I do not remember when I have been more spellbound by a fantasy book before.
I thought ‘The Angels Are Here’ was good, but not quite fully cooked. With Progeny of Innocence Patti Roberts is just showing off. This book delivers on so many levels.
There is so much emotion in this story, so many human traits – the good (love, friendship, bravery and boldness) and the shameful (lust, egotism, self-indulgence, viciousness) all thrown together. But you can never misinterpret the true colour of a person. That weaker characterisation I saw in Book 1 here and there has gone completely. Patti Roberts has grown up. Her writing skills rival some of the very big names out there and I would be surprised if awareness of her talent doesn’t sky-rocket within a few short months.
‘The Angles Are Here’ was a sweet little introduction to a fantasy world that might or might not be real. With ‘Progeny Of Innocence’ we have no choice but to believe. It’s not a fantasy anymore, it is a certainty. ‘It is a shame,’ Patti says, ‘that real life events very rarely portray the grandiose victories personified in fiction’. Because we know, we feel that undercurrent to all of our lives. We’ve always suspected there is more to this inconsequential human existence and Patti Roberts makes it easy to imagine what this might be.
The WAFEs slowly awake and remember, and the guardians pull together. Sparks are flying and you find yourself gnawing on your nails with increased anxiety. The good and the evil dance around each other in ever-decreasing circles until you shiver with the imminence of the epic battle you can see will be unleashed in the very near future.
There is a YA tinge to most of the second half of the novel, but it is nicely done and the adult world weaves through it skilfully. There are stories within the story, and again they do not detract, but expertly add to the texture and depth of the main plot.
We see heavy symbolism and original threads too, and a little Shakespearean conflict between the two obvious enemies: Damon, in body, hangs out with the Grigorians but his heart and spirit have long belonged to Juliette.
I must make a special mention. Often debut authors are so eager to get on with their story that they don’t spend enough time getting to know their own world, and that shows. Sometimes, they are lucky enough to be able to develop it in an acceptable manner in a sequel, and sometimes it is just so seriously underdeveloped, it is jarring. This is not the case here. Patti Roberts is so comfortable with her creation that it leaves no questions unanswered. You can see the prisoners being dragged in, you can see the forest and its people, you can understand the relationships between the six ancient races and feel their resistance to Grigorian rule.
Paradox is not a story in a place – it is the legend of a whole world.
As far as I am concerned, I don’t know how Patti’s writing could be improved upon. I’m waiting for the third book in the series and will be counting the weeks to its release. And there is a very strong chance that I might be tempted to sneak back to the Paradox blog page to get my fix and check for news here http://theangelsarehere.wordpress.com/book-trailer-book-1/