CBR v2.0 Book 4, Defending Angels
I’ll admit I’ve been putting off writing this review since I finished the book last week. We’re talking about Defending Angels here, the second in a new series by Mary Stanton. I read the first one as part of Cannonball the First, I think. Maybe. I don’t know. I read it, anyway, and enjoyed it enough that I sought out the second one when it was released.
This series follows a young lawyer named Bree who inherits a law firm from her recently deceased uncle. Only the catch is that instead of defending regular folks, she’s defending dead people against celestial charges. Yanno, against the sins that are written on their souls. Oh, and her office staff? They’re all angels. Her dog is some sort of heavenly creature as well. Her dog, people. Oh but wait, she can’t tell anyone about this, and she has to take regular cases as well so she can, yanno, eat.
Interesting concept, right?
It is. I enjoy that aspect of the series—let’s face it; I read almost nothing without at least a hint of the supernatural or fantasy to it these days. I’m becoming horribly predictable.
This second entry finds Bree having to defend a dead guy who has serious charges leveled against him. Land him in the 9th circle of Hell serious charges. And as it turns out, there’s no way she can truly clear him of the charges—his life stands as testament to what he did. Or something like that. She also has to defend his daughter, who is rather fucked up. A spoiled rich brat who’s got a real mean streak. Almost sociopathic, except she’s a teenager, so she’s *actually* sociopathic. Kids, huh? But Bree pulls it off. She manages to produce mitigating circumstances for the worst of the dead guy’s sins, and he throws himself upon the mercy of the court, claiming he did what he did out of love for his daughter. Things with his daughter are likewise mostly tied up—she gets into a good therapy program, anyway, and by her own choice as well.
The mystery is kinda meh, though. I found it to be somewhat disappointing. The ending, while not precisely predictable, didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I read it, and then I kind of tilted my head and looked at the book and went, “Really? It was that guy? Huh.” People died who really didn’t need to. And there are things thrown into the story that I know are supposed to be important for later stories, but still didn’t feel like they fit. There’s also the fact that Bree is left to operate in the dark in regards to her place in the Celestial Court system—none of the angels can really answer her questions, and there’s clearly supposed to be foreshadowing happening regarding her mother and some epic battle she’s no doubt going to be forced to face in the future but it feels really clumsily done. Oh, and she has this weird wind power that she can use even though she has no idea where it comes from or why she has it or anything—this bugs me, for some reason.
I also have a few problems with Bree as a character. There are aspects of her personality that seem sort of plopped in for effect, not as though they’re actually part of her character. I don’t like that. I can’t see her as more than a character in a book, and that really bugs me. I need my characters to feel real, thanks.
Overall, I can’t give this a very strong recommendation. I will probably read more of the series, to see if things gel a bit better, but I’m not nearly as eager for the third book as I was for the second one. Bummer.
Filed under: cannonball read | Leave a Comment
Tags: book review, books, cannonball read, cannonball read 2.0, defending angels, reading