On a Dark Wing (Early Review)

, by Kt Clapsadl

On a Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

"The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for. And Death would be my willing teacher."

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 is with him because of her.

Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.

Five years ago Abbey's life was changed forever when she survived a car accident and her mom didn't. Barely trudging through her life full of guilt, her relationship with her father is very strained. On their yearly retreat to remember her mother she runs into Death himself. Of course this isn't their first meeting as she took his hand five years ago at that car wreck. Now he is following her, and that puts her secret crush in the crossfire as Death uses him to get closer to her. With Nate's life in the balance Abbey will have to learn how to open up and let go before it is too late.

Abbey has been simply existing at the bare minimum since her mother's death. Her grieving is dysfunctional at its best as she blames herself. The only bright spots in her life are her friendship with Tanner, and her crush on Nate. In fact that crush leads to her spending hours imagining time with him. It really should be creepy stalker material, but somehow it isn't. I think that had a lot to do with it being her coping mechanism for when things are bad in her life (granted, that is almost constantly). But getting back to Tanner, her best friend. That boy would move heaven and earth for Abbey. As much as she appreciates this and doesn't know what she would do without him, there is still her low self worth due to her guilt, at play. She just doesn't feel she deserves him, which really is something she has to overcome.

Prior to reading On a Dark Wing, Death had almost always been seen as a bad guy to me. Of course there are other books that have reapers as important characters, but that just isn't the same. As much as I enjoyed watching Abbey on her slow road of healing, what really took the cake for me was the changes in Death himself. The idea of him being such an aloof entity without emotion and then being changed by Abbey's mother's love is really intriguing. Of course that led into some pretty selfish choices that put lives on the line as Death wanted to feel Abbey's love for himself. As horrible as the situation was, my heart really went out to him. I cannot blame him for not wanting to suffer alone anymore. Any eternity of being completely alone is a prospect most people would do just about anything to prevent.

The beginning of On a Dark Wing was rather slow, but once it picked up I was completely engrossed.  Even though things ended really how they should, I can't help wishing things had been a little different in the end. There was so much growth and healing, but I'm afraid one character was still left hurting. I'm pretty sure On a Dark Wind is a stand alone novel, but I would love to see a future installment with some sort of resolution for that character. (Sorry to be vague, I just don't want to spoil anything) Perhaps I will just have to imagine it for myself. Full of mystery and suspense, On a Dark Wing gives a unique perspective into what happens after death, as well as a powerful journey on the long road of healing, that you won't want to miss. I know I will be on the lookout for more titles by Jordan Dane in the near future.

(Received a copy from Netgalley)

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On a Dark Wing (Harlequin Teen)

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