While I enjoy books of all kinds, I prefer books that promote diversity and or multiculturalism.

Paranormal elements and a strong female heroine in book one of this Supernatural Trilogy!

The Girl - Madhuri Blaylock

So, Im finally getting to review this title, after receiving it for free for an honest review. I felt a lot of things during reading this book. Some good, some bad, some gray. There were cool things about this read, as well as things I didn’t connect with, that may have just been lost on me.


But I think if you’re an urban fantasy fan, you’d enjoy it nonetheless. Which I did. I can't say that I wasn’t entertained throughout the course of the story of “The Girl”, book one, of the Sanctum Trilogy.


The Girl follows the exploits of a half demon, half angel hybrid named Dev, and a body of authority known as “The Sanctum”, a vast group of individuals(which I assumed were all human. Im not sure if they have angel or god blood or something, that grants them this authority) who create peace  amongst themselves and Magicals(An umbrella term for anyone supernatural) whilst making sure the rest of humanity knows anything about them.


The really gets it’s momentum going when Dev, meets Wyatt Clayworth, a Class A Warrior of the Sanctum. They fall hard for each other, even though his mission is to kill her, which you can see the conflict from there.


I like the set up and environment. I like that it’s set in NYC(but I will have some things that would’ve made it better for me in the diversity section of the review) as being a state away(in a state New Yorkers consider country in comparison) it’s a good place to set something. NYC is so busy, it’s really easy not to notice the small stuff. 


It reminds me a teeny weeny bit of The Mortal Instruments series for that reason. I can definitely see why someone might compare the two. I do think they’re two completely different stories, and their comparisons stop there, but it’s interesting to see such a big place, with so many people, see so little in front of them.


Sometimes I got lost in things being repeated too many times to count. I’ll probably bring that argument up better in the diversity section, but I heard Ryker and Wyatt be described as “Class A Warriors” in almost every chapter they were in. I think most people will assume by the 3rd time the phrase makes an appearance, that they are indeed “Class A Warriors.” Each time Im told that this, instead of shown, it made me wonder, “Well what does it take to be Class A?” 


“What is Class B?”


“What type of education is a prerequisite, and how long must you train to earn your rank?”


“Where are the other classes to counter or compare the significance to Class Types?”


There was a lot of telling me what their rank was, but very little showing me what it took to get there. There was even a situation, which Wyatt took on 7 of his Sanctum members, to protect Dev, but it didn’t show the battle, just the aftermath.


If I’d seen how strategic, or clever he was to take down 7 people, it would’ve shut me up. I would’ve been like “OK, that’s what a Class A rank does.” But how he felt about the fight, wasn’t the same to me as seeing how he did it. I kept thinking, was it like that scene in the awesome movie Hanna, where Eric Bana, totally wiped the floor with several opponents, without a weapon of his own(which totally changed how I looked at Eric Bana, XD click here to see).


If I’d just got a glimpse of what Wyatt could do, I wouldn’t be so confused. But the story is supposed to be about Dev, so I’ll talk more about her.


I liked Dev. I didn’t necessarily love her, despite wanting to, but I did like her. She was a tough as nails demon/angel hybrid, and unapologetic. I think a lot of people attempt to make a protagonist likable. I don’t think Dev is a typically “likable” heroine, but I think that’s what I like about her. Women have to strive to be appropriate, “likable.” I don’t connect to most “likable” heroines, so I did like that she didn’t care what people thought of her.


But describing her character with both her looks and talent, were a bit repetitive. Like Wyatt and Ryker, every appearance she makes(whether it’s being talked about, or she’s actually in the scene) mentioned how vicious, deadly, or beautiful she was.


By the third time, I kinda got that people found her attractive. There wasn’t as much situations that showed this, as much as it told. And for such a deadly character, sometimes her dialogue was a little “cheerlead-y.”


Im 100% sure that “cheerlead-y” is not a word. But with the way her character is written, certain dialogue seemed lower than her age group(which to be honest,being immortal, Im not sure what her true age was). Sometimes the book’s dialogue wasn’t reminiscent of teenagers(too mature or not mature enough).


