Day 12: Become by Ali Cross
Summary From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.
When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Become, though I knew it would have some spiritual elements to it, I certainly wasn’t prepared for a full frontal assault of them in quite the way that Become delivers. I won’t spoil all of the reveals that are contained in the story, but suffice it to say that you are in for plenty of surprises throughout. However, if you can’t handle reading something with clear spiritual elements in it then this isn’t the story for you.
I want to touch on the writing first here because the style is the most important in deciding whether or not you will enjoy Become. I already mentioned the clear spiritual elements, but it goes beyond that. Whether it is capitalization of certain words such as with “Remembering” or “Become”, the idea of combining Norse and Abrahamic religions in a variety of ways, or just the constant reminder of Desi’s sins, Cross makes her presence felt. Sometimes that can fray the nerves a bit while at other times it seems to fit perfectly, but you are going to have strong feelings one way or another.
I separated the spiritual from the story itself enough so that I could try and examine the quality of Become without prejudice. What I found was an enjoyable, if slightly repetitious read that will leave you with a burning desire to find out what happens next and what Desi will eventually “become” if you’ll pardon the pun. Desi is a pretty likable character in the way that a puppy might be, you want to give them affection and whenever they are sad hold them until they feel better. The character that stands out though, and that makes this piece a good one, is James. He seems like a secondary character that got fleshed out and changed so much, seemingly by his own will power, that he became a primary one. He felt the most real, you could imagine his transformation and his struggle between fighting his inner demons and allowing himself to love another. James stands out and I’m so glad that he does.
The plot is intriguing if a bit obvious. When Lucifer is involved you can kinda see where the story is heading, but the combination of Norse and Abrahamic spirituality keeps it fresh and allows for different pairings and underlying stories to emerge. The pacing is mostly good, though it does feel like the characters are going in circles at times because of all of the “Remembering”. You want to see what will happen next, but maybe a bit faster then you do.
Overall this was a solid read. I wanted to branch out into new genres and I certainly was able to with Become, and if you are looking to do the same then this is definitely a fine choice. I look forward to reading Desolate and Destined, books 2 & 3 in the series respectively, sometime in the near future! As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for day 13!