After the attention-grabbing shooting-an-angel-in-the-face opening, Outcast took a turn to the contemporary romance with the plot focus shifting to the slow-burn romance between Riley and Gabe. Gabe is the face-shot angel turned time traveling hot guy from the 1950s. Yeah. It's a bit much, but it actually works.
Which is in no small part due to the fact that I can't say no to a smartass, leather-jacketed, motorcycle-riding, 1950s greaser who teasingly refers to Riley as "sweetheart." He was swoony, even if it was a stock kind of surface swoon.
Much as this was nice and everything, I didn't pick up Outcast to read about Riley's self-esteem growth and tentative dating life. I picked it up to read about shooting angels in the face, and that didn't happen all that much.
I did get some pretty neat angel mythology (delivered via infrequent info-dumps), which was awesome and pretty original, but the mythology wasn't nearly as developed as I wanted it to be and I feel like there's still a lot left that needs to be explored more. The evil religious institution plot thread was equally weak and a little eye-rolling. The ending was abrupt and rushed, and left a lot of things hazier than I'd like.
The writing style and likable characters were what kept me going in between the interesting but widely spaced info-dumps. Everything is written in a really easy way that made the pages fly by.
Riley was a relatable narrator and definitely someone I'd want to hang out with. I liked Riley's take-no-BS attitude and wallflower personality. She's honest, brave, and she stands up for what matters. Though I need to take away some points because she did feel like a Mary Sue after a while. I got pretty tired of hearing about her amazing body and stunning beauty (that, of course, she does not see AT ALL). I just about quit reading when SPOILER! her super specialness was revealed.
Overall, though, Outcast was good and I looked forward to the time I spent reading it. If there were a sequel, I'd probably read it eventually, if I could get a copy through the library. I am interested in reading more from this author though.
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