Book Review: Highborn by Yvonne Navarro

EVERYONE DESERVES A SECOND CHANCE. BRYNNA MALAK MIGHT BE THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.

Brynna is a fallen angel trying to earn redemption. She’s escaped from Hell in search of a new life on Earth, but Lucifer’s deadliest hunters are hot on her trail. Police Detective Eran Redmond is after her for a different reason: he needs Brynna to help him find a serial killer who is terrifying Chicago . . . and the trail leads them right to Hellspawned demons of the most dangerous kind. She’s also got a very “human “problem: dealing with a stubborn, attractive cop who makes her long for everything she knows she can’t have.

Staying alive long enough to earn a shot at Heaven will mean breaking some major rules in the mortal world, as she learns just how complicated and wonderful being human can be. With so much stacked against her, even Brynna has to wonder if she’s crazy. But she’s not giving in without a fight.

Not a chance in Hell. . . .

Paperback: 375 Pages

Series: Dark Redemption #1

Publisher: Pocket

Find on GoodReads

The description from GoodReads is pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? Many, many, [..], many years ago, Brynna was an angel; Until she did the unspeakable and got banished from Heaven straight to Hell. After she escapes from Hell and she witnesses a murder, she teams up with Det. Redmond to try to catch a killer. You’ve got demons, nephelims, romance, Hell hunters etc.

So we have a Hell minion, angels, a forbidden attraction, nephelims, a case to solve..kind of reminds you of Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series, doesn’t it? And if you, like me, came to like, love and then gradually loathe Georgina more and more over the span of 6 books, you might be inclined not to read Highborn. And you would be wrong.

The main reason this book was so good was the female protagonist, Brynna – and she is the opposite of Georgina.  After a helluva long time spent in Hell, she’s so incredibly jaded at first, it’s perfect and awesome. She sees a man murdered in front of her and she goes ” Oh well, I’ve seen worse. Bye now”.  She’s not whiny, not incredibly powerful and doesn’t go through a complete transformation two chapters into the novel. She struggles to adapt to the human world, to understand people and their emotions. Don’t get me wrong, she IS kickass and fearless, but she’s also as real as a fallen angel escaped from Hell can be. I loved her.

The other characters are interesting and complex, especially the killer and I really liked the relationships and interactions between Brynna, Eram and his partner.

Also, Navarro’s writing is good and consistent, as is the world-building. The plot moves at a fast pace, very dynamic, very action packed. I really liked the ending, too. It came as a sweet, cute surprise.

My only problem with Highborn and the reason I only gave it a 3.5 rating was the story itself during the last few chapters. Having Brynna get attacked, escaping, get attacked again, escaping again and so on and so forth, by the same hunter, was a bit too much for me. It felt dragged out and also highly unbelievable in the strictest sense.

Other than that, I really liked the novel and am looking forward to reading the next installment.

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