Angel Evolution

Rated 3.80/5 based on 80 reviews
Book 1 in The Evolution Trilogy...

When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice.

Something about him scares her.

Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution. More

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About David Estes

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. David is a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

Also in Series: The Evolution Trilogy

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Reviews

Review by: Victoria Zigler on Dec. 22, 2013 :
This is a reasonably good read; not amazing, but pretty good. The plot is interesting and the way angels and demons are portrayed is unusual.
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)
Review by: Midu Hadi on Jan. 24, 2013 :
What I liked:

I really liked the author’s idea of combining evolution with angels & demons mythology-however, the issue of the snake that started it all needs further delving in. Maybe it will be touched upon in the sequels.

Of course, the superiority complex that all angels seemed to be a prey of and to what lengths they’d go to keep it that way was another interesting bit.

both the angel and the demon did NOT fall in love with the heroine- very refreshing in a YA novel.


What I didn’t like:

the treatment of Gargoyles-if I’m correct, they’re the result of unions between two angels or two demons which makes them their offsprings…sub intelligent but still their kids. Why are they treated like animals by both sides? And not only are the supes okay with that, so were the humans?

Taylor took a lot of things too calmly and she switches between hating and loving Gabe a little too much & too easily.

This is a fast paced YA novel with a unique spin on angel/demon myth. I liked it a lot!
(reviewed 10 months after purchase)
Review by: A Voracious Reader on Jan. 24, 2013 :
Taylor Kingston heads off to college with her best friend Samantha Collins. Sam is a normal teenager, but Taylor is something else. She’s special to angels and demons and their century long war. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Gabriel Knight is an angel. Christopher Lyon is a demon. They both want Taylor, but for different reasons. Gabriel makes the first move and initiates contact. Then Chris starts dating Sam. Things get really interesting after that.

Well-written with in-depth characters, a fast plot and hidden agendas. I have to say I wanted to shake Taylor. I realize she’s a teenager, but she ignored her own first rule, listen to her gut. Then she didn’t get both sides of the story before making a decision. Never make decisions, especially monumental far-reaching decisions without getting all the info you can get from all sides. *sigh* Love! And boys! They’ll mess up a girl’s mind if given a chance. I’m sure we’ve all been there.

This is the first book in a trilogy and it ended in a bit of a cliffhanger. I look forward to reading what happens next in 'Demon Evolution.'

*Many thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Review by: Bailee on Jan. 5, 2013 :
Unlike most stories where the light is good and dark is bad, the lines are blurred within the story that causes you to question everything you find ethical. I thought that the idea and story behind it was unique, definitely different than what I expected. While the idea was special, the writing wasn't quite what I would have wanted especially when there was such a story that needed it's backing. I loved the idea though, sometimes enough to look over the flaws.

The characters were interesting and enjoyable as well as their relationships. It was nice that to see a main character that didn't quite fit into a specific stereotype even though she sometimes came off as more of a child than an adult. The quick changes made in the relationship between Gabriel and Taylor felt unrealistic. I feel that a relationship takes time to progress to a certain point and I felt that a lot of key things were missed because of that. My favorite couple and characters were those that were minor and so it depressed me to find that her family had such a tiny part.

It's greatest attribute was one simple factor--there was no love triangle which has become all too common in the YA genre and maybe in most genres as well. The best love story is a simple one without all the complications that are added by another person. This is not to say that love triangles are any less interesting than a normal relationship but sometimes it takes away from the story and makes you focus more on the relationships. I liked that I could focus more easily on the plot in this story.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
Review by: Nitza Jones-Sepulveda on Dec. 24, 2012 :
This review can also be viewed on http://reneesdepository.blogspot.com/

After reading The Moon Dwellers (Book #1 Dweller trilogy), I became hook to David Estes’ style, so I decided to read Angel Evolution (Book #1 Evolution trilogy) which was his first novel. I’d love to be able to give it the rave review that I gave Moon Dwellers, but alas, I cannot. He was still able to reel me in, but I found issue with a lot more things in this novel. I try to give authors the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their first novels because any reader or writer knows that the first work is usually not one’s best work. I will definitely do the same for Mr. Estes because I know from reading Moon Dwellers that his technique has improved.

Taylor is a freshman at the University of Trinton when she meets Gabriel Knight. She notices a light shining around him that no one else seems to see. She is curious about him, but also seems to fear him. She later learns that Gabriel is an angel and soon falls in love with him. Little does Taylor know that their meeting and her infatuation was planned as Gabriel was sent there on a mission for his people…to convince Taylor to join the angels in the Great War against the demons. However, as Gabriel spends time with Taylor, he develops real feelings for her. This leads to internal conflict for Gabriel…does he follow his orders and get Taylor to join the angel cause and help with “the plan” or does he follow his heart and protect the one he loves even if it means going against everything he knows?

