Hello fellow bloggers and readers!
I have chosen to review Black Wings by Iryna K. Combs. Here is the summary :
A new time. A new planet. A new world. New technologies. Two new humanoid species. A new war.
The two species separate, but in the removal, some of the best are left behind among the worst. Captured and held as slaves, they are treated cruelly for entertainment. Torture. Pain.
Annabel, endures a year of such cruelty, kept alive only by way of syringes which, while healing, cause a greater agony. She discovers a secret held by their leader, and decides to help her own kind by escaping–even if it means a final death, preferable to the life she has endured.
Her escape succeeds, and she joins her own kind at the other end of the planet. Among her new friends she meets many who help her adjust to their happier life. Will Annabel find romance? Or will another war break her down?
I’ll start with the good sides. The first thing I’ve noticed is how imaginative her idea is! On one side, there are the Anlights, a good people with wings, and on the other, Varkins, a very bad people with enhanced strength. I must admit I simply loved how what’s inside one’s heart is shown by their appearance. It’s very original. The author uses a good and poignant imagery and has a knack for describing locations. The way she switches point of views is also to be noted as it does not leave a sour feeling of confusion but keeps you reading. The book is filled with action and romance – despite the latter not being of much interest to me, I must admit it was interesting and well-woven. The author makes use of good vocabulary, considering English is her third language. There is also her biography at the beginning of the book to explain why sometimes sentences can sound weird or unidiomatic – a wise decision, if you ask me. The cover of her book is worth mentioning: it is aesthetically beautiful, with a quote explaining the story, it is poignant, and it shows a special something that belongs only to Annabel… Could you find it? Last but not least, there are many twists and turns worth your time. I was surprised at one twist in particular, but don’t worry, I won’t spoil it for you!
Now is the time for the bad sides. One thing that seriously bothered me was how Annabel is a courageous and strong woman at the beginning, but then as soon as she’s safe she starts acting weak, shy, and isolates herself. She doesn’t want to go anywhere or try anything different. She appears to be a totally different person… Only at the end does she go back to being the one she was when we first met her. I liked her a lot until she started acting so weirdly; she then became just a normal character, a flat one. Other than that, there is a lack of description of emotions. We barely feel what’s going on in Annabel’s mind and heart; more insight on this would be great! Moreover, the Anlights, the good people, are a little too good… and cheerful. After having lost most of their families and people, I don’t think they’d be so happy in general. I understand that they are meant to represent the goodness, but sometimes it’s a bit exaggerated as most people wouldn’t be so helpful or ready to help, or sensitive. I’ve also noticed there is no table of contents – one thing I particularly like in a book in order to know where I’m at and just to read the chapters’ titles. Call me curious and I’ll agree.
Overall, the story is an entertaining read. Considering that the author is Ukrainian and that Black Wings is her first book, one can overlook the mistakes and sometimes strange sentences for the sake of the story itself, which is very good. I give it a 4 out of 5 rating for the interesting story; the writing needs more practice, though. I sincerely believe, thanks to the creative story, that this should be a best-seller!
P.S.: I want to congratulate the author, Iryna K. Combs, once again on her first book! Also, I hope there is a sequel coming for it left me wanting more of Annabel, Dexter, and this new world.