Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gabriel

Title: Gabriel
Author: D.J. Manly
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com
ISBN/BIN: MLR-1-02015-0439
Genre: {M/M} Paranormal; Contemporary; Series
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Rose Nymph

Two years have passed since Terrance’s gift for communicating with the dead was last called into action. He and Alex have been able to settle down into some semblance of a normal life. They have bought a new house, a real fixer-upper that they are looking forward to working on, once Terrance’s new book starts to bring in some money. Best of all, Terrance’s son Gabriel, who share’s Terrance’s gift, is now living with them.

Terrance has been able to teach Gabriel ways to keep some distance between his mind and the dead. Thanks to his Dad’s advice, Gabriel is able to live a relatively normal life. He loves living with his Dad and Alex, and is even enjoying school, although that may have more to do with his crush on Colton than anything else.

As Gabriel’s 18th birthday approaches, they had been doing well to keep the spirits at bay. But there is an evil stirring and Terrance and Gabriel are finding it harder and harder to ignore. When their friends and loved ones start to get embroiled in the drama, there’s nothing else for it – father and son are going to have to open up the gates of communication and face the evil once and for all.

Gabriel is the third installment of The Severing series. The strength of this series has been in the stories – all have been engaging, unpredictable, and enjoyable to read. It is obvious that the author is really enjoying exploring these character’s lives. However I feel like Gabriel suffers slightly from having too much packed into one book. It was great to learn more about the character of Gabriel. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Colton – he began in the forefront of Gabriel’s life but ended up used and discarded, which was slightly unsatisfying. Then there was Owen, a new character who was very interesting and a welcomed addition to the group.

As Gabriel’s story is being explored, there were storylines running in parallel; that of the family working on the new house, Terrance trying to get his book published, and Alex dealing with his friend Wes’ crisis of confidence. It was nice to revisit Wes’ character and see how he has been coping since the first book. However, all these subplots were vying for attention with the evil that was threatening to destroy the world. As interesting as all the plots were, they sometimes seemed incompatible, and the dialog got a little confusing at times. 

There are some superb characters in this series that keep me coming back for more. There is quite a shocking ending to Gabriel that could definitely leave this open for another installment, but I have to admit that there is part of me that really wants to see these wonderful characters left in peace.

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