I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. The author you may know under her real name Laura Sullivan, author of some published middle-grade and YA novels. She decided to go under a different name and self-publish for her first adult novel. I had no idea what to expect from the book. I don’t normally read books dealing with crime and whatnot, but I was pleasantly surprised by Brightwing, and would definitely read more works from this author.
The book centers around three characters, all of whom are criminals. Two of them are brothers, Edgar and Mallory Battle, who are pretty much America’s Most Wanted. The two are wanted for a string of robberies and murders (though in Edgar’s defense, Mallory did most if not all of the killing, due to him being somewhat mentally unbalanced). In order to shake the police off their trail, they decide to take a hostage in case they run into the police. When the brothers spot Lucy Brightwing off the side of the highway, trying to fix her car, they carjack her and force her to become their hostage.
Little do they know, Lucy is also a criminal and has millions and millions of dollars’ worth of uncut gems secretly stashed in her car, fresh from her own act of grand larceny. Slowly, Lucy outsmarts her captors and forces them to become putty in her own hands. But she did not expect that she will fall in love with Edgar Battle …
I really enjoyed the beginning of the story and the end of the story. The beginning and the end were jam packed with thrills and suspense. Despite the action, the book also focuses a lot on the characters’ and their backstories, and spends a lot of time building the relationship between Lucy and the brothers. Lucy in particular, is a very interesting character and not one that I’ve encountered much (if ever) in novels. I loved reading about her outsmarting the Battle brothers and similarly, it was fun reading about Edgar’s slow realization that the hostage they picked up is a lot more crime-savvy than him and Mallory.
Lucy is a really kick-ass character, and driven by the motivation to acquire lands for her Tequesta nation. Lucy is the last of the Tequesta Indians/Native Americans tribe, and the whole point of her performing her heist is to get enough money to pay for the sovereign land (and for the bribes she’d need to do to get what she wants). That’s something that’s really unique to me. I actually don’t know that much about Native American lands/reservations and things like that, so it was really great reading about new things like this. I really liked Lucy because even though she starts loving Edgar, she never forgets her dreams and herself. I can’t remember the exact scene, but there was one where someone asked if she was willing to give herself up to save Edgar, and she pretty much rolls her eyes, saying she wouldn’t be silly enough to do something like that. Haha, it was great — love is amazing, but I find myself respecting her because of it. She did only know him for a week, after all.
The part of the book I wasn’t too crazy about was the middle portion, when Lucy and the brothers hide out in the swamp. The story slows down a lot during the middle, with more focus given on Lucy and Edgar’s relationship. There was also a lot of description in the middle, such as when Edgar sees Lucy’s house for the first time and every little thing is described, from the wood of the floor to the wood of the walls and beyond. It felt a bit much. There was also some scenes dealing with some of Lucy’s ‘friends’ from her reservation (I believe) that were not as fun to read compared to the rest of the novel. However, like I said, the first-third and the final-third of the book is amazing to read.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book, and I definitely recommend giving this book a try if you have the time! You can purchase it for your eReader here.