Title: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Sweet Trilogy (Book 1)
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Format: Paperback, 454 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062085611 (Harper Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062085610 (Harper Teen)
Reviewed by: Emmy
What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.
Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
Quick & Dirty: The originality of Higgins world moves the story at a fast pace, while romance in the dangerous world of the Nephilim can be deadly.
Opening Sentence: The newborn wailed as the midwife wrapped her in a receiving blanket and quickly handed her to Sister Ruth.
The world around you is filled with demons and angels. The pale fog clinging to your shoulder is a guardian angel, while every self doubt whispered originates from a Legionnaire. Higgins has built a world where sin is alive in human form, manipulating humanity through their whisperers. Anna isn’t like the other Nephilim, her father hasn’t had the time to teach her about the ways of the demon hierarchy on earth. He’s been a little busy serving out a prison sentence. So it isn’t until Kaidan Rowe, the drummer in her best friend’s favorite band, comes to town that she finally learns why she can see people’s emotions like tie dye on their chest.
Nephilim are raised to further their father’s mission from Lucifer. The Dukes — the twelve demons allowed to take human form — have no love for their children. Nephilim can’t reproduce and their mothers always die in childbirth. Many of the Nephilim enjoy their work. Needless to say Anna Whitt isn’t going to be one of them. She’s grown up the good girl — good to a degree that sometimes leaves even her cringing. There’s no one less suited for a life of pressuring others to sin than our heroine.
If they don’t do as they’re told, they die. As I said, the Dukes have no love of their children — they have even more contempt for the offspring of others. For Anna’s deception to happen right under their nose, and those of their whisperers, she’ll have to follow her father’s instructions. There’s more to her father than just being a Duke. He was an angel once upon a time, and her mother still was one when she gave birth. While Anna’s two sides conflict with each other, her friends and father fight for their survival as they try to stick to the fringes of the demonic world they live in.
Hopefully this is the start to a really original trilogy, because this first book was filled with new ideas on the mythos of angels and demons. I love the concept of Dukes on earth, the guardian angels, and the Nephilim. Anna’s character grows through the story, from a narrow minded girl who sees everything in black and white to someone fighting for survival and coloring everything she thought she knew in grey.
My biggest critique of the book, which almost knocked it down to rank, was the love triangle. To be fair, it’s not completely a love triangle. More of a love-and-companionship-with-potential triangle. Without question it was unnecessary and distracting. We have the “if I’d only met you first” cliché, as well as a number of others that detract from the originality of Sweet Evil. And this was a very original book. Unfortunately, that allows for a bit of info-dumping in conversations Anna has, but it’s worked in well and not nearly as bad as I expected.
“Let’s see. Okay. Basic Demonology 101. How does a demon get into a body?”
“Well, it’s difficult for two healthy souls to possess a body at once. A human soul can’t simply be shoved out of the way. I’m sure you’ve watched movies about exorcisms?”
“Heard of them, but never seen any.”
“Those stories are examples of possessions gone bad, usually some dissatisfied spirit whisperer who wants to stir up trouble. The demon soul and human should fight over the body and the body wears down. It can get gory. Most often it ends in death.”
What a horrible way to go.
“Demons and angels both have free will, but rules still apply. Demons have been forbidden to physically harm humans, and that includes possessions. You with me so far?” I nodded, and he went on. “Dukes spend a lot of their time in hospitals and emergency rooms while they’re searching out a new body in their spirit form. When people are close to death and lose the will to live, the souls are just barely hanging on to their bodies, like a loose tooth. The Dukes can just pinch off the human soul and release it without protest, then enter the body before it dies and heal it with their powers. They heal much faster than us. They could share the bodies when the human soul is weak like that, but it hinders their powers within the body, so they prefer to be the only dwellers.”
The Sweet Trilogy:
1. Sweet Evil
FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Sweet Evil. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.