Matchbox Girls by Chrysoula Tsavelas

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Marley grew on me – as did the rest of the book. But I spent the first chapter or two wavering between really liking it and being put-off by the unusual style. The longer I read the more the style grew on me.

I still think I would have liked the story even better if the writing had been slightly less esoteric – but even that couldn’t take away from the draw of the story.

Chrysoula Tsavelas has created a vivid reality in “Matchbox Girls” that feels well thought out. The angels/demons/humans idea has gotten a lot of play in the book world lately, but Tsavelas takes the familiar theme and creates new depths and twists. Mixing the Fae in as well was an inspired choice.

Marley is an interesting lead character. We are thrown into the middle of her world without a lot of explanation. This makes for a disjointed and somewhat confusing start. On one level this completely works. I was figuring things out as she was. Where it occasionally came up short is that the reader doesn’t have the knowledge of Marley’s history that Marley obviously has. A few times it almost felt like as a reader I was supposed to already know something that I had no way of knowing. This was a tiny bit frustrating.

There are freaky Angels, mellow demons and two adorable little girls (with intense powers) thrown in the mix as well. My favorite character by far though is “the Whispering Dark” – I mean how cool a name is that. And what a character. A part of me is sincerely hoping that behind that kaiju façade is some incredibly sexy dark demi-god that Marley can totally fall in love with. The chemistry between them was astronomically more intense than between her and either of the other 2 possible hook-ups.

Then there is the odd bit of steampunk  thrown in with the heavenly machinery. Jury is still out on that one, but secretly hoping to be convinced.

I really am looking forward to the next installment. I am hoping that the writing itself will be less disjointed. On the one hand it did help to get into the mind of Marley – who is on medicine to control what she believes is an anxiety disorder – and see the world perhaps as she sees it. On the other hand it seems a bit much at times. Maybe now that she is no longer repressing an integral part of who she is the writing will reflect that by becoming more concise as well. As long as it doesn’t lose the edge it has.

That’s not asking too much… right?

Oh – and more sexy kaiju. Can’t have enough of that particular sexy kaiju.

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