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
ARC, 169 pages
Date Published: June 28, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Griffin Rising is an urban fantasy about an apprentice angel and his coming of age under the tutelage of a father-like mentor. As one of the mysterious Terrae Angeli, Griffin secretly navigates life among humans while preparing for the trial-by-combat every apprentice must pass or become mortal.

Griffin Rising is a short and fast read with a new take on angel lore. Griffin, a Tiro, or apprentice, finds himself facing down the trial that will either lead to him continuing on as a guardian angel or stripping him of the life he’s known and turning him human. Darby Karchut quickly makes Griffin a character to root for. His rough past and the abuse he’s suffered made me immediately care for him. His new mentor, Basil, comes off as very fatherly and sweet. The father/son relationship that Basil and Griffin share is the backbone of the story, making it more coming-of-age than paranormal. And I’m okay with that.

Tidbits about the Terrae Angeli – earth angels – are dropped in along Griffin’s journey to discover who he is and what his existence means. It’s a joy to see a boy who has suffered far too much grow into a strong, confident, and driven young man. Griffin’s happiness gives the story a great deal of heart and had me smiling nearly the entire time I was reading it. Katie, Griffin’s new girlfriend, is a sweetheart. The two of them embody the magic of first loves.

The opening of Griffin Rising sets up the story, but seeing it all play out is an experience not to be missed. There’s character growth, good-natured joking, some life-saving actions (along with a little flying), and a bad guy that I desperately wanted to punch in the face . . . then drop in a puddle of mud. Griffin's, Basil's, and Katie's journal entries also serve as a great view into their thoughts, both about one another and about their current lives. I was particularly taken by Griffin's and Basil's reactions to their early times together.

Darby Karchut’s debut is fantastic, fast-paced, and humorous. Griffin Rising is easy to relate to, hard not to enjoy, and the perfect read for a lazy summer afternoon. If you’re looking for an adventure with a boy you have to cheer for, this is the book to pick up!

Opening line (from chapter one):
Griffin gasped as he stumbled along, desperate to keep on his feet as Nicopolis dragged him up the sweeping driveway. ~ pg. 11

Favorite lines: I reminded him that free will, the ability to choose for oneself, can be a burden as well as a gift.
Because some choices will break your heart. ~ pg. 58

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Darby Karchut online:
Website | Blog | Twitter

Buy it online:


Candace said...

I know that I've seen this one around, but you know with the huge TBR I just didn't pay much attention. That's awesome that you really enjoyed it and someday in the future I'll have to remember that (you know, when the TBR goes down a bit).

Bere said...

Great review, Nikki! I've seen this one around but I believe this is the first review I've read on it. I actually didn't know it was about Angels! I'll be on the lookout. Thanks, Nikki! =)

Darby Karchut said...

Thanks for such a terrific review of my book, Nikki! You rock!

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