Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut
For Griffin, it's time to angel up.
For centuries, rumor have abounded of lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors secretly serve as guardians for mortals in danger.
But for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever. It is their father-and-son relationship, sometimes turbulent, often hilarious, always affectionate, that sings through the story like a pure note.
Masquerading as the average teen next door, Griffin struggles to learn his trade, navigate the ups and downs of modern life among humans(including falling in love with the girl next door), and prepare for the ancient trial-by-combat every apprentice must pass at sixteen or be forced to become mortal.
I was so very excited to finally get my hands on this one. This was my very first ARC copy given to me by an author for review...thank you so much Darby! And? I am bouncing right now. I so, so, so loved this book! All I can say is, Darby Karchut, where were you when I was 14? This is an awesome middle grade book, but I'm 40 and I still loved it!!
I was not too sure in the beginning if I liked the narration as it flowed into the journal entries, but after the first one? I was hooked. We get a look into the two main characters Griffin and his mentor Basil and also later in the story Griffin's neighbour/girlfriend, Katie, through their journal entries. These journal entries added so much to the story. There is so much humor in this book and there were many laugh out loud moments for me. Katie's first journal entry after meeting Griffin, is priceless!!
I have to say though that the main reason I love this book so much? The relationship between Griffin and Basil. It is so real, so human, so loving, so natural, so...everything. I don't know how you could not fall in love with Griffin. He is such a great character. We see him grow from this broken, shell of a boy, at the hands of his original mentor, Nicopolis, to the loving, strong, cheeky, funny young man he becomes thanks to Basil's love and devotion. I want to adopt Griffin.
Then there is Basil. I love Basil. He is such a strong, loving, amazing mentor/father figure to Griffin. He made me laugh just as much as Griffin. It's funny, aside from the British accent? I kept picturing Nicolas Cage in The Sorcerers Apprentice. Not sure why, but I love Basil. He is just that cool.
I love the mythology of this book as well. I have read other angel books recently and quite frankly, some of them have been quite cheesy. Not in this case! This book was more than just a story about angels though. It is a coming of age story, a love story. The growing relationship between Griffin and Katie is very sweet. And although, Katie may not have been as strong a character as Griffin, I found her very believable and likable in her own right. And Katie's best friend, Carlee? This is my daughter! Non-stop, motor mouth.
If you have a middle grade boy or girl who enjoys reading? Go grab it. Or if you are an adult looking for a fast, fun, hilarious, touching read? Go grab a copy of the ebook or hard cover! I am counting down for Griffin's Fire to be released in the Spring of 2012!!
Guest Post By Tracy