Ordinary Angels (Zoe Pendergraft #1)

Ordinary AngelsBy India Drummond

Publisher: Trindlemoss Publishing
Publication Date: August 31, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

An urban fantasy / paranormal romance novel in which Zoe Pendergraft falls in love with an angel, frees a soul from necromancers, releases a ghost trapped in the Void, and saves his living grandson from demons.

Most of Zoe’s friends are dead, but she doesn’t mind because they died long before she met them. Then one Tuesday night an angel takes her salsa dancing and turns her world upside down. Grim reality closes in when she discovers a body in her company’s boiler room and Higher Angels accuse her best ghost friend of murder. Knowing she’s the only one who can stand against them, Zoe resorts to lying, stealing and summoning. In the end, getting blood on her hands forces Zoe to question herself.

Content warning: Contains strong language and supernatural sizzle.

Goodreads Summary

Zoe Pendergraft sees dead people, so while it’s not exactly usual for her to find a gorgeous glowing non-human delivering mail at work, it’s not exactly not usual either. She’s never been struck with lust and gone out dancing with them though, so that was new. Now she’s…dating one.

Alexander tells Zoe that he’s an angel (not a Fallen, as her dead Gran fears) and he was a stand-in for her normal mailman because he interrupted his timeline and had to sub in. Now he’s on trial for interfering and saving the mailman’s life, a big no-no among angels.

While waiting to testify at Alexander’s trial, Zoe’s best friend Henry (long dead) disappears when a murder takes place in his home in the boiler room of Zoe’s office building. Because of something she sees, she and Alexander fear Henry may have been banished someplace bad – Zoe thinks the killing may be related to something in the boiler room and she refuses to allow her friend to be sentenced to eternal darkness for something he didn’t do.

This was hard to get into at first despite a really wonderful lead character. There was a very nice beginning with Zoe and Henry but after that, I felt really plopped into the story with Alexander. It wasn’t until the murder mystery started that I finally felt like the real meat of the story had begun – and that really had nothing to do with Alexander.

I really loved Zoe – putting aside her weird tendency to just date stray angels she doesn’t know – and she was the reason I stuck with this through the first confusing third of the story. She’s sort of adorable, doesn’t take herself too seriously and is just the right mixture of insecure and eventually, sort of warrior-woman. I kind of especially liked that she had no filter – stuff just came out of her mouth when she thought it. The author did a great job keeping her consistent from beginning to end. Just because she evolved in the story, she kept her insecurities and her sweetness and her cute sense of humor.

I didn’t really love Alexander so much and I don’t know if it’s because he didn’t seem to be around for much besides dating and sexing it up or if I just had a problem with him. He was sweet and sometimes seemed a little confused by human stuff for someone so old. I read the first love scene between Zoe and Alexander and thought it was very sexy and nice but by the time they were together again and other things had gotten interesting, I admit I skimmed it. Outside of his relationship with Zoe, he didn’t seem to have a lot of substance to me or at least seemed awfully beta.

I felt differently about his lawyer Thomas, who had a big personality. He wasn’t around as much either, but when he was, he was protecting Zoe, arguing with her or delivering bad news. He seemed colorful and interesting and took an active part in her investigation with Henry at one point.

I really liked the paranormal side of the murder mystery. Following the trail to Henry and his family was well done and there were some more things disclosed about angels and demons and new things Zoe can see and do that should make book two interesting.

My Summary: As it obviously would, this reads like the first book in a series. The plot just didn’t come together until mid-book and while it was good after that, it was almost too late for me. I liked Zoe a lot and think she’s got terrific potential for a long-running lead character with all of her paranormal gifts. I’m not so sure about her angelic boyfriend, whom I didn’t love – I sort of would rather have seen her pair up with the volatile lawyer Thomas – but there will be changes afoot in book two and maybe with some seasoning he’ll get better. I may even come back if one of my least favorite tropes is used – the dreaded love triangle!

My Rating: C

Barbara

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Comments

  1. Ooh.. I hate that dreaded love triangle. That's too bad about Alexander's character. That he was so bland and sort of useless. Zoe sounds excellent though, I love a character that has no filter and says whatever!

  2. Seriously, a love triangle would be good (and I never say that, you know). Thomas is totally the opposite of Alexander – I'd go for it if the author decided to change up and make him the hero.

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