The plot and story line of the novel did hook me. I like the fact that the characters are in their first year of college and that parents play a very minor role (they’re hardly mentioned at all). I like this in contrast to most other YA novels where the characters are in High School, making the characters slightly more mature (although you must take into account that it’s their first year and their first time away from home, which is usually when most college students are the craziest). I also like that the world of Angels and Demons in this novel is very different than most other Angel/Demon novels I've read (i.e., Fallen and Hush, Hush). You pretty much have to forget everything you learned in Sunday school or Church when you read this; there are no religious aspects to this world. The story of how the Angels and Demons came to exist is different, they have more powers, and their views in regards to humans are different.

However, there were a few things that annoyed me about this book. First, being my second novel by Mr. Estes, I notice that he likes to give the reader more than one character’s point-of-view (POV). When done well, as in The Moon Dwellers, this can be unique, versatile, and enlightening. However, in this novel it often became annoying and confusing. It is particularly annoying and confusing when he switches POV several times within the same scene or chapter. Let me also point out that the entire story is told in the third person, so the constant switching wasn't always necessary. There were actually instances where I found myself saying “ OK, whose mind are we looking into now?” Finding out what was going on in the minds of everyone was great and all, but seriously not worth all the confusion with the switching. I think that having the story in the third person rather than first allows for much better options to get into everyone’s head.

My second issue is a rather minor one, but I was still annoyed. There was one instance in the novel where I felt Mr. Estes overstated the obvious. Taylor and Sam are at a pizza parlor with Gabriel and another guy (not mentioning names to avoid spoilers). Sam orders 3 pizza pies to eat between the four of them (a bit too much food if you ask me). The point of the scene is to show some rivalry between characters as they eat the pizza. The part that annoyed me was that Mr. Estes broke down the basic math. Three pies, 10 slices in each, half of one pie was eaten, 25 slices left, two characters ate 12 each, yadda, yadda. I understand that this is a YA novel and I’m all for details, but I feel that sometimes authors really need to give readers the benefit of the doubt and have confidence that they can follow along without everything being explained. In this case, assume the reader is able to do basic math (or at the very least knows how to use a calculator). I’m pretty sure if I asked my 12 year old niece “if there are three pies with 10 slices in each and half of one pie was eaten, how many is left?” she’d know the answer, even if it took her a minute to think about it. Plus, the exact math was not the real point of the situation, so why spend so much time explaining it? Granted in the end it didn't deter me from finishing the book, but I did spend a moment thinking “seriously? That needed to be explained?”

Third, Taylor as a character contradicts herself. She goes on and on about how her mother taught her to be strong and independent and yet time and again she give into temptation. She talks about how she’s not going to let Gabriel control how the relationship progresses, even shows it by not letting him hold her hand or put his arm around her in public. However, she gives into him rather quickly. Although she admits to not having much experience with relationships, I don’t feel that a woman who claims to be so strong and independent would give themselves to someone so easily and so quickly. I feel that Gabriel should’ve had to work harder to convince her. Maybe it would've made the book longer, but it would've been a bit more realistic and made Taylor a stronger character.

Finally, some characters and their interactions annoyed me. Sam is extremely annoying, which I’m sure Mr. Estes was going for. How she and Taylor could be friends for so long considering that they’re polar opposites (Sam a beautiful, shallow, vain socialite and Taylor an average looking, modest, and socially awkward introvert) is beyond me. To Sam’s credit, however, she does really care for Taylor and it is sad that it takes so long in the book for us to truly see any real substance within Sam. Having said that, throughout most of the novel every time she said anything I wanted to scream "oh, for the love of God, shut up!"

Taylor's use of the word "man" (e.g., "Are you screwin' with me, man?") bothered me as well because I just didn't feel it fit Taylor's character, at least not the way I pictured her in my head. Granted it was only a few instances but that only made it feel even more unnatural. When Gabriel used the term (e.g., "Look, man, I didn't expect to...") it felt a bit more natural to me because of when and how he said it and because of the kind of character I envision him to be. But when Taylor said it, it just felt wrong. I believe there are some characters in books (both male and female) that are presented in a way that its natural for them to say particular slang terms and phrases such as this. I just don't feel that Taylor is one of those characters.

I also think that some of the dialogue between the characters, particularly the comical moments, felt unnatural. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can give an example without giving too much away, so all I can really say is that the some of the jokes were cliché and felt forced.

And I hate the nickname “Tay”. Just need to say that.

