I received a free ARC eBook of Uprising from Dawn Jayne in exchange for a honest review. I would actually give it 4.5♥'s, but fudged up for GR.
There is such an amazing world, politics, rules, caste systems of angels in this book. It was so well laid out, and sometimes even the smallest of things in the book come back as a puzzle piece into the greater whole. There seemed at first almost a different story in the beginning- I thought it was just maybe giving background on characters for the future- but there is much more to it than that. It reminds me of Karen Marie Moning's writing in the fever series. It's not as dark, or even quite as charged as KMM, but the way little clues and solutions to the overall puzzle of the book (from the first page practically) are revealed and fit all together to really make it an almost larger story.
Whenever there is an angel story, there is always the possibility that it can get bogged down with religion. While many of the more (outwardly apparent) pious characters are portrayed in negative way, and even angels themselves are far from perfect and exhibit the same sins humans grapple with on a daily basis, it still explains angels and their function the "Great Architect's" creation in a way I don't find offensive to any religion. It almost side steps any outright declaration of religion, while still weaving a moral baseline into the pages. Yes, there is Lucifer "the Light-Bearer" or "Light-Bringer" and he does cater to the mass idea of his negativity, but he's not painted with a heavy hand and the-end-of-the-all bad guys. It's more like he's big Ying to the Almighty's Yang. A balance. Balance weighs heavily in these pages, along with sin and even the pitfalls of discrimination. But it's still SUCH an entertaining and engaging read.
I was transported in the pages, and was able to really connect with Rise, the Herald angel in the making. While she doubts her humanity, she seems to be more kind and generous than other characters give her credit for. She is hard working, intelligent, cares for those close to her (that care back)... and so brave. She really almost makes you think of sin, motivations, and even humanity in a different way. It really sneaks in some hard questions during the read that make me glad I am not responsible to find an answer for.
I will most definitely be reading more of the series as it comes out. I'm very taken with Rise, and curious to see what fate has in store for her and her adviser, Dominique. Congrats go out to scoffing in the face of "first book in series syndrome" and knocking the ball out of the park on the first go. The only thing I found lacking, was romance. There were hints here and there, and I really think any addition (to what is already there) would have deterred from the story, but I admit I am fond of a little more romance and spice and passion... even with angels.