Forbidden love, angels, deception and danger, this YA paranormal romance book will have you hooked from page one. Adorned, the first in the Trinity of Souls series is an enjoyable read with a unique mythology and a fun twist on the guardian angel story. It’s the type of book you read in one sitting because you can’t wait to see what happens next.
Adorned begins with Anya at school facing bullying and humiliation led by Sam Malick, the most popular boy in school. Instantly a connection between the main character and the audience is drawn because she’s easy to empathize with and relate to. At home where she lives with her Aunt Celeste they take in Micah, a teenage boy from foster care. He’s distant, cool and hard to get to know. Not to mention, Anya doesn’t know if he’s dangerous or not. Soon, she discovers that Micah is in fact her guardian angel of sorts and that she herself is also an angel in human form. When Micah performs a miracle he wasn’t supposed to, her angel status is revealed to those who would hurt her and danger ensues.
As the story continues, Anya develops feelings for Micah even though love between angels is forbidden. She also befriends Sam, the bully from school, who actually was just trying to get her attention because he likes her. And then there are the two angels with higher status: Eli, the fun loving one and Simon, the harsh, mysterious one. Will Micah and Anya be able to find a way to be together? And will the danger all around overtake them?
From the start, I knew I was going to enjoy Adorned because it reminded me of the YA paranormal romance books I read as a teenager…
From the start, I knew I was going to enjoy Adorned because it reminded me of the YA paranormal romance books I read as a teenager; different, but in that same wheelhouse. Think Kissed by an Angel or L.J. Smith, but more modern.
What Georgeann Swiger does particularly well is create a believable mythology for the story to take place in. There are not just angels; there is a hierarchy of angels with varying rules. It’s clear the author did her research from various religions and legends in relation to angels to create her own original interpretation of them. The mythology is rich and deep, not shallow and obvious. A guardian angel with a guardian angel; not to mention, not every angel is all halos and sunshine. The tone in Adorned is also well played. There’s always this feeling of deception in the story and you never quite know who you can trust which works as a tool to keep you reading to find out.
The characters are presented in a way that makes them quite likeable. Anya, for instance, is a relatable female character who is refreshingly not over the top pretty, popular or even extroverted. As of late, it’s been a go to writing technique for many to only write about feisty females who are not only outgoing but in your face about it, as if to write an introverted character could be construed as some sort of weakness. Anya is unpopular, awkward and experiences a lot of bullying. But she’s also compassionate as she spends much of her time volunteering at the hospital. Anya is an average teenage girl with teenage problems, which more than anything will help connect her to readers on the first page. What’s also great about the characterization behind Anya is that she is also very flawed. At times she can be judgmental, selfish and even whiny. For the most part these flaws work, however, there was a couple times in the book where I felt Anya’s moods could be toned down a little. I don’t know if it was necessary for Anya to kick her feet in a tantrum on her bed for instance in one scene. But overall, Anya is believable and I enjoyed jumping into her world for a little while.
Besides Anya, Micah is also memorable as a character. Introducing him as a foster kid makes him automatically sympathetic and even mysterious. Even when we learn he’s an angel, his aura of mystique never quite fades. Micah is a character ironically with demons and scars. Having typically been a rule follower, Anya throws him for a loop because around her he finds himself constantly breaking them. Plus, having never been in love or even allowed to be, his feelings for her are strange and alien. It will be interesting to see what happens with Anya and Micah as the series continues because their romance is well developed.
The supporting players were also introduced in a believable way from Eli who likes to sing Prince songs to Simon who may have secrets but likes to cook. Aunt Celeste as Anya’s guardian and mother figure is kind and filled with compassion for everyone. She’s pure goodness which is refreshing. My favorite character in the book is Sam, if only because he’s the one who goes through the most growth. He begins as a bully and then transforms as his journey continues into someone else entirely. I loved reading about him. In some ways, he reminds me of Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars, and that comparison is never a bad thing.
Despite the many strengths of the story, however, there were a few problems. At times the story could be a little jumpy and could stand to flow from one scene to the next with a little more ease. Also, there were dropped words here and there as well as a few grammatical errors. With another run through of editing, these mistakes which were accidentally overlooked can be resolved making the book that much stronger.
Overall, Adorned, the first in the Trinity of Souls series is an entertaining read and I will be back for the sequel to find out what happens next. There are a few hiccups here and there, but as a whole, the book is engaging and just plain fun. No doubt Georgeann Swiger is a talented writer with a unique imagination and a strength for spinning tales who will only continue to improve as she continues to write engaging stories.
Adorned would be fantastic as a TV series. You’ve got the high school setting, a love triangle of sorts, a relatable female protagonist, entertaining supporting characters and a unique enough premise to capture the attention of a cult audience who enjoy romantic genre series. This show would fit like a glove with the CW.
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Title: Adorned (Book I in The Trinity of Souls series)
Author: Georgeann Swiger
Publisher: Entranced Publishing, Rush imprint
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Length: 80k words
Release Date: 4 November, 2013
“When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and haloes. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.
Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.
