***WARNING: This book contains bullying, violence, death, and suicide. Not recommended for those under 16. ***
“Bullied through high school, seventeen-year-old Justice St. Michaels is grateful for the help of her best friend Moira O’Fhey. Their only wish is to graduate high school, leave the sleepy town of Fallingbrook and all that happened behind them. The Heavens have other plans. Between late night sleepwalking and being involved in explosive school fights, nothing seems to make sense. When an unexpected encounter with Darien Raventhorn causes worlds to collide it exposes the truth about Justice’s real identity. To avenge a family death, Justice must embrace her birthright, and slay a demon before all Hell breaks loose.”
Who’s driving this thing?
Justice St. Michaels: a high school senior only a few months away from graduating high school, and it can’t come soon enough. Still suffering at the hands of her super-popular and vindictive bullies, Justice struggles with anger issues and a growing feeling that something isn’t quite right, in the run-up to her 18th birthday.
When she receives a vision of a young man that she will soon be close to, Justice begins to suspect that not so natural forces are at work.
As a character, Justice is well fleshed out and one we can empathise with. The issues she has with her bullies was caused by Justice lifting the lid on corruption in school politics and she has paid the price ever since. She is a brave young woman who doesn’t wallow in her misery but dwells on it and strives to either ignore it, move past it or strengthen herself to weather it. Justice has an admirable strength of character at such a young age.
With supportive parents and a best friend she can rely in, it’s definitely refreshing to have a YA female protagonist whose troubles are very relatable.
What’s this all about?
While dealing with her bullies at school and visions of a mystery man, Justice feels herself changing as she approaches her 18th birthday. When a confrontation between Justice and her bullies escalates, a scuffle turns into a deadly accident, in the aftermath, Justice discovers the existence of witches, elves and “heavenly halflings” – half human, half angel descendants of St. Michael himself.
With the help of her devoted parents, when Justice turns 18 she receives her wings, her powers and a destiny she isn’t sure she can meet.
Before long, she meets Darian Raventhorn; a vampire who needs Justice’s help to free him from the curse placed upon him by the evil Seliki.
**Spoiler – Spoiler – Spoiler***
As Justice struggles to accept her destiny, Seliki a
ttacks and her parents are killed trying to protect her. With Darien’s help, Justice comes to terms with her future and sets out to prepare herself for her demon-slaying fate.
What’s so great about it?
Let’s help ourselves to a listicle:
Great characters with strong, believable motivations. Every character comes across as well thought out, all with a great deal of depth and realistic struggles. Justice in particular was a stand-out character because of her determination to be a good person to others despite her teenage hormones and anger issues. In short, no self-conjured teenage drama, which did the plot a big service.
Awesome action scenes. The incident at the school when Justice faces off against her bullies is super intense, and really drags us in. I say “drags” because we almost don’t want scenes like that to be so vivid and life-like, but hell, does it make for some heart-wrenching and touching scenes. In all the right scenes, Linda Bloodworth hits us with some truly tremendous emotional impact.
What could be better?
For all the epic realism present in A Raven’s Touch, there were a few head-scratching and sometimes worrying moments.
Firstly, Darien Raventhorn, while the love interest of Justice, comes across as worryingly controlling in the first half of the book. Using enchantments to make Justice do what he wants and sometimes manipulating her emotionally, I couldn’t get on board with him as a love interest. Sure, he’s romantic and attentive, but only after he’s done some pretty questionable things to get the chance.
Secondly, Justice has some strange reactions to seeing her primary bully as a spirit and learning that her best friend is a witch, in the sense that she doesn’t react at all. Similarly, the horrific events that happen at the school are quite easily forgotten by Justice and her best friend and they go out for a hot drink later that day. Now that I think of it, her parents don’t seem that concerned about what happened at the school either.
Should I get it?
I think you’ll like it! YA, fantasy and urban fantasy fans will enjoy A Raven’s Touch.
Thanks for reading this review! Drop me a comment below to talk more urban fantasy fiction!