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Freya's intense passion for angels led her into years of mental illness. Now, just when she's starting to believe she's normal again, a dark angel starts to follow her. Soon she learns a stunning truth: She is an angel herself. And an angel's job is nothing like she imagined it would be...

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Freya's intense passion for angels led her into years of mental illness. Now, just when she's starting to believe she's normal again, a dark angel starts to follow her. Soon she learns a stunning truth: She is an angel herself. And an angel's job is nothing like she imagined it would be...

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 12 up.

Freya Harrison finally seems headed toward normal teenage life after years of intensive psychotherapy that began around age 8--soon after she saw the angel Hestron in her bedroom. Freya has even fallen in with popular girl Amy Carr's group of friends, despite her older brother Luke's objections. When the formerly home-educated Stephanie Rice arrives at school, she has obvious trouble fitting into the mold the other students have set for their peers. Freya subtly tries to give Stephanie some tips on fitting in; however, Stephanie is poorly socialized and unaccustomed to dealing with others. When she mistakes Amy's feigned interest in a piece of jewelry as genuine interest and launches into a long lecture about angels and their appearance in the beliefs of many faiths, Stephanie's social status as permanent outcast is sealed. Freya must make a difficult choice, which is further complicated by the re-emergence of angels in her life. She senses a somewhat kindred spirit in Stephanie's passionate study of all things angelic, but is worried about falling back into her mad obsession. Her concern is deepened by recent visions she's had of Hestron's brother Mestraal, a dark angel. When he manifests outside her bedroom and offers to answer her questions, events begin to spiral out of Freya's control, particularly after Hestron returns and tells Freya she has both human and angel parts, that she belongs to both (and yet neither) worlds, and that the number of angels is far outweighed by the number of humans who need them. At first, Freya finds playing angel to others fulfilling, but as she learns of the darker, more demanding side of helping others, she begins to doubther abilities. The book's spiritual themes should appeal to teenagers of many faiths, as should its handling of difficult issues like homelessness, peer pressure, and bullying. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood

School Library Journal

Gr 8-10- Mixing fantasy with brutal reality, McNish's novel is disturbing as well as moving. Freya, an angel-obsessed 14-year-old, has recently been released from a mental hospital, free to attend public school. Her 16-year-old brother, Luke, cautions her about the popular girls who have befriended her. From personal experience, he has seen how vicious they can be to those who step out on their own for any reason. Beyond his warning, Luke is not able to help Freya negotiate the world of high school because of problems of his own, including harsh bullies and his knowledge of their father's serious illness. It is gradually revealed that Freya, inexplicably, is part angel herself and, as the story progresses, she becomes more and more angel-like; she is eventually given the task of being a guardian to a number of human wards. While there are important and well-developed messages within this narrative, there are too many subplots for them to be effective: verbal bullying by girls, physical bullying by boys, fantasy that is just this side of reality, and illness of a parent to name the most evident. The writing is clear, and Freya and Luke are well developed, although the minor characters are little more than stereotypes. The busyness of the plot notwithstanding, McNish is an author to watch.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761385011
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/2012
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 1,211,161
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Written when he was almost forty, Cliff McNish's Doomspell Trilogy won him an instant and avid readership and has been published in 19 languages around the world. Since then, he has continued to write fiction, including The Silver Sequence, Breathe, and Angel, and has been hailed as a "great new voice in writing for children" (The Bookseller). Mr. McNish was born in northeastern England. He enjoys playing golf, walking up mountains, and eating as much hot and spicy food as possible. He is married and has a teenage daughter, whose demand for a scary story led to the idea for his first book.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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