Thursday, May 21, 2015

Book Review: Torn by Ashley Stambaugh

Torn, by Ashley Stambaugh
2015, 275p, NA Urban Fantasy
My Rating=3.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the author for an honest review

Three months have passed and Melina thought she was safe. Safe from the effects of the angel powers and safe from the Noxin demons. But she thought too soon.

Just as she’s starting to enjoy her new powers and her new relationship with Lee, the slight pain she still experiences after using the powers starts to grow worse. As the pain becomes more and more unbearable, she finds herself lashing out at innocent people with unexplained anger and hatred. Then to make matters worse, she sees a Noxin demon again.

No one, not even the elders, seems to know what’s happening to Melina, or how a Noxin demon found her. And when she’s introduced to Dean, another unique human like herself, she learns that his pain is completely gone, which only makes her situation even more confusing.
Grasping for any type of answer, Melina throws out one possible explanation after another. But as her angry feelings intensify, and her angel powers grow weaker, she begins to think there might be something malevolent inside her that’s trying to take over. It’s not long before her internal struggle spirals out of control, and her body is turned into a battlefield that’s torn between good and evil.

Melina fears that if no solution is found, then she might lose all the people she loves, especially Lee. But what scares her even more is that she might lose herself to evil.

I have mixed feelings about this book. One of my complaints in the first book was that it was hard for me to buy into Melina and Lee's relationship. In this book, three months have passed and I felt like their relationship was, indeed, moving forward and I liked that. They don't have much time by themselves to develop their relationship, though, so I won't be completely surprised if they don't end up together.

This book started out slow to me. Melina was resting a lot so it didn't feel like too much happened for a while. A new character, Dean, was introduced, and I kept waiting for something interesting to happen with him. By the end, I still wasn't sure what his purpose was (possible love interest or maybe someone who will betray her in the end or just another human that understands what she's going through?) so I'm curious to see if he'll appear again in the next book.

Melina didn't have a lot of one-on-one interaction with her guiding angel, Walter, who is now an elder, but he was still there when she needed him. Walter and another elder, Phinneas, set out to get information that will help Melina. As they got that information and started understanding what was going on with Melina, it got more interesting and there were some twists thrown in that they needed to figure out how to deal with. I thought Ms. Stambaugh did a great job of setting up the final book and I'm looking forward to learning how Melina's story ends! 

You can read more about the first book and my review here.

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.


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