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 In which nothing really happens. Let's do this!
We start off with the first-person narrative, as it is all too common in these kinds of novels, YA or not. Our heroine, Bethany, states that it was almost dawn when they first landed, and they hoped that they would be unnoticed. However, unfortunately for them, there is a thirteen-year-old boy, "doing a paper round". 

First of all, 'paper route' is what it's called in North America, Adornetto. This isn't Australia. Be ready to see a lot of Australian slang and phrases in this book, since our author is Australian and has no clue of what America is like. Hell, I'm Canadian, and I know a little bit about how America works!

Anyways, how does Bethany know that the boy was doing the paper route? Shouldn't she not know these sorts of things? And how does she know that he "seemed to be playing a mental game with himself to estimate where exactly he could get each paper to land"? Dammit, this is why third-person is better for this kind of thing!

Moving on, the boy sees the three new strangers and is understandably startled at the sight. However, Bethany decides to tell us that he's scared because of how they look. No, honey, I can assure you that it's not because of how you look. However, when the three new strangers try to be reassuring, they don't know how to smile, so they just "contort" a smile out of their faces, sending the boy running with his tail between his legs.

On another note, I looked up the name of our heroine to see if there is anything Biblical about it. Apparently, the name is Biblical in origin, and it comes from the name of a town in the New Testament. The town of Bethany is the home of Saint Lazarus and his two sisters Mary and Martha. So... I guess I could give it a pass? But still, one would think that Adornetto would give the names of actual angels for her protagonists.

Anyways, we are now treated to a rather interesting passage as Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy make their way down Byron Street.

Already, our sense were being assaulted from all directions. The colors of the world were so vivid and so varied. We had come from a pure white world to a street that looked like an artist's palette... The wind brushed against my fingertips, and it felt so alive that I wondered if I could reach out and catch it. I opened my mouth and tasted the crisp, sharp air. I could smell gasoline and burning toast mingled with pine and the sharp scent of the ocean. The worst part was the noise. The wind seemed to howl, and the sound of the sea beating against the rocks roared through my head like a stampede. I could hear everything that was happening in the street, the sound of a car ignition, a slamming screen door, a child crying, an old porch swing creaking in the wind.

Wow. I'm quite impressed, actually. This passage really makes sense when you think about it from Bethany's perspective. Here she is, a young angel who is new to Earth, and she is experiencing a lot of different sensations at once. Clearly, it would come as a shock to her, especially since she isn't used to being in a human body, so she's clearly overwhelmed and agitated by everything that's going on, to the point that she's in pain. Kudos to you, Adornetto.

Moving on, Gabriel tells Bethany that she'll learn how to block it out, which startles Bethany, since they "communicated without language" back in Heaven. And sadly, all good things come to an end when Bethany describes their voices. Gabriel's is"low and hypnotic" and Bethany's is "as melodic as a flute".

Of course it has to be as melodic as a flute! Heaven forbid it sounds as screechy as an out-of-tune violin, or as high-pitched as an oboe! But at least it wasn't something like "as gentle as a harp" or something like that.

Now, the three of them finally reach their new house and Ivy cheerfully points out that it has a name. And we are now treated to a lavish description of the house that I think deserves a sporking.

The house had been named after the street and BYRON was displayed in an elegant script on a copper plaque.

Byron, huh? You mean after Lord Byron, the poet who wrote the very bawdy Don Juan? May I also add, a poet who is also well known for sleeping around with a lot of men and women?

We would later discover that the adjoining streets were named after other English Romantic poets: Keats Grove, Coleridge Street, Blake Avenue. 

John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Blake are the names of these poets. And of course, why don't you name-drop different famous poets in order to try and make your work deep and 'profound'? Honestly, it'd be a bit more interesting if these streets were named after people like Elizabeth BathoryGilles de RaisDelphine LaLaurie, or even Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova. That'd be quite interesting.

Byron was to be both our home and our sanctuary while we were earthbound. 

Well, let's see how this sanctuary is described, shall we?

It was a double-fronted, ivy-clad sandstone house set well back from the street behind a wrought-iron fence and double gates.

What, you mean a house like this?

Looks a bit too posh for angels of the Lord, doesn't it?

It had a gracious Georgian façade and a gravel path leading to its flaking front door. 

Oh, Georgian façade? I looked up 'Georgian house' on Google, and take a look at what I found.

A little bit fancy, isn't it? You sure that angels should be living in such a nice house?

The front yard was dominated by a stately elm, wrapped in a tangled mess of ivy. Along the side fence grew a profusion of hydrangeas, their pastel heads quivering in the morning frost. I liked the house- it looked like it had been built to weather any adversity.

But clearly not to allow them to live in secrecy, huh? One would think that an angel would choose to live in a smaller house that wouldn't really draw any attention.

After a brief moment with Bethany giving the house key to Gabriel, they step inside and- oh no...

Everything about the house suggested light. The ceilings were lofty, the rooms airy. Off the central hallway were a music room to the left and a living room to the right. Farther along, a study opened onto a paved courtyard. The rear of the house was an extension that had been modernized and was made up of an expansive marble-and-stainless steel kitchen that spilled into a large den with Persian rugs and plump sofas. Folding doors opened onto an extensive redwood deck. Upstairs were all the bedrooms and the main bathroom with its marble vanities and sunken bath. As we walked through the house, its timber floors creaked as if in welcome. A light shower began, and the rain falling on the slate roof sounded like fingers playing a melody on a piano.

And here I thought that the outside was a bit much. This is clearly on the end of luxurious, and it contradicts the whole purpose of their mission! They're supposed to be fighting against evil and help out the poor and the weak. And it would be a lot better if they were to live in a place that's a little bit more subtle to avoid notice from Georgian locals! This makes no sense! They should live in a simple house that looks ordinary, not a place filled with timber floors, Persian rugs, marble vanities and sunken baths!

