On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane
Genre: YA paranormal
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her "lucky" break came at the expense of her mother's life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again.
Now she's the target of Death's ravens and an innocent boy's life is on the line. When Nate Holden—Abbey's secret crush—starts to climb Alaska's Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.
And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets. (Goodreads.com)
The writing was great. Jordan Dane included marvelous detail that painted vivid pictures in my head of the majestic scenery. Dane seemed to really have her facts straight and know what she was talking about when it came to the mountains and mountain climbing. Although I didn't enjoy this particular book, I'd certainly read more of Jordan Dane's work because of the writing.
However there were just too many things in this book that the fabulous writing couldn't redeem for me.
The book started out with a bang. We're put in a situation that immediately makes you sympathize for Abbey, the main character. It's sad and creepy and even though it's one of those prologues that nobody (myself included) can stand, it still hooked me in. Readers get a feel for Abbey. I thought that she had a very comical voice and awesome snark. But as the novel progresses, all of that gets flushed down the toilet. The plot begins dragging to agonizing slowness and Abbey's snark transforms into a lot of whining. She blames herself for the death of her mother and for making her father unhappy, but she is a total brat to him. Then there's her totally creepy and irrational obsession with Nate. She has never once even had a conversation with the dude, but she has all of these fantasies about him. Sometimes she'll pretend that she's out fishing with Nate rather than her own father. And, before she left for the cabin with her father, she planned on using a radio to listen in while he climbed Denali. It was weird and creepy and I just wanted to shake her and ask WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?
Nate, I didn't particularly care for, nor did I dislike him. He was just kind of there. Because even though a lot of this book centers around him and his well-being, we don't really know anything about him. Here is what we learn: he has a best friend named Josh, he likes climbing mountains, he loves his family and especially his little sister Zoey. That's all, really. I couldn't find a single fault with him.
Then there's Tanner, who was definitely my favorite character in the book. He's loyal and determined and so sweet and funny.
I hated how frequently the book would switch points of view. Not just between two characters, but five. Abbey, Nate, Tanner, Nate's mom, and Nate's dad. Five different points of view. And most of the switches came at horrible times and way too often. And, most of the time, it wasn't even important. To me, the majority of it just felt like filler information. I didn't care about Nate climbing the mountain. I didn't care about Nate's mom looking at her kids sleep! It was all irrelevant. That was one reason it was really difficult to connect to any of the characters and to get fully immersed in the plot. I'd be reading, it would get interesting, and then the book would switch to someone else's perspective. It was infuriating! When that happened during the climax, I would have thrown the book against a wall, had I not been reading it on my laptop. Some of the plot was kind of useless as well, such as the whole cyber bullying thing. I'm still not really sure how that contributed to the plot at all, aside from filling up pages.
I hate to say it, but the book was boring. It was slow and unexciting - even at the parts that were supposed to be exciting. I had to force myself to finish the entire thing. I was tempted to just stop reading it during the climax. That's not exactly a good sign. The solution to the problem seemed too quick and actually kind of confused me. The romance was rushed and unbelievable. And everyone's obsession with the fricking birds made me so frustrated. I understand that the birds were a large part of the story, but everyone in the book who saw the birds knew that something wasn't right. Really? Because when I see a bird, I think, Oh look! A birdddddy! Not, OHNOO! BAD OMEN. WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!
I wish I had more positive things to say about this book, because, as I said before, there was a lot of hope for it. But, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.