Happy December! I hope that everyone’s Holiday celebrations were delightful, and full of irritating but beloved family and delicious food that helps make the drama of family gatherings well worth it.
Sorry I’ve been so long in posting, the Holiday week really threw me off. But, Trevor and I had a wonderful, low key meal with family and friends, and then bought a new TV and a PS4. We’ve had the same TV since about 2010, so it was a nice treat to finally upgrade.
So what’s crackin’ here in Salem? Not a whole lot. The cold season is officially here, complete with freezing rain and fogged breath, and me muttering unpleasantries quite a bit. As beautiful and austere as winter in Oregon can be, I am never prepared for it. Desert blood runs thin through these surface adjacent veins, leaving me overly vulnerable to the weather.
This is the last week of school, and I’ll admit that I didn’t do as well as I would have liked this term. I’m going to get an A in my Comic class, but I’m not sure where I stand in my African American Lit class. Now way it’s lower than a B+, but when I’m aiming for Summa Cum Laude, there’s no room for error.
Anyway, I’ve a couple assignments left this week, including a final paper due Friday (my birthday), so it’s down to the wire. Unless I absolutely destroy the paper, I’m pretty much locked in at a B+, but the grading is super unreliable, so we’ll see. Right now I have 252/229 so, who the fuck knows.
But, enough about school! It’s almost over! Today I’m here to talk about Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick.
So, if you read my last review, of Hush, Hush, then you know all about my love/hate relationship with this series. And you also know a bit about my difficulties with this book.
This book really made me hate Nora. Which is just bad news bears. You never want to hate the main character. Well… in this sort of book. And this sort of hate. This isn’t deep seeded disappointment, like I felt in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series. I love Locke much more than I hate him, but there were definitely moments when I questioned that love.
The problem here is that I never loved Nora. She was just all right by the end of Hush, Hush, and now she’s just an impulsive, entitled brat.
So, the plot. Basically, at the end of Hush, Hush, Nora and Patch are together and happy. Nora is in summer school, and gets paired with her arch nemesis Marcie Millar in her Chemistry class.
Side note, what’s with this series’ utter dependence on science courses to move the plot along?
If that weren’t bad enough, Patch starts hanging out with Marcie, and Nora is absolutely livid with betrayal and jealousy. So, they have one fight, in which he tries to explain that he was reassigned to be Marcie’s Guardian Angel and that the Archangels are not pleased with his relationship with Nora. But, she’s not willing to listen, she’s too busy being self-righteous and betrayed. So she breaks up with him.
I want to say that this really pissed me off. Two chapters before this she had professed her love for him, and now she just breaks things off in anger? That’s not love. I know it’s unrealistic to expect a 16 year old to know what love is and to appreciate it, but it really upset me.
She spends the rest of the book moping and snooping, trying to figure out what Patch and Marcie are up to. Patch still protects her, as someone is still making attempts on her life, but the tension between them is icy.
Also, because they broke up, Nora’s mom sets her up with a childhood friend, Scott Parnell. Guess what? He’s totally a Nephilim, but doesn’t really understand just what that means. But, Nora is there to teach him and try and learn more about the Black Hand, who apparently killed her father. She then proceeds to use Scott to make Patch jealous, which opens the series up to an awkward, halfhearted love triangle.
I say halfhearted because Nora has zero actual interest in Scott, and Patch knows it. So really, Scott becomes a pawn in their stupid games, which Patch does not condone. So really, Nora becomes even less likable.
So, Nora and Scott team up- kinda- to figure out who the Black Hand is. When I say “team up”, I mean that Nora more or less blackmails and guilt trips him into helping her, even though he’s terrified of the Black Hand and she knows it could be life threatening for him.
This bitch took a turn for the worse in this book.
So, basically, as the book ends, we discover that Rixon, lovable, Irish, irascible Rixon, not only killed Nora’s father, but is also the one trying to kill her. And he very nearly succeeds. Thanks to Scott, Nora survives, and Patch swoops in and chains Rixon, his oldest friend, his Fallen brother, in hell to burn for all eternity.
Once again, the coolest, most compelling elements of this story happen off screen.
As everything comes to light, Patch finally explains the whole Marcie thing, and then tells Nora that he’s gone rogue. He’s abandoned his duties as a Guardian Angel in order to be with her.
Fuck if I know.
So, he finally brings her back to his place, and there’s definite promise of an intense make-out session, when they’re ambushed by none other than the Black Hand himself, Marcie’s father, Hank Millar.
And that’s how the book ends. Once again, the good parts of this book were all pretty far removed from Nora. Patch is always a bright spot. A quick wit, with a definite irresistible charm, he’s funny, a bit of a jerk, and mysterious. Definitely my preferred type. Scott is equally funny, equally a jerk, and the tension between him and Patch is awesome. But, he’s a bit more free-wheeling and fun-loving than his Fallen Angel counterpart. The Rixon plot line was great, and I would have preferred to see Patch’s view of the events, especially as he investigated his best friend of centuries. The torment and anguish that must of caused would have been much more compelling than any physical danger Nora was in.
Basically, this book is spent cementing the fact that Nora is an immature, naive, and irritating child. She has no business doing any of the things she does in these books. And she generally just stumbles her way through the plots and gets rescued a bunch by the interesting and better developed male characters around her.
I yet again maintain that, if Fitzpatrick had written this series for adults, spent time building and developing the lore and society surrounding Angels and Nephilim, and written them from Patch’s perspective, this series would be infinitely better.
Someone suggested I write a fanfic to correct these things, but honestly? I’m not going to waste my time writing the story as it could have been. If I’m going to write an angel story, I’ll write something of my own, and do a ton of theological research to back it up.
Also, I have no plans to do any of that. There’s too many other projects queued up to be stacking on new ones.
Anyway, thanks for getting this far. If you liked this review, keep an eye out sometime early next week, as I review the next book in the series, Silence.
See ya, Blogland!