Neverlove (Shadow Jumpers #1) by Angela Brown
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Source: Review Copy
Goodreads • Amazon
For seventeen-year-old Abigail, one rash decision leads to an unexpected chance for redemption. At V'Salicus Academy, a unique institute where she trains to become an agent of heaven, she struggles with the pain of her past, the changes of the present and accepts a loveless future until her path – and heart – crosses with Basil’s.
Basil's off-chance slip of the tongue binds him to a life of servitude to the Devourer, the master of hell. His existence has no upside until a chance meeting with Abigail brings new perspective.
Keeping the truth of their present lives from each other brings disaster when secrets are brought to light and the life of Abigail’s mentor is put on the line.
Can Abigail and Basil save her mentor and salvage their love amid the chaos? Or will they lose it all, destined forever to NEVERLOVE?
Abby and Basil, hundreds of miles from each other, are living in their own versions of hell. When Abby's attempt to end her suffering and Basil's strive for perfection land them in the middle of an ages-old war over the fate of human souls, they're brought together by fate. The problem? They're on opposite sides of that war. Abby has become a Cleanser, charged with assuring souls are safely delivered to Judgement after death, while Basil serves the Devourer, who wants them for himself. To top it off, both of their new lives prohibit attachment. And yet they can't seem to stop it.
Abby's story is heart-wrenching and supremely emotional from the get go. Seeing her come into her new life is like watching someone find where they belong, for reasons that become clearer the further in the book you get. Basil you just can't help but feel bad for. One small mistake that would have been so easy for any of us to make leaves him damned. The only bright spot in his existence becomes Abby.
Their relationship in this book remains in the early, sweet stages. Both nervous and inexperienced, you're walked through the awkward courtship of first love, with the added depth that neither of them can really be honest. It's the kind of cuteness full of "d'aww" and forehead-smacking that you can't help but smile at.
My favorite part of the book, however, was the intricate world created. The concept surrounding the battle between Cleansers and Harvesters is interesting and full of tension and the concept of V'Salicus Academy is a lot of fun. The level of detail that went into crafting this world is awesome and really helps to round out the story.
My only issue with the book was the pacing. Some times felt stretched tight over less content than I would have liked. It basically walked the line between how much back story can hold interest, and sometimes teetered to the "too much" side for me. That said, when the action picks up towards the end it really keeps going until it finishes with a bang.
Fans of paranormal romance and redemption and/or second chance stories will enjoy Neverlove. It's a fun, intriguing world that's easy to get lost in, full of action, first love... and awesome tattoos (seriously).
Born and raised in Little Rock, AR, Angela now calls Central Texas home.
Reading and writing have been lifelong passions. It was around the time she gave birth to her forever-love, nicknamed Chipmunk, that she really took writing seriously. After all, how could she teach her child to follow her dreams if she hadn't tried herself?
As a YA fantasy/sci-fi reader and author, she favors the magical, mysterious, the darker side of life...even harbors a secret fright for things that go bump in the night.