The Never Prayer- Aaron Michael Ritchey

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The Fury of Heaven. The Desires of Hell.
A Broken Girl. Shattered by the death of her parents, Lena knows she is not handling her sorrow well – keeping to herself, running drugs, risking her little brother. But she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her disintegrating family together.
Two Lost Souls Lurking on the edges of the afterlife, Chael and Johnny Beels have spent centuries manipulating events, one pushing for good, the other sowing chaos. Now these two desperate souls have taken human form to play a dangerous game of hope and despair with Lena trapped in the middle.
The Ultimate Sacrifice Lena must maneuver the shadowy realm between angel and demon, love and lust, good and evil, until she finds the courage to see the truth and make the ultimate sacrifice. When do we struggle to change the world? When do we let go and embrace life’s broken beauty?

After losing her parents in a tragic accident, Lena has went off the deep end. She is now solely responsible for her three-year-old little brother, Jozey, is running drug deals for her boyfriend, Santiago, is hiding from the police, and is being stalked by two boys the town of Avalon has never seen before. Quite frankly, it’s surprising that Lena hasn’t ended up in a mental institution with all the stress beating down on her.

Slowly but surely, Lena begins to unravel the mysteries that surround her. And it is up to her to decide her path. Which way will Lena lean toward…good…or evil?

I received The Never Prayer a few months ago, and it took me awhile to get around to it simply because I have stacks of books everywhere. Once I picked it up, though, I instantly became addicted to Lena’s life. I felt so much sympathy for everything she had went through, and I just wanted to see her get her happy ending.

One thing that was really confusing to me was the concept of the paladins, heretics, and the untouchables. I felt that more explanation was needed for those three groups. Ritchey mentioned a few times that they were “cliques”, but I did not find that to be enough information. It almost seemed as if the paladins and heretics were in separate gangs, but I had a really hard time imagining the paladins to be associated with such a thing. The untouchables probably made the most sense to me. In every school, you always have those kids who are ignored and deemed outcasts. So, I understood that concept. I just wish that there would have been more background information for those aspects of the story.

The character of Lena INFURIATED me! I just wanted to grab that girl and shake some sense into her. I understood her pain. If my parents died, I would go off the deep end. I might be a grown adult, but I am not afraid to say I still want my mommy. Even though I would be an emotional basketcase if I lost my parents, I would not start selling drugs or my body. Quite frankly, I would be way too afraid of my moms ghost coming back and kicking my ass.

There were just so many times that Lena broke my heart. Likewise, there were so many times that I wanted to smack her. I felt as if Lena was the very best part of the story, but I would have gotten rid of the angel aspect. I wanted to see more of Lena healing and grasping a sense of reality. While that did happen, I felt as if the angel aspect took some of that away from me.

I was a little confused by the character of Lena’s little brother, Jozey. There were quite a few times that I felt that he acted older than a three year old. I have two nephews (1 & 7), and one niece (3), and Jozey had a much…broader…vocabulary and talking ability than a three-year-old. Three year olds can talk your ear off, but they often pronounce their words wrong. They also have noooo attention span. Jozey didn’t really seem to have this problem. He kind of reminded me a lot of my oldest nephew, Brysen. While I did love Jozey’s character, I often found my brow crinkling when I heard him speak and pay such close attention to everything.

Now, let’s get down to the angels. Chael and Johnny Beels are the two angels/demons who come into the school very early on in the book. Let me put this simply: I liked Chael and I HATED Johnny Beels. It wasn’t that I just hated Johnny Beels because he was a creeper, I hated the way he talked. It was really difficult for me to read his lines. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Chael…even though he also had a slight creeper effect. I wish that there would have been more romance in the book, though.

You may laugh, but this book really reminded of the movie Winter’s Bone, starring Jennifer Lawrence. The two are nothing alike, they have completely different story lines, but they have the same feel to them. So, I think fans of that movie will really enjoy this book. I would recommend this book simply because I really enjoyed watching Lena’s growth. Again, I wish there had been more of that, but I was thankful it was in there to begin with.

Pages: 272

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Publication Date: February 9, 2012

Rating: [rating:2]

 

Teaser Quote: “The cold demon sprouted wings, sprouted claws, then dove toward them with his sword a super nova of light.”