I always like to read what other reviewers post before reading a book, just to see what the consensus is. I recall one reviewer stating that Taylor is unaware at how “special” she is or that she’s pretty and that is all you need to know about the plot. I disagree. First, while it is pivotal to the plot, Taylor’s specialness and attractiveness are not the only things at stake here. There are a lot of internal conflicts going on within Gabriel and they’re not all centered around Taylor, although she does bring things to a head. Gabriel has been trained from birth to think a particular way and to follow orders, but he seems to have questions about a lot of his “training” long before he met Taylor; Taylor just gave him more reason to question them. Second, the way that Taylor is “special” is not the sort of thing she or anyone else would be aware of. As far as her realizing that she’s pretty, that’s normal among teenage girls. I know of very few young girls that are completely well-adjusted (even the ones who are obnoxiously so on the outside, like Sam, aren't when you look deep into them).

Overall, I wasn't thoroughly impressed with this book, particularly after reading The Moon Dwellers. So if you’re reading this book first and you find yourself questioning whether you want to read anything else by Mr. Estes, I implore you to read Moon Dwellers before making that decision. If you are reading this book first and you really love it, I say brace yourself because it gets even better. I do plan on seeing this series through and I will give you my perceptions on the other two books. I recommend this book to all Angel/Demon fans because it’s different from other Angel/Demon novels. I did like this book, but The Moon Dwellers is still my favorite Estes book.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
Review by: Lynxie on Dec. 16, 2012 :
David really made my weekend, with his fast-paced, flirty and fresh tale about Taylor, her angel (Gabriel), her best friend Sam and Sam's demon (Chris).

This fresh look at angels and demons felt well constructed with likable characters. It had me guessing right up until the end.

I loved to hate Gabriel, just plain LOVED Chris and drew some pretty strong comparisons between myself and Taylor (when I was that age).

I didn't love the use of the extremely hyphenated words at the beginning, but that was only very minor.

Great work David! I will be adding #2 and #3 to my to read list right now!
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
Review by: Ashley Stoyanoff on Aug. 24, 2012 :
My Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Angel Evolution by David Estes was a fast and entertaining read. When I finally found time to sit down and read it, I was up until the wee hours of the morning. I just couldn’t put it down.

There were many great things about this book; the best was the character of Taylor. I loved her personality and found her easy to like and care about.

The take on Angels and Demons and how they came about was a breath of fresh air. It was this unique take that kept me up all night flipping the pages. The action scenes were well done, and I absolutely loved the structure and organization of the war.

Although I enjoyed bits and pieces of the relationship between Taylor and Gabriel, it seemed forced and not realistic. In the end, it left me disappointed and feeling like the characters (mostly Gabriel but even Taylor fell in to this category by the end) were missing some much-needed development.

Angel Evolution was an original and entertaining tale, and a good start to the series. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Characters (Major and Minor): 3/5

Overall Storyline (Concept, Plot): 4/5

Overall Pacing: 4/5

Technical (Grammar, punctuation, etc.): 3/5

Ending: 3/5

My Overall Rating: 3.5/5
(reviewed 53 days after purchase)
Review by: Christina Smith on July 21, 2012 :
It was okay. I'm not a big Angel genre fan anyway, and this didn't really change my mind.

While I liked some aspects of the story, it didn't thrill me.
(reviewed 42 days after purchase)
Review by: Mineliz Medina on July 20, 2012 :
I liked this book, particularly because it seems pretty original. It's a story about Angels and Demons but they have special powers so they're pretty cool!

I like that the book was written about a girl in college because most YA books are written about characters in high school, so it was nice to get something different. Taylor and Sam are fun, energetic girls and I liked reading their stories. Sometimes I think Taylor needed to ask more questions, but overall I liked her. Gab was fun to read about because he seems to have a lot of internal struggling happening. Chris was my favorite character. We get enough of him to be interested but not enough, which keeps him interesting.

I liked that we knew what everyone was thinking at the same time I didn't like it. It was great because we got to see the story from so many different angles, but at the same time it seemed like a chapter would be about someone particular but then we would get a sentence or two about what a different character was thinking. I might not have been following the POVs right but it confused me sometimes.

Although I liked the story, something seemed missing to me and I can't tell what it was. Maybe there was too much foreshadowing? I'm not sure. I think maybe more subtle foreshadowing would have been better. Something I would have needed to figure out instead of being told. That makes the books more exciting for me. But I do like that we were kept in the dark sometimes. Because we could really get into anyones head in this story, it was nice to not know everything that was going on.

The two different battle sides were REALLY interesting to experience - because we don't have, or I've never seen, anything like those in our world. It made me want to be in one of those places just to see everything that was happening!

I have a couple questions, but there is another book so I'll wait and see if they are hopefully answered!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
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