Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Children of Angels by Kathryn Dahlstrom

Children of Angels: Book One of the New Nephilim Series by
Kathryn Dahlstrom is a new fiction fantasy novel for young pre-teen readers.  The book tells the story of a lonely, misunderstood teenaged boy named Jeremy Lapoint.  I believe many young readers will be able to relate to the less than ideal circumstances of the main hero.  This story seems to be a hybrid of a super hero styled action story and fantasy rolled into one.  Typically of many superhero or teenaged novels, the young hero- Jeremy's life seems to be plagued with an incredible amount of bad luck- being raised by his mom while his dad is in prison as he suffers daily humilation and bullying in middle school.   Then, by chance, one day he miraculously learns that he is actually part angel, more specifically, a Nephilim and that he has special abilities such as the ability to fly.  It seems as it is a dream come true- and in fact many middleschoolers with less than ideal lives perhaps entertain fantasies of having unique superhero like powers as well. He encounters angels and demons alike and his life gains new importance.
There are some stereotypical elements to this story: such as the depiction of the handsome, young, blond angelic looking angel- a typical presentation of what the media portrays angels to be and the evil demon.  The sterotypical bully and lonely misunderstood hero is also included.  The inclusion of pop-culture, such as the ever popular ipod and other memorable details are also included.   The epic battle of evil vs good is portrayed as Jeremy tries to fight off demons, with the help from Asiel, his guardian angel.

It is interesting to note that the old testament reference to the Nephilim in Genesis, refers to an extinct race of evil hybrids who are the product of the union between fallen angels that rebelled against God who took women as their wives in direct opposition to God.  The Nephilim are depicted as giant bullies ironically.  Therefore it appears off that the author re-created the Nephilim portraying them as a noble, and dying breed with a biblical and spiritual purpse.  In fact, the last of the corrupt Nephilim race died out in the ancient flood- they were considered an abomination- and not something to be revered or idolized.  While it is interesting to draw upon the ancient stories of the bible- they bear no resemblance to the actual depiction in the bible's version.  Perhaps this may serve as a spring board to capture the interest of a young reader to actually read or learn more about the bible.
The actual cover is reminiscent of computer game animation- in fact it looks like the cover of the art one would expect of a computer game.  For some reader, especially boys- this will add to the appeal.  My 11 year old daughter who commented on the cover itself  just found it a little odd. Keep in mind this book is the first in a new series.  While some readers enjoy books that are part of a series, others may see it as a drawback.    As a blogger I recieved this book from Winepress publishers for the purpose of writing this review. 

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