Series: Familiar Love 01
Author: Amy Lane
Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Length: 6 hrs, 50 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (5th June 2018)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts
Blurb: One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family – and shape-shifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking – but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel, the angel, has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.
In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk.
Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his familiar angel for nearly a century and a half?
Review: Familiar Angel is the first book in Amy Lane’s Familiar Love series. While I love to read and listen to Amy Lane’s audio works, I wasn’t sure what to expect as this is the first book of Lane’s that I’ve read that is a paranormal. Typically, I love the writing style of Lane’s contemporary works and was pleased to see that this translated over into the paranormal story.
Narration for this book was performed by Gomez Pugh. According to my Audible library I’ve got another book narrated by Pugh, also written by Lane, but to be honest (although my review says I liked his work) I have zero recollection of the book. So I kinda went into this one blind. For Familiar Angel, Pugh has done a fantastic job. There are a number of characters, all requiring their own voices, with six secondary characters who are just as important as the two main characters of this story. Pugh made it easy to follow the various conversations and to follow when the book goes to a flashback.
Ugh. Sorry, this leads me onto a bit of a rant and the only reason why I didn’t give this a full 5/5.
I personally can’t stand a book that has a lot of flashbacks. And there were a number of long flashbacks here. I’m a simple person who wants near-instant gratification, particularly when there are flashbacks occurring at pivotal moments and disrupting my flow. The way I see it, especially for long drawn out scene that span a chapter or more, just tell me the important point in the present because I want to get to the guts of the story. While I did find it a bit tedious, both Lane’s writing and Pugh’s animated narration managed to pull off a really enjoyable story that I think I would find near impossible to read myself.
The story starts out when we are introduced to Harry, Edward and Francis in early 1800s California. They’ve lived a rough life and that wouldn’t get any easier, in fact, they would be lucky if they lasted another couple of years. But when Harry and Edward try to escape their predicament, they stumble upon a witch trying to help a beloved demon with the help of another demon and one of God’s angels. It is here that the boys turn from humans to become a witch’s familiar with a significantly longer life span.
More than a century later, the family use their powers to help those without hope – they will do anything to stop human trafficking. Harry has struggles through the decades, the biggest issue for him being his unrequited love for the angel that helped their family, Suriel. However, for Harry his past still haunts him, the fear of what had happened in his human life has followed over into immortality and he needs the help of his family and Suriel to help him defeat it (and as a bonus the family can save the day).
Suriel is a strong being, but he has his doubts and concerns when it comes to Harry. Harry is reckless and his family need Suriel to help save Harry. He knows that Harry is worth falling for, but there is so much uncertainty that Suriel is waiting until the absolute last possible days to figure it all out, when he had been visiting the family for almost a century and a half. However, to be with Harry permanently Suriel has to make drastic changes to his life and his being, going through a horrific trial of his own, as soon as he helps Harry and the family with breaking a massive human trafficking ring.
I can’t wait for the rest of the series. Book 2 is already out (I can’t wait for Edward and Mullin’s story) and there is to be a book 3 for Francis. I think those 2 will go a lot smoother since Familiar Angel has built a very complex world and given backstory for over six characters who are central to this story.
I recommend this to anyone that loves to read paranormal, although there are no shape shifters per se (the boys are familiars and there are no established packs, alphas, etc.), the battle between good and evil with witches, cats, angels and demons is a fun roller coaster.