On A Dark Wing
Author: Jordan Dane
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
4 out of 5 stars
At first there was just one. Then, suddenly more appear. They fill the sky, blocking out the setting sun and, cloaking the landscape in shadow. Swarms of them beat their wings in a horde of majestic beauty that you can’t tear your gaze away from. The squawking fills the air, fixing the din of their caws inside the crevices of your brain. As they come closer, you can make out their beady, black eyes that follow your every move and their matted wings that cut through the air. They surround you in a constantly moving cage of feathers, trapping you in. The ravens are here, and he has come with them.
Abbey Chandler wishes for nothing more than to get the chance to rewind time and get her mother back. If only Abbey hadn't stopped for some Cheetos, if only she hadn't missed the bus, if only she had thought about someone else for once. Abbey’s nightmares are filled with “if only’s” that she wishes she could take back. After all, if Abbey hadn't done any of those things, her mother would still be alive. In Abbey’s eyes the car accident should have never happened. Little does Abbey know that on that fateful day, she met Death.
But that was five years ago. Now Abbey focuses on surviving high school and monitoring her secret crush, Nate Holden. However, life gets a great deal more complicated when Abbey takes her yearly trip with her father to their cabin in Alaska. Every year Abbey and her father take a trip to their old cabin where they all used to spend vacation together as a family, before Abbey’s mother died. Now the trip symbolizes a time to reminisce and mourn the loss of Abbey’s mother. However this year is different.
Abbey is shocked when her long-time crush, Nate Holden, arrives, surprising Abbey on her trip. The only problem with this dream come true, is that Nate is supposed to be on an expedition, scaling the face of Mt. Denali. How can he be in two places at once? Death is visiting Abbey once again, but will it cost the lives of those she loves? Will Abbey choose to live in her fantasy, or reality? All is revealed in Jordan Dane’s deadly tale of one girl’s journey to let go of the past, before it’s too late in, On A Dark Wing!
Dealing with the trials and hardships of coming to terms with a loved one’s death, On A Dark Wing takes a look at the concept of death from a whole new perspective. There was a healthy dose of both romance and the supernatural, creating a balance between the two that seemed fitting. I recommend On A Dark Wing for older teens looking for a read that holds much more than just your typical romance story.
The way in which On A Dark Wing dealt with what “death” is and how it can consume a person really got me thinking. This book definitely had a deep message to convey, and did so in a way that got the reader to rethink their own ideas of the concept of “death” and what exactly that word means. It was interesting to see Death as a character, and how he strived to “feel,” just like all of the souls that he carried away once could. Death became much more than just what happens to someone once their life ends, and turned into an entity of its own.
Every single one of the characters in On A Dark Wing were fully formed, and while reading, I felt that I could run into any of them in my lifetime. Jordan Dane does an amazing job of building up her characters, and giving every one of them a backstory. Her characters are more than just a name, but plausible people as well. I got to not only see their outside façade, but peel back the layers and take a look inside of them as well. Tanner, Abbey’s best friend, had his own unique personality and there was much more to him than meets the eye. I even got to read in-depth about characters such as Death and Abbey’s father, which helped make the story feel all the more real.
Told from multiple perspectives, it was interesting to get a chance to read about not only Abbey’s, but also Tanner, Nate, and Death’s journeys, as they each struggled to overcome their own hurdles. I loved getting the chance to read about Nate climbing Mt. Denali and the beauty that he got to witness, but also the harsh challenges of the elements that he faced. Also, the different points of view helped me get a better grasp about what was going on in the story and seeing the big picture come together.
At times things felt drawn out, and it was taking longer than necessary for things to move on in the story. However, it tends to go by quickly when descriptive scenes of the Alaskan landscape come up. It was hard not to lose myself in the beautiful snow-capped mountains and frost covered forests.
On A Dark Wing digs deeper to reveal the hidden secrets of Death and what it can all set into motion. Taking on challenging topics, that many teens can relate to, this is a book that knows how to work its way into you. Join Abbey as she conquers her past and realizes what she has in the present in, On A Dark Wing!
-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!
*I received On A Dark Wing from Trisha of YA Bound and the author, Jordan Dane, in exchange for my honest review as part of the On A Dark Wing Blog Tour. Thank you so much Trisha, Jordan, and Harlequin Teen!
Want to read even more about Abbey and her experiences with Death? Check out my On A Dark Wing Blog Tour post, Interviews with Characters: A Talk With Abbey Chandler from On A Dark Wing here.
Check out Jordan Dane's website at www.jordandane.com.