Adam’s (Unforgiven, 2015, etc.) debut paranormal YA romance, the first in her Soulkeepers trilogy, pits angels against demons as they war over souls in modern-day Connecticut.
Sophia St. James, 17, is still grieving the death of her mother when she and her father flee California (and Sophia’s abusive boyfriend) to start a new life in New England. Driving into the Connecticut town of Haven Hurst, Sophia witnesses a car accident and sees what apparently no one else can: an angel saving a life. On her first day of school, she learns that the angel she saw is a senior in her class named Michael Patronus. Sophia has lately been troubled by unexplainable visions and powerful emotions, but Michael and his brothers are unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Her gift of extrasensory perception gets a fresh jolt when a new set of brothers arrives, led by Dante, who ignites feelings of both familiarity and dread within her. Soon she’s embroiled in a deadly conflict between Guardians and Demon Knights, each armed with unique weapons and skills. Sophia is drawn to both Michael and Dante for reasons that she can’t fully comprehend—including some that involve past lives. The climactic scene takes place on Halloween in a haunted house where the horrors are real and the stakes are life and death. The story moves swiftly, fueled by the forbidden romance that develops between Sophia and Michael, and the first-person narration lends Sophia’s account intimacy and immediacy. Vivid descriptions spice up the text, such as when a newly-minted teenage demon plays guitar before an unsuspecting crowd: “his fingers are spiders crawling over strings and frets.” At times, though, the dialogue can be distracting, as it targets YA audiences with trendy allusions such as “Faceboink” and contrivances such as “premature articulation” and “procrasturbating.” However, this classic story of good and evil will still catch and hold readers’ imaginations.
An action-packed, satisfying love story gets this supernatural series off to a rousing start.