Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Review: Absolution by Jennifer Laurens
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek
Publication Date: 11 October 2010
Huge thanks to Jennifer for sending me a copy. I completely adore this series.
Synopsis: From GoodReads
Zoe’s secret is out. And the powers of Hell are ravenous to claim her soul. Her brother, Luke, knows her secret: that she sees both good and evil spirits. Her boyfriend knows. At least Matthias is her guardian angel again. But now Hell’s most ruthless leader will stop at nothing to have her soul.
Albert, Matthias’ father, is relentless in his hunger for Zoe. He wants to destroy Matthias and will use Zoe to do so.
The battle between Heaven and Hell tests everything Zoe has. As she witnesses everyone important in her life suffering, she’s brought to the ultimate choice: will she sacrifice her soul to save the ones she loves?
I honestly don't know where to start with this one. For some reason I always find it really difficult to write reviews for Jennifer's Heavenly series. It made me think as to why I have such trouble expressing my opinion about these books. If you have read my reviews of Heavenly and Penitence, you will see that this series has touched me on a very personal level and I think that is the reason I stumble when I am writing the reviews. it makes me feel like I am exposing my 'soul' so to speak. I can relate to most of the characters in one way or another:
Mrs Dodd (Zoe's Mother): her internal struggle about putting her autistic daughter first and the effect it has on the other children. If you remember my oldest child is dyspraxic and she tends to be the one that gets the main focus of attention, which does make me worry about the emotional health of the other two girls. It is emotionally and physically draining at times. Adding to the strain on other relationships.
Zoe: following her epiphany in Heavenly, Zoe manages to alter the course of her life for the better. Gain inner strength, faith and contentment most of us strive our whole lives to achieve. Her ability to find forgiveness and emotional restraint against all negative emotions is enviable.
Luke: (Zoe's Brother) tries to escape from the reality of his life by the use of drugs. Again I can relate, not with the drugs but in our family case alcohol is the poison of choice. I have witnessed the struggle and daily temptation that addiction can bring. Seeing Luke overcome his addiction with the strength that Zoe's belief in him provides.
Mr Dodd (Zoe's father) the strain both emotionally, physically and financially all take its toll. The way in which the family bonds are shown as a united entity is inspiring.
Absolution starts at the exact point that Penitence ended plunging the reader into the action from the start. This is a series that you have to read in order to fully appreciate the storyline. Although there is brilliant recapping of pivotal plot points skilfully interwoven into the current plot.
The darker side of life is shown in terrifying vividness with the ghastly black evil spirits so easy to conjure within the imagination and truly frightening. It is easy to picture them at times of intense negative emotions. Zoe's ability to control her emotions and negate negativity is truly awe inspiring. Something that is not easy to do yet is something that more of us should try to achieve (especially me).
The way in which friendship, family and love are portrayed, and their ability to enhance our lives for the better is beautiful. Daily life is not easy, and it is hard to remember to count the blessings we have no matter how small. This series always makes me do that, stand back and be grateful for the little things. No matter how tough things get, you have to have faith. As I have continually stated I am not overtly religious but the whole ethos of having faith in something and positive thinking while avoiding negativity is something I can appreciate.
The characters development throughout the narrative was wonderful, all of them progressed and developed as separate individuals yet remained as a core unit. Even Abria's development was a pleasure to witness. Most surprisingly for me was the way I felt about Weston through this book. Previously I resented him being with Zoe as I felt he was coming between her and Matthias. However, through his development within this story I actually found myself appreciating the relationship he has with Zoe, not perfect being human and all, he really does strife to be like Zoe with his positivity and avoiding the negative.
As much as I wanted to make Mathias human or Zoe an angel so that they could be together. I have to say the ending was PERFECT just ab-sol-utely perfect. I cried my eyes out with big gulping sobs, so even J noticed. I couldn't speak for ages after closing the last page for fear of bursting into yet more tears but it was still PERFECT.
To round off I just want to say that for me this is a comfort read. It gives me hope like a ray of sunshine in my life. It came into my life at a crucial point and for that I will be eternally grateful to Jennifer. If you know me then you will realise I tend to say that 'reading is subjective' quite a lot, in fact I am going to make it my catchphrase [: D] That is how I view the Heavenly series for me they are completely personal, I relate to them from my own experiences, they have helped me come to terms with some things and for that I adore them and Jennifer for writing them and sharing them with me.