Before I begin this review, I’d like to note the extreme distinctions between Outcast and Angelfall. If you think you will like this book because you liked Angelfall, you might be a little off base. Outcastis entirely its own story. It is not set in a post-apocalyptic setting, and is more like urban fantasy. Gabe and Riley are very different from Raffe and Penryn, but no less kick ass. And Outcast brings something new and unique (for me, anyway) to the angel paranormal genre.
The beginning of this book earns a riveting 4-5 stars. The middle, 2.5-3 stars, and the ending 4-5 stars again. We lost the plot a little in the middle, with more focus on the relationship between Gabe and Riley. But the plot picked right back up and resulted in a bittersweet ending.
To describe how much respect I have for Adrienne Kress, I’d like to tell a story. I attended university across the country, which is saying something when you live in Canada. I didn’t know anybody, and I was really nervous to be on my own for the first time. So naturally, the first person I befriended was my neighbour in residence, who just happens to be named after the male lead in this novel. Now, this neighbour had the unfortunate habit of never cleaning his room or showering, to the point where I could smell him when I opened my door. Honestly, his odour, coupled with his attention-seeking behaviour turned me off of the name ‘Gabe’ forever. When I realized that was the name of the male protagonist in this story, I almost stopped reading. After all, no one could make me attracted to a guy named ‘Gabe’, when all I could picture was my old neighbour.
So I was pleasantly surprised when Adrienne Kress did just that. At first I found Gabe kind of annoying, especially when he dated every girl in the school and called Riley ‘sweetheart’ and ‘babe’ constantly. But then he really grew on me, and the author really managed to overcome my prejudice for the name so I could enjoy the sexiness that is Gabe. Anyway, I quite liked him as a character once I got over my initial quips. He was complex, not portrayed as a selfless gentleman nor as a selfish jerk. And he was just so darn cute!
I also found Riley’s character to be interesting and refreshing. She wasn’t your stereotypical Mary Sue that has been plaguing YA and paranormal novels. Instead, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her, and doesn’t focus on how pretty she is/isn’t. Her narrating style is very blunt and matter-of fact, which took me a while to get used to. But she was very cool and kick-ass, especially when she’s shooting ‘angels’ in the face. She doesn’t take shit from anybody, and I really enjoyed that about her.
How cruel of Adrienne Kress to leave us with such a bittersweet ending. There had better be a second novel, or I may just end up going crazy.