Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Blog Tour: Until Next Time by Amy Lingor

I am delighted to be participating in Tribute Books' blog tour for Amy Lingor's novel, Until Next Time. I chose to review the book, so without further ado...

Title: Until Next Time
Series: The Angel Chronicles #1
Author: Amy Lingor
Publisher: Tribute Books
Target Audience: YA
Pages: 295
PoV: 3rd person
Tense: Past tense

Story: How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?

Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.

When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.

From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.

Thoughts and impressionsThe first thing that struck me about this book upon completion of it is that the prologue and the epilogue are separate from the story itself. For one, they’re narrated in the first person by Emily herself at some unknown time in her life and they’re in the present tense. Well, most of the prologue is anyway. Part way through it slips into the past tense for a while for no discernible reason before going back to the present tense. They also don’t really make sense with what information we glean from the story. In both, Amy is disillusioned with her life as an angel but we encounter nothing in the book that would explain why she has become so disillusioned. As such, I felt that they stuck out: they didn’t make sense in the context of this story and though there are hints that we may come to understand her feelings better after the next book, there could potentially be an infinite number of books, or ‘lives’, before Emily gets to this present.

The main body of the story is presented as Emily reading about herself – one of her human lives. As an angel, she gets sent to live out a human life that ended before its time but there’s a catch: once she’s sent to live a new life, she doesn’t remember the old one. So the stories of the angels' human lives are recorded in books for them to read. Until Next Time is about Emily’s first mission to live among the humans.

On Earth, she is forced to come to terms with human emotions and she has no memories of her angelic self. For all intents and purposes, she is Liz – a young Irish woman at the turn of the 19th century. The other half of her angelic team, Matt the warrior, is also there but because their memories have been wipes, they don’t remember each other.

Liz runs the local pub with her friend, Faith. When two strangers beg for shelter during a storm, both of their lives are turned upside down. The strangers turn out to be two young men, Charles and Jason, who very conveniently turn out to be romantic interests for Faith and Liz. This is where the book doesn’t just touch on one of my personal pet peeves but really chucks it in the reader’s face. I’m not fond of love at first sight at the best of times but in this case it happens to four characters at once and I just didn’t buy it at all.

What’s more, Matt was also presented as a romantic interest. Of course, he’d grown up with Emily and they’d spent all their time together in training. I can understand where feelings came from in this case even if I’m not shown the evolution of them – not that I’m shown the evolution of them with Jason either; they just suddenly sprouted there.

I never really knew which of the two men in Emily/Liz’s life I was supposed to be rooting for. I still don’t. Honestly, I didn’t really like either of them all that much. I found Matt to be hypocritical when he gets high and mighty because Emily went and fell in love with a human but he did exactly the same thing. And Jason never grew as a character beyond his love for Liz and his willingness to take things at her pace even though he wants more from her (because he fell in love with her the moment her met her and wanted to marry her, as Charles and Faith did, but she held back).

Another thing that left me unable to appreciate Jason as a romantic interest was the whole thing with Angela. N.B.: This touches on events shown in the last couple of chapters so be warned and skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want potential spoilers. It was far from romantic. Especially as Jason admits that he never stopped loving his angel. It’s… I don’t know, I feel like Angela deserved more. Every woman deserves to be loved completely by her partner and Jason couldn’t possibly love Angela completely because he still loved Liz.

All in all, neither of the males really appealed to me and I didn’t buy the relationship between Liz and Jason, so the romance aspect of the book didn’t work for me.

I liked the ideas behind the angels, though, and how they worked by taking on a life that was destined for more but the human soul left the shell too soon. It seemed a little weird to me that they didn’t really meet any other angels while they were rushing around Heaven. Other than the well-known saints, that is. Maybe in future books, hey? The saints and archangels that were around were all fun characters very different from how I tend to picture them myself. I thought it was a great twist to give them a sense of humour!

The portrayal of Heaven was original as well, if a little confusing at times. Ok, so it was the wands in the lightning room that confused me. I don’t know what happened, whether I zoned out as their explanation was given (very possible) or what. Despite this, I did like how Heaven worked and the scenes where the angels were brought back to Heaven were a good breather from the scenes down on Earth.

Obviously, this being a book about angels, it has a significant religious aspect. My only problem with this is that it sometimes becomes so Christian that it ostracises readers of other religious beliefs. There are some parts that are particularly preachy and I’d find myself zoning out each time. It could just be the Christian fiction I’ve read but I’ve found that each time there’s a passage that could be construed as insinuating that I, as a non-Christian, should be pitied because I don’t happen to believe in the Christian God. I realise that the author is American and that society’s view of religion is very different there, but I find it insulting when it is implied that I should need to turn to someone else’s deity to live my life right.

Other than this, I enjoyed the book well enough and the epilogue has piqued my interest enough for me to want to read the next book. Maybe then I’ll figure out whether I’m supposed to be rooting for the angel or the human!

StyleI enjoyed the style but the language was far too modern for 19th century Ireland.

Final verdictThe book never managed to completely suck me in: I chose to come back to it each time rather than feeling the compulsion to delve back into it each time I had to put it down. When I experience this with a book it gets 3 stars from me.

The book around the net:

Buy the book:

The author :
Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories.

Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made; and the adventure novel, Tallent & Lowery 13.

She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer.

Currently, she lives with her daughter, mother and a rambunctious German Shepherd named Reuben, in the beautiful state of New Mexico. 

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The Publisher:


  1. Thanks for the review. I like to read reviews that show you a viewpoint other than the normal gushing of praises.

    Book Enslaved

  2. Thank you for having UNT on your site. I really appreciate you taking the time to read the book. I can say that the prologue and epilogue are truly for a purpose, and with the romantic feelings, I tried to present two very different types of love covered in this book: the one some people settle for and the one that was actually meant to be, and I hope that Book II will show that for you. Have a great week! And, thanks again.

  3. Rea, thanks for taking the time to read and review Amy's book.


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