June 15, 2015

Book Review: Autumn in the City of Angels (Autumn #1) by Kirby Howell

Autumn in the City of Angels (The Autumn Series, #1)
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

*I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Get a copy here!

Apparently this book wasn’t at all as I expected it would be. Not that I’m saying this in a negative tone, but I was surprised with what I’ve found in this book. Well, I guess I didn’t read the blurb properly…
I was so damn excited when I found out that the story was set in the middle of apocalypse happening on Earth. It’s definitely my cup of tea! The story was fast-paced and even though I felt like there were some points missing in the story, I truly enjoyed reading this book. I loved the feeling the authors built throughout the story. I could really sense the feeling of fear, anxious, frustration, depressed, and even hope along with the characters on the book. It was as if I was there with them and this very thing already earned this book a special spot in my heart.

Autumn had been living her 17 years of her life in a complete comfort and happiness. Her mother was a famous actress who never forgets to check up on her every so often. As her mother’s not always home to stay with her, her father always tried to make up for the absence. And when he’s not around to keep her company, Autumn was still safely tucked in the sanctuary of home her father built for them in the top of apartment building in Marina Del Rey. Simply said, Autumn was one lucky girl. 
When the Plague attacked Los Angeles and the rest of the world, it seemed that her lucky charm once again worked for her. Autumn was one of the one percent populations who were proven to be immune. But when her parents didn’t come home at all after the long and torturous waiting, Autumn began to question whether she could call herself lucky or not.

When Autumn decided it was time to come out of the safety of her home, she discovered that new threat was lurking out there in disguise of survivor group trying to rebuild a good life. Even after such an apocalypse, there were still people wanted to take advantage of others within chaos. Autumn couldn’t believe her luck when a mysterious person came out of nowhere and saved her from being taken by the scam group. One minute she was hiding in a nook of chilled wall of abandoned building with a stranger pressed against her back holding her tight when next minute she opened her eyes to find out that she was already at home under warm blanket and all wounds bandaged. And her faceless savior was nowhere to be found, replaced by a note written in a newspaper rip saying he’ll come to get her when it’s safe. Autumn couldn’t be any happier to find that somewhere out there, there was someone who she could count on. But when he hadn’t come for months, she felt like all hope was completely vanished.

Months had passed when Autumn finally get to meet the mysterious savior. He was just like how Autumn had imagined him to be all the time. Brave, strong, talented, gentle, and now in person, he was even more beautiful and fascinating. But as she became closer to him, she noticed something that she hadn’t notice on their first encounter. There was something behind his sometimes less-expressive demeanor. But Autumn couldn’t deny that she also felt something growing inside her for the savior boy, Grey. When all secret was unraveled, Autumn realized that there was far worse thing behind the plague and as her body might be immune to the plague, her heart might not get through it this time.

First of all, there are two missing points that I would like to lay out here because as much as I enjoyed this book, I wished these points to be present in the book as well to enrich the awesomeness of this book. And after that, I would go through things that I loved about Autumn in the City of Angels.

Things I’d like to see in this book more: 
One. I like fast-paced story. But for sci-fi books, especially those that involved big deals like apocalypse or invasion or things like that, I wished to read more about it before getting into the ‘after’ part. The idea of plague was kind of new to me and I wanted to know more about how this very thing happened. It’d be more real if there was a close individual scene of plague case happened to someone.
Two. I want Grey’s background story. As an alien who used to express no emotions in daily life, and now when he met Autumn he already changed into more showing emotions, it’s quite hard to picture he had no emotions. Maybe it’s about the perspective of the story was told. This book was told in first person perspective by Autumn so it’s quite not possible to get into Grey’s background story deeper. But maybe if Grey was described having no emotions when he first met Autumn and then slowly he finally could feel emotions as he spent time with her, it maybe could help getting into Grey’s history. Thus, we could understand Alien’s history of emotion banishment.

Things I liked about this book: 
The plot, the characterizations, the idea of the story, the setting, and most of all the feeling and sensation emanated from the story; I liked them all. I liked the character Autumn. She’s too rationalist actually, but there were scenes when she experienced a breakdown from the depressing circumstance she was in making her seemed more normal. But sometimes I resented her for being too emotionally sensitive and went all heroic in the wrong time. Well, maybe it was just me because Grey was too-understanding over Autumn’s need to be a do-gooder. Love, people, what more I can say? 
“I guess I was falling for you before I even knew it.” 
(Grey; Chapter XX, Autumn in the City of Angels)
When I read Grey’s confession about his feeling toward Autumn, I was like,
“Wow, so I guess Alien could fall in love at the first sight as well?”
Because that’s exactly what happened to him. It’s kind of funny and sweet and weird… but sweet anyway. He might be absent from emotional feeling for million years but he showed his love for Autumn just the way normal human did. Oh Grey… :3

Grey was so gentle and caring and the fact that he was willing to take part in rescuing humans (even though he might have his own personal reason for this) showed that after all he had a kind heart. 

Even though the whole feeling of this book was considered suspenseful and a little depressing, I liked that the authors also slipped some funny parts into the scenes. Autumn sometimes acted silly just like most 17 years old girl did. I laughed at some comical scenes and my favorite would be the scene where Grey went all proposing style in front of Autumn only to make her understand just who he truly was…

“My name is Greyson Alexander. I came to Earth in 1803, after leaving my home planet, Andros. I want to make sure you understand that I’m a human being, just like you are.” He said the last four words slowly, emphasizing each one. “I’m just from a different star system. Physiologically, I’m exactly like any other human male from Earth. This is my body that I was born with on Andros. I didn’t steal it from anyone. I’m not a parasite that inhabits people’s bodies. My parents didn’t send me here in a little space ship when I was a baby; I didn’t travel here in a lightning bolt, and nothing is going to pop out of your stomach if you kiss me.” 
(Grey; Chapter XX, Autumn in the City of Angels)

‘..nothing is going to pop out of your stomach if you kiss me..’ LOL! 

About the setting, Ms. Authors did a great job describing it. I could easily picture it in my head how messed up the whole town was, how eerie the situation all around. And the sci-fi parts where Grey described Alien’s superpower were neat and easily understood. It’s kind of technical but not too technical… if you know what I mean…

Now about the ending. It’s kind of cruel. A bit. 
Well, I’m never really a fan of cliffhanger and especially of those being put in the end of a series book and more especially those in books that I truly enjoyed. But oh well, that’s where the charm of series book lies: to make readers as frustrated as possible in the end of each book except the last one ;)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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