Review of Purgatory’s Angel


Purgatory’s Angel by B. Hughes-Millman

Publisher: City Owl Press

Publication Date: May 16, 2016

So, I’m still playing the game of trying to catch up with my reading. As a result, frequently I am reading books in tandem, like one hard copy, one electronic, and one audio. And, while I’d like to proclaim to be superwoman, just to see if that would garner me some weird acclaim (which I probably don’t want), I am not actually reading those books simultaneously. As it happens, I was reading Purgatory’s Angel alongside From Above by Norah McClintock (review coming up next), which equates to one seriously over-written book alongside a minimalistically-styled book.

If you’re a writer or a wannabe writer, this is just the kind of situation you could delight in because, while the books are from two different genres, they provide such clear-cut examples of how not to write and how to write, respectively.

First, let me share the plot of Purgatory’s Angel.

Jaime is a dark angel who has been sent to earth to kill demons. She does this by entering their dreams and killing them. Lately though, she’s been delighting a little too much in playing the cat-and-mouse game, teasing her prey, and hasn’t really been paying attention to what’s going on.

Collin is a mystery. He has a scent like Irish greenery and the famous Irish moors outside of Dublin and bright green eyes to match. He’s intriguing, but Jaime thinks that he may be a demon, stalking her in her dreams and planning to kill her.

While I was reading, several things occurred to me. (Yes, this tends to happen when a book has too much exposition, but we’ll get back to that in a moment.) The plot reminded me of an old Dennis Quaid movie, Dreamscape, in which he plays a psychic who is able to go into the dreams of other people. After I was done thinking about that movie in comparison to this novel, I then thought about Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning and how that novel and the subsequent ones in the series define sexual tension in paranormal books with the relationship of Mac and Jericho.

So why was I thinking about Darkfever? Comparison. You see, Purgatory’s Angel desperately wants to be as hot as Darkfever, but it can’t happen without building up tension between characters. And, there’s also the fact that if you have your characters become intimate while she’s still all banged up, the reader is only going to question how this can be sexy instead of really painful. (Yes, I know that there are people who enjoy that, but it was not actively stated in the novel. 😉 )

The beginning of Purgatory’s Angel has too much prose and it’s told in present tense, which in shorter pieces doesn’t strike me as jarring, but here it did. Also, the prose contains a lot of “telling” and not much “showing.” During the climax scene, there is backstory filling, which should have been spread throughout the novel. It reminded me of old mysteries in which the detective would lead you through why this all happened, but that’s usually after the climax and not during.

With all of that said, if Purgatory’s Angel had undergone a lot of editing and rewrites, it would be vastly superior. This is definitely a case of an author loving her writing too much. The story is intriguing. Even when I saw the Dennis Quaid movie, I thought the idea of a character entering another’s dreams to do battle was fascinating. The character of Jaime is kind of cool, but her attitude frequently made me feel “meh.” The talk of marriage between her and Rick after maybe a week or just a tad more of knowing him? Squirrelly. In fact, the whole triangle just felt off, but then I never was good at geometry.

I received a copy of Purgatory’s Angel  through LibraryThing’s early reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

From Amazon: Purgatory’s Angel

rating: butterflybutterflybutterfly (3 butterflies out of 5)


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