Book Review: ON A DARK WING (Jordan Dane)

From Goodreads:  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 crushes—starts to climb Alaska’s Denali, the Angel of Death stalks him because of her.

And Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.


When I saw the cover of ON A DARK WING, I immediately thought, “Oh…grand.  Another pretty-angel-boy-falls-in-love-with-a-stupid-mortal-girl.  This is getting almost as cliché as shapeshifters and vampires.”

Folks, do not let the cover fool you.  There is no pretty angel boy.  A ghostly, eye-glowing, apparition of Death, yes, but no angel. 

Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. This was the image my mind conjured when Jordan Dane described Death.
There are a few other things that made ON A DARK WING stand out from so many of the lookalike YA paranormal romance novels that saturate the market. 


Voice:  Sarcasm, snarkiness, rude humor.  You’ll find all of those in a lot of YA books, but Jordan Dane takes Abbey’s voice to a laugh out loud level.  Like where I actually laughed audibly.  For instance:

“I had to navigate the crowded halls like salmon swimming upstream to get my rocks off on some eggs. “ 


Or when Abbey is talking to her BFF on Taco Tuesday.


“Are you going to eat…?”


“Don’t even think about it.” I glared at him.  I wasn’t so wrapped up with crushing on Nate that I’d let Tanner scarf a taco off my tray, not on my watch.  “Damn, dude.  You’re like a human garbage disposal.  Seriously.  You’ve got a tapeworm or something.” 


“I’m blessed with a healthy metabolism.  It runs in my family.”


“Yeah well…I wish you’d share it with me.”

…I had totally justified body image issues, but never cared enough to go cold-turkey off the junk food, and forget about breaking a sweat.  Exercise was for mice in a cage with a wheel and nothing better to do.”* 


Setting:  The novel is set in Alaska…which is practically my personal hell.  And yet, Jordan Dane managed to make it appealing.  At least to visit.  Her descriptions of the mountains, lakes, twisting roads, glaciers are vivid and intricate. 

Point of View:  I’m reading along, happy to laugh at Abbey’s funny voice.  And then I got to page 56 (at least that’s the page it was on my e-galley) and suddenly the story jumps from Abbey’s first person, past tense telling of events to a third-person overview of a completely different character. 


I know.  What the heck?


After the initial jump, I started to expect the changes and actually enjoyed the four additional perspectives.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that jumped POVs like this…or at least done it successfully.  It was a great way to introduce and add depth to a fairly large cast of characters.

Issues:  Abbey is plagued by guilt over her mother’s death, typical teenage body issues, a difficult relationship with her father, and bullying from her peers.  Jordan Dane managed to weave all these threads into the story to give her main character a strong arc, which led up to an ending that was satisfying. 


ON A DARK WING was not at all what I expected.  And that’s a good thing.

*Excerpts are from the Galley version and may not appear as quoted in final version. 

The ON A DARK WING by Jordan Dane sponsored by HarlequinTeen Blog Tour kicks off December 19 and ends January 2, followed by a live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5 at 7:00 PM EDT.

GRAND PRIZE: Jordan Dane is giving away a Kindle Fire to one lucky person!!! Contest rules are posted using the Rafflecopter entry form. Please click here to enter.

PRIZES: Ten blog stops along the tour will be hosting giveaways for signed copies of ON A DARK WING with a secret gift from Abbey Chandler. Rules for each giveaway will be posted on the blogger’s site using Rafflecopter.

WINNERS will be announced at the live chat with Jordan Dane on January 5, so make sure you’re there!


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