See, I'm currently writing a novel about demons and all that. Two of the main characters are demons who have come to the Human World on a mission, and do you know what their accommodations are like? It's simple and cheap! They don't buy some huge mansion in the wealthier neighbourhoods of Toronto, they rent out a small apartment that university students normally reside in! No Persian rugs, no timber floors, none of that! It's small, but fairly comfortable, and that's all they need!

Also, how do these angels know about Persian rugs and other instruments?

Bleh, whatever! The next passage is about how the first few weeks of their stay are mainly for them to get used to having physical forms and getting used to being on Earth. Again, I kind of like how Bethany explains their fascination of being on solid ground, as well as how everything feels limited because of physical barriers and all that. Sadly, this is never really explored, which is too bad. It sucks when there's good things in a novel that are never really explored.

Bethany also says that they are visited by a "faceless, white-robed mentor", who most likely is God. We also learn that there are other angels on Earth, and that some of them are already in battle with the Agents of Darkness. During this conversation, Bethany randomly asks why toothpaste gives her a headache, which I'm guessing is supposed to be an attempt at comedy, but it falls kind of flat because of how out-of-place it is.

And now! We learn that Gabriel cooks for Ivy and Bethany! Damn, for real? I can't believe that the archangel Gabriel, one of the strongest angels, has become the chef of the family! This is too funny.

Bethany continues to say that they kept their human contact to a minimum, and that they do all their shopping in the nearby town of Kingston, which is said to be slightly larger. Er... I looked up the town of Kingston in Georgia, and it doesn't really look that large to me. It'd make more sense if they went to somewhere like Atlanta, and I don't know why Adornetto chose Kingston.

Moving on, Bethany says that the only human they introduce themselves to is a man known as Father Mel, the priest at Saint Mark's chapel. So, he's aware of angels on Earth? Anyways, Bethany says that they hope to restore faith in the people of this still-unnamed town, and to teach them to believe in miracles. And we finally get the name and description of our town!

Venus Cove was a sleepy beachside town, the sort of place where nothing ever changed. We enjoyed the quiet and took to walking along the shore, usually at dinnertime when the beach was mostly deserted. One night we walked as far as the pier to look at the boats moored there. They were so brightly painted they looked like they belonged in a postcard. 

So they were sent to a sleepy beach town, huh? Where nothing really happens? Gee, that's just the place that needs to be saved from evil and surely not a place like DetroitBaltimoreSt. Louis or any other place that happens to have a high crime rate! Hell, why not even some other cities with high crime rates around the world, like Caracas in Venezuela, Fortaleza in Brazil, Cape Town in South Africa, Acapulco in Mexico, or anywhere like that? Those places need a hell of a lot more restoration of faith and miracles even more than a sleepy beach town in Georgia! I just... I don't even know anymore...

You may be asking what the purpose of this walk is. Why, to meet the love interest of course! And we get our description of him right now!

We reached the end of the pier before noticing the lone boy sitting there. He couldn't have been more than eighteen, but it was possible to see in him the man he would someday become. He was wearing cargo shorts that came to his knees and a loose white T-shirt with the sleeves cut off. His muscular legs hung over the edge of the pier. He was fishing and had a burlap bag full of bait and assorted reels beside him. We stopped dead when we saw him and would have turned away immediately, but he had already seen us.

*snorts* The man he would someday become? Sounds a little bit awkward there.

Anyways, the boy comes and says hi to Bethany, Gabriel, and Ivy. How do Gabriel and Ivy respond? By just standing still and nodding, like that doesn't look weird or anything. However, Bethany decides to talk to him, even though she knows that she's not supposed to befriend any humans whatsoever. Hell, she even says, "Already, I was disregarding the rules of our mission." So you know you're breaking the rules? Nice. And yet you continue to break them.

Geez, why are you even here, Bethany?

A brief conversation ensues, and Bethany takes note of his physical appearance.

The boy's light brown hair was the color of walnuts. It flopped over his brow and had a lustrous sheen in the fading light. His pale eyes were almond shaped and a striking turquoise blue in color. But it was his smile that was utterly mesmerizing. So that was how it was done, I thought: effortlessly, instinctively, and so utterly human. As I watched, I felt drawn to him, almost by some magnetic force. Ignoring Ivy's warning glance, I took another step forward. 

Honey, that's infatuation you're feeling. You can't be suddenly drawn to him because of his looks, and you sure as hell cannot feel a connection with him because of his looks! Geez, I know this is supposed to show off their instant attraction, but this just feels like infatuation!

The boy asks if Bethany wants to try fishing, but Gabriel intervenes and says that it's time for them to go home. And Bethany notes that his speech pattern is more formal and that his words "sounded rehearsed, as though he were performing a scene from a play. He probably felt like he was. He sounded like a character in one of the old Hollywood movies I'd watched as part of our research."

So they did research by watching old Hollywood movies? Well, no wonder they suck at blending in!

But really? Watching movies as research? Again, the demons in my novel did this completely different! They didn't watch old movies, they read books and took courses on humans to try and act like them!

Gah, I'm almost done. As they walk away, Bethany tells Gabriel that he was rude, to which Gabriel scolds her as if she were a child. Dude, Bethany is pretty much a child. And while Ivy reminds Bethany that they're not yet ready for human contact, Bethany insists that she is. She then gives one final glance at the boy and notices that he's smiling.

And with that, we conclude the first chapter! Dear God, that was a drag. I hope I can make it through the next chapter before I start to call in guest sporkers!

Previous: Summary 

Next: Chapter Two- Flesh


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