One line in particular seemed a little off. It was by Wyatt, and just so I have an example, I’ll quote it.


In reference to a scene where Ryker challenged Max Breslin in a battle of words, Wyatt then gave him props. “Thank you Ryker Morrison for being your bad self.”


Maybe it’s because Ive been with a white boy for 4 years, but I can’t ever think of a situation, where a white boy would sound anything but uber corny for even trying to speak in my vernacular XD


It’s not a deal breaker. And Im only bringing attention to things that just seem off to me, and at times, dialogue was one of them.


I do however like the story’s backstory. The Circle of Ten, Im curious to learn more about that, and more about the other families involved. I’d love to know where else in the world other stations are, and how their settings, situations and techniques(weapons and battle tactics) compare and differ from NYC.


The story is 3rd person. I like 3rd person, but I am a 1st person snob. I think with all the characters involved, it works better to be 3rd person. So I can’t argue much about that. But I already mentioned how I felt about the dialogue and language of the book, so i’d simply be repeating myself if I mentioned it again ;p


I don’t think the editing is bad. It’s not perfect, but then again, there are very few books that are. Maybe it was the copy I had, as I read it as an ePub. The words seemed very close together, so while the editing works, perhaps I would’ve liked more interesting formatting.


As far as diversity went. Hmm…There was a lot of female representation. I don’t know how I feel about it. There wasn’t a woman in the book who’s worth wasn’t valued in how she looked. Each time, any girl is mentioned, she had to be “smoking hot.” There wasn’t a ton of room for any awkwardness. You were either petite or model-tall. 


I loved the troll Coco. She was my favorite character in the book, but so far had the least screen time, and wasn’t human. But even her looks had to be mentioned several times. While I was told many times how dangerous and powerful characters were, it was difficult to take many of the characters, especially the women, seriously.


Mainly because the men didn’t always seem to take them seriously. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it. I have a grandmother, who every time I visit her, the only thing she will comment on is my looks. So much of a women’s worth was put into her looks in her time, and while I cringe to hear it, I know she’s from a much different time.


Im glad there are so many women in this book with self confidence. I do get really bored of the “girls who are hot, but don’t know they are.” But when Wyatt first found Dev, her body was completely distorted, and each limb basically had a mind of it’s own XD Why were they saying how hot her body was?


Everyone was very perfect, at the way they looked, the way they were shaped, their height, their intelligence, their skill. I would’ve liked to see someone struggle just a little bit. 


For the most part, I can live with it. Hearing how hot all the characters were sometimes made me put the book down, but I always wanted to pick it back up, so it’s not a deal breaker.


As far as female representation, there weren’t as many women of color. I wasn’t sure why there weren’t more people of color, considering they lived in NYC. Do vampires not bite Latin@s? Were there no Asian Magicals? Dev and Ryker are definitely people of color, and Im glad they’re there. But in NY, I would’ve liked to see more color. That’s kind of the best place for it.


I think the title fits. A part of me feels as though this is more New Adult, than Young Adult, and by that, Dev is more a woman than a teenager, but she is a girl. She’s referred to as “The Girl” a lot in the book, and being a girl doesn’t mean she isn’t a woman. 


The cover is ok. I think I would’ve liked to see Dev(and or Wyatt with her) on the cover in comparison, but its not bad. Maybe it wouldn’t catch me in a book store, but the use of color, font, and arrangement is nice. I do think it doesn’t fully capture the genre of the book, so paranormal novel loving fans may not know it’s a book they’d normally read.


Character names. You know how I get with names. I feel like, the more ethnic the better XD Most of the characters that had big parts were white, so they’re names were a little plain, but suited them. I liked Dev and Ryker’s names the best. I don’t think I’ve ever met an average looking Ryker, and my boo Dev Patel, has convinced me, that Dev is also a hottie name as well.


I don’t dislike plain names, they’re just harder to remember for me. 


Character descriptions, were clear, but only because each character was described all the time by how hot their body and appearance were.


Overall, I liked it. Maybe if I go further into the trilogy, I’ll find more of what I look for in books in the future books(more diversity, more men of color). It’s definitely for paranormal romance fans!


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