Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce
|Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce|
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor|
|Summary: Cassie is haunted by terrible nightmares. Over and over she sees a young Jewish girl, Zillah, being shot by the Nazis during World War Two, in such clarity that it's as if she was really there. And then she goes on a school trip to Germany and recognises the place where Zillah died.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: July 2011|
|External links: Author's website|
From the very first lines of this powerful story we are dragged into a terrifying world where Cassie's nightmares are so real she continues to feel the pain of the injuries even after she has woken up. She fights sleep, dreading the bullet-ridden agony, the screams of family and playmates, and the awful, breathless hunt through the field of barley until at last the gun fires again, ending Zillah's life. Such a nightmare would shake a person for days afterwards . . . but Cassie goes through this night after night after night.
Cassie has few friends, and is so exhausted she hardly cares about usual teenage matters like boys, makeup and school. The only subjects she does well at are German and History, but not because she has the energy to work at them: it is almost as if she knew them through personal experience. Her mother is kind, obviously worried by Cassie's inability to get a restful night's sleep and even going so far as to buy her a book about lucid dreaming, but strangely, her father is cold and dismissive. Despite his opposition she goes on a school trip to Germany, and there her dreams change and she starts to see what happened before the massacre, before Zillah and her companions were murdered and buried in the barley field. And to cap it all, she learns she will have to share a room at the hostel. Everyone will know about her nightmares, and she will be even more isolated than ever.
The dreams continue to change, and Cassie begins to dream of Zillah from the point of view of the young Nazi who shot her. In her waking life the feeling of terror and claustrophobia increases even more as Cassie recognises the German town she is staying in, and the barley field where Zillah died. And when she alerts the authorities anonymously, hoping this will lay Zillah's ghost to rest, and they really do discover the bodies of a group of Jews, the tension in this book is almost unbearable.
Cassie's parents at last tell her the truth. Her behaviour has been strange since she was a baby, and Doctor Ashworth, who had studied her at the time, believed Cassie was reliving a past life. In desperation the family seek the doctor out again, and Cassie finds herself at a clinic where she hopes to be cured. But instead, the book gets even more disturbing if that is possible, as she finds she is not alone: there are other young people who go through the same things as herself. How Cassie reacts to her new environment, and the true significance of the book's title, forms the rest of this intriguing tale.
Readers will experience many emotions during the course of this book, from fear and horror to disgust and pity. But nothing is gratuitous, and not once do you feel a scene has been included merely for effect. The writing is powerful and evocative, the characters well-developed, and the plotting complex. Among the plethora of paranormal stories which have swamped the market recently, this one will stand out for its freshness of approach and the quality of its writing. A sequel, please!
Many thanks to Egmont for sending this brilliant, if terrifying, story to Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Menacing paranormal beings who leave heaven and threaten humanity are also the subject of L A Weatherly's excellent book Angel. And Cliff McNish has also written a very good book with the same title.
You can read more book reviews or buy Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce at Amazon.com.
Angel's Fury and the Easter Egg Giveaway was written for Bookbag in support of Angel's Fury by Bryony Pearce
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