StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

StarCrossed 3 1/2 by Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod

Angel Tears is a "deleted scene" from the novel StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror. The authors felt it slowed the pace of the story. However, character development and information in this scene will become important and meaningful as the series progresses.

As it should not be missed by fans of the series, this 6,666-word short story is being offered as a FREE READ.

While reading the cemetery scene in StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror, did you wonder how the angel Sariel came to be in John and Matthew Banks’ possession, and how Sariel ended up in the condition he was in at the onset of that scene? If so, you don’t want to miss StarCrossed 3 1/2: Angel Tears.

Spoilers/Sequence Warning: This story contains spoilers for StarCrossed 3: Objects in the Mirror and should not be read out of order.

 

 

Review:

As this is simply a deleted scene and not a fully realized short story, it’s not really appropriate for a review. After all, how can you discuss characterization when it’s a simple scene taken out of context of the book by author choice? As it is, definitely read StarCrossed 3 first so you understand the players and their purpose but this scene absolutely adds to the story created. I have to trust the authors’ choice in taking the scene out yet I think it’s wonderful and allows the reader to see some of the best aspects of the writing and characters developed for this urban fantasy series.

As the “blurb” says, this is a deleted scene that shows how John Banks convinced Sariel to go along with his scheme to trap Jace Barton. It takes a minute to wrap your mind around the setting, since you’re dropped right into the scene and have to remember who these characters are and their connection to the larger StarCrossed story and world. But once you do, the scene is vivid, graphic, and stunning.

One of the best aspects of this short added scene was the depth given to John. Within SC 3, he’s clearly an "evil" force, but he’s not black and white simplistic evil. This scene typifies many of the scenes with John where the authors are able to show his complexity and depth. He’s not a cardboard evil man. He’s been warped by his upbringing and perhaps predisposed to cruelty but no doubt his childhood certainly played a part in creating the man he became. The ability to layer the hints of compassion with sharp cruelty all on the razor’s edge of pain was wonderful. 

The authors delve into the complexities of the “bad guy”, giving him more depth and reasoning. In this scene he has regret, compassion, fear, anger, cruelty, kindness, need, hatred, and even love and truly evil deeds. They all combine to give a fully three-dimensional creation to the character and I personally think the scene would have added to the original story. It does seem to take a side trip too far into John and Sariel, which may be the reasoning for why it was cut but this is one of the best elements of the authors’ writing – which is the ability to create compassion for even the most evil character. No one in their world is empty or a placeholder. Even those who do evil deeds (and arguably Jace is high on this list) have multifaceted personalities shaped by experience as much as nature. The lack of classic heroes and anti-heroes is another strength of their writing.

This scene also allows a good characterization of Sariel, who for all his presence in SC 3 felt unexplored and weak. I liked that this scene added depth to Sariel, showed more to him than simple acceptance or belief; it showed a struggle, compassion, his own mistakes and weaknesses. As one of the “good” angels, Sariel is not wholly good and is subject to missteps you wouldn’t think Angels would be capable of, including the blindness of love. He has his own regrets, failures, and fears as well as desires, needs, and wants. Most stories never delve into the darker side of angels; their sexual needs and desires that may embarrass even them. The authors will pretty much cross any line or taboo.

If you haven’t read the series before, this short scene won’t make much sense but it might give you an idea of the strength of the writing between these two. It’s visceral, gritty, hard hitting and not afraid of blood—literal and figurative—and a perfect example of why I enjoy this series so much.

 Get it HERE!

 

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