Reviews for Crescendo

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Nora searches for the mysterious Black Hand, who murdered her father and heads a secret society of Nephilim. She places herself in mortal peril just as her boyfriend/guardian angel Patch grows increasingly distant. Fans of paranormal romance may overlook two-dimensional characters (including an unabashedly self-centered heroine) for the novel's fast pacing and whopping dose of sexual tension. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #2

The forbidden romance between Nora Grey and fallen angel Patch that began in Hush, Hush (2009) remains off-limits in this predictable, repetitive sequel as Patch, now Nora's guardian angel, is warned by the archangels to keep his distance from his charge. Prompted by Patch's furtiveness and recent detachment and fueled by his involvement with Nora's longtime rival, Marcie Millar, their steamy relationship becomes a jealous push-pull for the upper hand. When a former classmate and fallen-angel vassal, known as a Nephilim, returns to Delphic Beach, Maine, and she begins seeing visions of her deceased father, Nora's obsession with Patch turns to finding out more about a secret Nephilim blood society, its Black Hand leader, their possible connection to her father's death and their threat to all of humanity. As in the first novel, Nora is continuously placed or places herself in dangerous situations that leave her vulnerable to physically powerful men and that require being saved. Just as the drawn-out plot answers Nora's lingering questions, it introduces a new dilemma and opener for another sequel. (Supernatural thriller. YA)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

Gr 9 Up--In this sequel to Hush, Hush (S & S, 2009), 16-year-old Nora Grey (still leggy, naïve, and constantly home alone in her farmhouse, but inexplicably no longer anemic) starts summer school in Coldwater, ME. It's been a few months since her sleazy lab partner, Patch, turned out to be a fallen angel bent on killing her to acquire a human body, then saved her from his murderous Nephil (half-human/ half-fallen angel) vassal and became her guardian angel. Now they're dating, but Nora starts to doubt his love and her safety when she realizes that he's holding back information about a secret Nephilim blood society; its mysterious leader, "the Black Hand"; Nora's mean-girl nemesis, Marcie; and Nora's father's murder. Fitzpatrick jumbles together a large cast of inconsistent, stereotyped characters and familiar teen horror/thriller scenarios as a foolish Nora wrestles with her tortured passion for Patch and gets drugged, shot at, chased, and seduced sleuthing for answers amid teen parties, seedy pool halls, a creepy amusement park, and cryptic dreams. Pseudo-biblical supernatural elements are confusing and underdeveloped, as is the cluttered, illogical plot. Nora's narrative and the story's pacing suffer from awkward phrasing, clichéd dialogue, and persistent use of the passive voice. An unsatisfying ending, mid-scene, anticipates a third book, but readers may be unwilling to put in the effort.--Riva Pollard, Prospect Sierra Middle School, El Cerrito, CA

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VOYA Reviews 2010 October
Nora Grey is trying her best to do well in a summer school chemistry class, find a part-time job, and keep up with a group of dubious friends. Adding to this frenzy of activity is a difficult relationship with Patch, her guardian angel, the unsolved mystery of her father's brutal murder, and an often-absent mother. Interwoven into the complications of Nora's life is the escalating conflict between a band of fallen angels and their Nephilim hosts, which may soon take its toll on all of mankind. This sequel relies on the reader having knowledge of its predecessor, Hush, Hush (Simon & Schuster, 2009 / VOYA December 2009). Unfortunately a short recap does not appear until the middle of the bookNora, the story's narrator, is a walking contradiction. She is an outstanding student who continues act foolishly. She is a self-professed good girl who has no trouble using a fake identification card, dressing provocatively, visiting shady pool halls, and slugging people. She steals her nemesis's diary, but is too ethical to read it. She trusts bad-boy Patch with her life (even though he tried to kill her in the prequel), but not with another girl. Although Nora's sensual dream sequences advance the story and add romance while keeping her innocent, they come across as contrived insertions. More information about the paranormal world the archangels inhabit may have made up for an overly long story with unlikable characters, a convoluted time frame, and contrived plot twists.-- Lynne Farrell StoverGaiman, Neil. Instructions. Illus. by Charles Vess. HarperCollins Children's Books, 2010. 40p. $14.99. ISBN 978-0-06-196030-7. 5Q 4P M J A jauntily attired cat that walks on two legs spies a door he has never seen before. In passing through it, he enters a magical world where giants and witches, princesses and dragons, and eagles and wolves may--or may not--help him on his journey home. Guided only by sage advice, the cat and a companion he picks up along the way must decide in whom or in what to trust and how to behave accordingly in this strange new world Instructions, in short, is about the lessons of life, which incredibly Gaiman (acclaimed author of Coraline [HarperCollins, 2008/VOYA June 2008] and 2009 Newbery Award winner) manages to somehow nail in a mere forty pages. Some of the text expands upon his earlier works, but when coupled with Vess's imagery, one is reminded of an array of mythological fables and symbolism from archetypal children's literature ranging from Charon's Ferryman of the Dead and the The Chronicles of Narnia to Puss n' Boots, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, and numerous others Despite the fact this book has all of the earmarks of a children's tale, young adults should be encouraged to invest the few minutes it takes to peruse these words of wisdom. Moreover, although the text clearly stands on its own as thought-provoking poetry, it is only enhanced by Vess's mystical, creative, and heartwarming illustrations that simultaneously strike a chord of wonder and familiarity. This book is the total package and highly recommended for audiences of all ages.--Judy Brink-Drescher 2Q 4P J S Copyright 2010 Voya Reviews.