Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Dru Anderson’s life isn’t filled with the typical teen minutiae. She’s spent her teen years moving from city to city with her dad hunting supernatural creepy-crawlies. She has what her grandma always called “the touch,” a sense for the supernatural. Dru knows when an invisible big bad is around the corner. So, her dad lets her come along on hunts to hand him another clip and warn him of the supernatural baddies in the vicinity. He’s drilled his military training into his teen daughter. She knows the rules, and while she wants to go out hunting with him each night, when he says he’s going it alone, she listens.
Dru attends school — but doesn’t really see the point, as they’ll be moving again in a few weeks — and finds an unlikely friend in Graves, the goth boy who sits in front of her during history class. She hadn’t planned to make friends. Usually it’s pointless. But when her dad comes home from hunting as a zombie, Dru’s world flips around. Someone purposely killed him, reanimated him and sent him back home so she’d have to stop him. Freaking out, Graves is her only solace. The guy won’t let her be alone, and you will love him for it.
Coping with the loss of her father, Dru uses the skills her father drilled in to stay alive, seek out his killer, find out who is hunting her and maybe find some answers about her mother’s murder. On that journey we have to battle werwulfen, suckers and a giant burning dog. With Graves at her side, Dru isn’t alone but now she has to look out for him, too. Dru has a stony exterior complete with a rough wall built around her. Graves has to force her to open up. She’s a harsher kindred spirit to Vampire Academy’s Rose Hathaway. She’s ready to do battle, to take aim at werewolves and vampires and ghosts and giant cockroaches, but she may not survive it without a support system.
There’s quite a bit of world building and heavy subject matter in Strange Angels. We deal with death, loss, uncovering secrets, burgeoning talents and a whole lot of life-or-death decisions. Strange Angels is dark urban fantasy with a young adult tone. If you can handle the heavy topics, diving into Lili St. Crow’s young adult series is a good call. The book sets the stage for a series with the potential to be powerful and imaginative.
Sexual content: None, but plenty of violence.