Evey is in her mid-twenties and has her life figured out. Well, parts of it. Although she accepted to work for her ungrateful boss until she can stand on her own two feet, she can’t take any more crappy dates with even crappier guys. Then she meets the mysterious, really good-looking Lucian. She is instantly drawn to him. But Lucian is not any guy, in fact, he is a guardian angel, Evey’s guardian angel! While Evey tries to not hook up with her guardian angel, Lucian has some problems of his own to overcome. But what happens when a person and a guardian angel fall madly in love? Isn’t it against some human-cosmic-law?
Have you ever thought about angels? More specifically guardian angels? How they look and what they do? I never gave it much thought but if someone asked me how I imagined angels or guardian angels I would tell them I imagined “people” in long white gowns with blonde hair. They would have halos above their heads and big majestic white wings on their backs. They would look happy all the time and would fly around in heaven, where it is all gold and white with fluffy clouds. As you can see, my imagination is rather basic, but if you never gave it much thought, what do you expect?
Just by reading Carlino’s descriptions, I could tell that she thought about guardian angels and their world a lot. She knew exactly what they looked like, how they spent their time while us humans were asleep, their gifts and also their strengths and weaknesses. Carlino created a beautiful and thought-through world that I could imagine perfectly.
In my imagination, angels or guardian angels were the right hand of God: they would talk to him frequently, would ask him for advice. But the guardian angels in this novel were just as clueless about heaven, God and how it all worked as us humans. And Carlino has a point: no one really knows about heaven, God, angels and how it all works. Carlino is as clueless as the rest of the world and I liked fact that she made it a point in this novel. Everyone has their own imagination of heaven, angels and God, and while Carlino told us all about her guardian angel imagination, she left out all the other facts. It is for us to imagine and for us to create our own world. Maybe she has her own thoughts about it but didn’t feel comfortable to write them down because it’s something too personal, I don’t know. But I’m glad she didn’t, so we can all indulge in our own imaginations of heaven and angels.
The story started off on the fun side and Lucian’s humor was right up my alley. His interactions with the other angels and his alcoholism were hilarious. Although, no one wishes to have an alcoholic guardian angel, mind you. Evey’s reaction to finding out that Lucian was an actual guardian angel – her guardian angel – was a little odd. She was a little too calm (after a tiny freak-out) and too quickly to accept it in my opinion. After that, Lucian and Evey’s relationship took off and was rather on the wild side of things. There were a few times when I had to turn back to make sure I haven’t missed any pages or even chapters! There were all these life-changing moments for both of them and those moments all happened so quickly and rather unexpected. There was no built up to it, it just happened, which was odd. I didn’t really think that Lucian and Evey were at this point in their relationship because there was no getting to know each other and I really missed that in the story. Also, I didn’t feel any chemistry between them whatsoever.
As the story progressed it became more and more dramatic – too dramatic for my taste. I was a little annoyed by the end to be perfectly honest with you guys. How did the fun and hilarious story turn into such a depressing one so quickly?
Although Lucian Divine is about guardian angels, it is certainly not a religious book whatsoever. Yes, there is mention of God and heaven but this is inevitable when you write a story about guardian angels. Where there are angels, there is mention of heaven and God.
As most of the guardian angels in this novel have been around for quite some time already, say like the better part of the past 2,000 years, they had been assigned to some notable people from the history books. I liked the fact that Carlino added these details. It made the book more interesting and fun to read.
The last 3 chapters and the epilogue were, in my opinion, the best part of the story. I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys, but know that this part made me give the book a higher rating than initially thought.
This was my first Renee Carlino book and although this novel was a rather let down, it will definitely not be the last one to read by her.
I was anxiously awaiting the release of Lucian Divine since the cover reveal late last year. This book sounded so different and inventive to me- I couldn’t wait! After reading Swear on this Life earlier in 2016, I knew Renee could tug on my heartstrings in the best possible way.
First, I have to say the creativity of this story did not let me down in the least. I kept thinking of the Bible verse from Hebrews as I read, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Do we ever know where the unexplained things in our life come from? Maybe they’re coincidence, maybe an act of God, or maybe they’re the work of angels. As humans that veil to the other side rarely lifts enough for us to see beyond. Renee fictionally lifted that veil in a fun and imaginative way only she was capable of. I commend her risk-taking with this story. It has to be a challenge to write a story like this, knowing she could offend atheists and agnostics and the religious with one single book. While I am a Christian, with a Southern Baptist preacher for a father-in-law, I can appreciate this is a work of fiction and simply told in good humor, as Renee mentions in her Author’s Note.
Overall, the story started off excellent, in my opinion. It was intriguing, funny, and I could not wait to read more. After Lucian and Evey met, however, I felt the story progressed rather quickly and found myself flipping back to make sure I hadn’t missed a page or further description. I felt like it was insta-love to the max, where there should have been a bit more of a build-up. It felt as if the big moments of their relationship were too hasty. This left me a little bored about 3/4 of the way in because it felt as if everything had already been accomplished. The only sort of climax was the sense of impending doom or punishment for the consequences of their actions. It was a bit of a downer when the story started so fun, but it was possibly how things would have gone if the fiction could be made into reality. In the end, the story redeemed itself and became interesting again with the conclusion. This story was sweet and completely different from anything I have ever read. I can’t wait to pick up Renee’s other novels, and hope you will too, her writing and humor is a win-win in my book!
It was another great buddy-read for Sabrina and I to experience together. Thanks to Renee for creating a book we could laugh with together.