The Afterlife of Alyx and Israel is the sixth book in the Dark Angel series, but can also be read as a stand-alone novel, which is what I did. I received a review copy from the author (courtesy of YA Bound Book Tours) in exchange for an honest review.
Firstly, I smiled throughout this entire book. I smiled at how cute and adorable and perfect and sad it was. I really liked both Israel and Alyx’s characters but I feel like I didn’t know enough about their little quirks. I knew about the major things that affected them, but with the exception of Alyx and her love for sunflowers, the small things like whether they have an obsession with a specific pair of socks was missing a bit. This is technically the sixth book in a series, so I suppose part of the reason this is missing is because of prior character building. However, I don’t think this can be explained away as in their new mortal lives both Alyx and Israel will inevitably have new interests and small little things seeing as they have had different experiences. Basically what I am getting at is that I really enjoyed the characterisation I got, but I wanted more of it.
The plot line in general was very interesting, action-packed and exciting, which kept me captivated and was just what I needed to bring up my spirits (I was feeling very tired before reading this book) and make me feel motivated about reading as my entire life has been slowly eaten up by school and the novel I am working on. Anyway, back to the book. The magic and world which we did see in this book was a very interesting take on some of the typical demons and angels myths and were quite original and exciting. I am going to assume that these concepts are explored more in previous books and they are one of the main reasons that I am considering reading the previous books despite obviously knowing large amount of the turn-out. The gorgeous covers help, too. The book was also set in Prague. Prague is one of my all-time favourite cities and so any book set in Prague gets automatic bonus brownie points.
I tend to feel like it is a bit of a cop out to have characters who have already had a relationship that they just have to conveniently ‘remember’ to progress with their relationship. It means that the author doesn’t have to go through the process of constructing a slow-burning relationship. However, as the prior books (I am assuming) show this prior relationship, it is not really a critique that applies here. I did really like how realistically Alyx and Israel handed the complications of their relationship after all was said and done and how they both inspired each other to make positive changes, something which I think is integral to any good relationship whether fictional or not (I’m not going to say any more because it would spoil some of the book). I really liked how Hanna Peach showed different reasons that people decide to marry. I loved Vix and Balthazar together and kind of want them to be a couple; their conversations are just too golden.
Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book and am considering going back and reading the others again at some point. I will definitely be keeping my eye on any subsequent books that Hanna Peach releases as well!