Friday, March 1, 2013

ARC Review: A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

Title: A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight #1)
Author: Lisa M. Basso
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller

Goodreads rating: 3.64 out of 5.00
Goodreads link:

Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it's more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?

Review by Nara

Thank you to the IBPA for sending me an advance copy of A Shimmer of Angels through NetGalley. In no way did this affect my opinion of the book.

With several favourable reviews on Goodreads, I had somewhat high expectations of A Shimmer of Angels. Let me say now that those expectations were not met. The premise was certainly interesting enough to grab my attention, and the start was looking quite promising. However, as I read on, I encountered plot hole after plot hole and annoyance after annoyance and soon enough, even with the very fast pace (which I feel was fine, considering that a major aspect of the book was mystery/thriller), I found myself losing interest.

Okay, brief explanation before I get into the review: Rayna can see angels, but thinks she's crazy because of it. New student Cam is an angel (guardian angel to be specific). Kade is also an angel, but is "Fallen", i.e. technically a bad guy and has to suck out people's essences/souls to survive. Students at Rayna's school have been dying because of Fallen influence. That should suffice for now.

Plot Hole #1a
So, angels who are in "His good graces" are supposed to be "above human emotion" (direct quote from Cam). This statement was used to explain to Kade why you weren't jealous. Could you please then explain why you are punching Kade in the face?

Plot Hole #1b
So, an angel who "Falls" in love with a human becomes "Fallen". Seeing as though you just kissed Ray, why aren't you fallen, Cam? Or even if it wasn't falling in love, and "just" a kiss, you're a freaking angel who is "above human emotion". As such, what the hell??

Plot Hole #2
"So these...Fallen," I tested the word on my tongue. Didn't like it. "They're responsible for the suicides?"
Cam nodded. "I don't know how, but we think they're forcing your classmates' hands."
DUDE! Angels have probably existed for all eternity, yet they still don't understand how the Fallen are influencing humans into committing suicide? Seriously, they must be incompetent fools. I for one don't want angels like that being responsible for defending mankind against evil!

Annoyance #1
Oh my God! Ray was so freaking clumsy! The number of times she tripped, spilled coffee and kicked things over was ridiculous. She couldn't even open a door at one point. Seriously, surely there is a limit to how clumsy one person can be. *Cough Bella Swan*

Annoyance #2
Erm, is apparently seeing wings on people so terrible that Ray has to be dragged off screaming to a mental hospital?? Why don't you just have a nice calm chat??

Annoyance #3
When asked what was wrong by Cam after seeing Kade suck someone's soul, Ray thinks to herself
There was no way to explain what I'd seen in the alley. What Kade had done to that poor girl...or why he'd called me Kay.
YOU IMBECILE! What do you mean there's no way to explain?? Cam is clearly an angel, and would therefore understand all about what you've just seen. Doofus. Are you seriously in such denial that even with an angel CLEARLY THERE you still don't trust you own vision?? Even when said angel confirmed his identity as such?? What the hell...

Minor Annoyance #1
Hugs don't make me feel any better, and they wouldn't bring her back, so what's the point? Hugs are torture.
What kind of monster doesn't like hugs?!

Minor Annoyance #2
Great, a Matrix reference. I'd been spending way too much time with Lee.
What's wrong with the Matrix?!

So, to end, basically, I really don't recommend this one. If the review so far hasn't put you off A Shimmer of Angels, good for you. Here's some more food for thought: one of the love interests in the novel is Ray's mum's former lover. Make of it what you will.

Recommended Books with Angels
1. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
2. Angelfall by Susan Ee
3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Overall: 3/10
Plot: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5


  1. Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy this one more. Your review was very helpful! Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Well, like I said in the review, there were a lot of people who enjoyed it, so I suppose it might be worth giving it a try, but I certainly wouldn't read it again, or read the sequel haha

    2. Nara- I may give it a try one day- but it is nice to know what you thought. Sometimes review help me decide if I should stop reading a book I am not that into. Sometimes a book is awesome- but it just takes a while to get into and other times the book just isn't for me. I found your points very entertaining. :)

  2. So, I actually loved Shimmer of Angels but I definitely agree that there are some plot holes.

    1. Well, to each her own haha. I probably made a bigger deal out of them than most people would have, but I just really, really, really hate plot holes. I think if she had thought out the book just a little bit more carefully, I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.

  3. I really like the idea behind the story. Angels are my favorite PN creatures and had I not seen your review, I wold have read this book instantly. I'm sorry you didn't like it but I'll still give it a try.

    1. I think for me, the little annoyances and plot holes just built up until it was just too much. If you can overlook those, I think you'll probably enjoy the book :)