With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.”
Micah sits in the chair at the head of the table. He lowers his head and mouths something under his breath before snatching the fork from the table.
“What happened to you?” I ask. “Did you change your mind about running away?”
“I didn’t run away.”
When he lifts meatloaf to his mouth, I pull his plate toward me. “I’m tired of waiting for you to tell me what’s going on.”
He swallows. “I’m from the Triad.”
“Is that a foster home?”
“What’s a foster home?” He tastes his mashed potatoes.. “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”
“I’m not hungry. Just tell me what’s going on.”
After he chugs his iced tea, he gets up and squats in front of me, balancing on his toes. No emotion crosses his face. The odd vibration in the room sends a tremor over my skin. Something’s off. When Micah finally speaks, his voice is flat and emotionless. “I am an angel of the Lord, and your new guardian, here to escort you into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
I stare at him until the truth dawns on me. Micah’s crazy. How did I not see it to begin with? No sane person would be running around naked in a thunderstorm. That old Simon guy was probably with some mental asylum. He should have put Micah in a straightjacket when he had the chance. Now I’m locked in the dining room with a big strong psycho.
“Aren’t you going to say anything?” The scar in his Micah’s eyebrow deepens when he tilts his head to the side to study me. “When you enter the Kingdom you’ll become an angel.” He seems at ease, like a serial killer waiting to strike. “I intend to make your human death the most wonderful experience of your life.”
“My…human death?” Even though my voice cracks, I manage to force myself to smile. I glance at the locked doors and slowly scoot my chair away from the table.
He touches my knee. “I’m happy to tell you, you won’t be stuck here much longer.”
When I think enough distance is between us, I use all my strength to shove him down and run for the door.
When I look over my shoulder, Micah gets to his feet, glaring at me.
“Stay away from me!” My trembling hand can’t get the key to cooperate. I keep trying to get the key in the lock, but it slips out of my sweaty fingers and drops to the floor. I pound on the door. “Aunt Celeste!” I scream.
When I look back, Micah sits at the table, flicking his finger on the butter knife, making it spin it like an airplane propeller. His lips form a tight line. He slams his hand on the table, causing the butter knife to fall to the floor. “Sit. Down. Anya.”
“Aunt Celeste, help me!”
I step onto the back porch, trying to make out what’s going on in the dark. When another flash of lightning reveals three figures clinging together, approaching from the pasture, I yell, “Is that Micah with you?”
Celeste hollers back. “Yes, but he’s not well! Get some towels and a dry blanket!”
I run up the kitchen stairwell and grab three towels from the bathroom and the comforter from my bedroom. I make it back downstairs in time to see Simon and Celeste helping Micah into the house. He leans on their shoulders, shuffling his feet as he staggers through the foyer.
“Dang, you look mangled.” Eli laughs, making it sound like a big joke When Aunt Celeste and Simon lower Micah to the couch in the parlor, he moans as he sinks into the cushions and falls to his side. His bare leg and muddy foot jut out of the wet blanket.
When Simon touches Micah’s forehead, the short uneven breaths Micah sucks through his teeth become even more pronounced.
“You’re burning up,” Simon says. “How could you be so stupid?”
“Give me the towels, darling, and put the blanket down,” Aunt Celeste says. “Shut the door as you leave.”
“I want to know what’s going on. What happened to Micah?” I try to push past her to get to him, but she catches my arm, stopping me.
“Micah will be fine. But he doesn’t have any clothes on,” she says. “You can come in when we get him settled.”
Eli puts his arm around my shoulder and turns me toward the foyer. “Oh, come on beautiful. I’ll wait with you.”
Eli closes the pocket doors and flitters around the foyer like a nosy little dog.
“What happened to Micah?” I ask.
“Oh, don’t worry about him. He’ll be fine.”
“He didn’t look fine.”
Eli’s golden eyes twinkle. “Trust me.”
“Who are you?”
He ignores me and noses around the foyer, putting his fingers all over the glass sculptures.
“Is that Simon guy with social services or the police or something?”
He bends over and blows his hot breath on the crystal ball sitting on a pedestal near the front door. “Something,” he says. When he reaches out to touch the glass orb, a high-pitched scream coming from the parlor makes me freeze in front of the closed doors.
Eli slides past me and puts his back to the doors. “I think they’re done.” He pushes the doors open an inch and peeks inside, allowing a hint of a smoky odor to escape the room. When he opens the doors all the way, I can see Micah slumped on the couch with my comforter around him.
“Is he okay?” I say.
Micah glances at me, then shuts his eyes.
I look at Aunt Celeste. “I want to know what’s going on.”
She fumbles with her pearl necklace and looks away, seeming to fight the urge to run to me.
Eli flutters to her side. “Celeste, you’ve done a fine job. But Micah can take it from here.”
Micah’s eyes pop open. His face turns as white as the daisies on my comforter.
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About the Author
Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting characters and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.
Read our interview with Georgeann Swiger as she takes The Petticoat Personality Test HERE
Read our review of Obscura Burning by Suzanne Van Rooyen
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