Reviewing Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick

August 13, 2011 stephhwilliams 1 Comments

This feels a bit like deja vu. It’s the middle of the night, storming outside, and I’ve just finished reading about Patch; I won’t be going to sleep anytime soon. Sound familiar?

Crescendo, by Becca Fitzpatrick, is the worthy (and even better in some parts) sequel to Hush, Hush, which I just posted about a couple of days ago. Warning: this review contains spoilers.

Once I finished Hush, Hush, I couldn’t wait to get started on Crescendo. I couldn’t wait for more of Patch. When I told MorganMorganMorgan that I had a very VIVID image of Patch in my mind from the first book, she told me she’d seen something about “the guy who is Patch” on a website about the series.  Of course, I had to look for it. After a bit of frantic clicking around wondering “why can’t I find him?! I need to find him!”, I stumbled upon this:

At which point, a few graphic and suggestive words (which I will not repeat here) involuntarily spewed aloud from my mouth. That’s Drew Doyon, the cover model. The “your face here” marker is because the photo is part of a Patch and You photo contest on the series’ official fansite (, in conjunction with Facebook. There are other quite awesome pictures of Patch … er, I mean Drew … on, but this one is … um, stirring … to me. 😉

But this is supposed to be a review of the book, not a lustfest over Patch. (Sigh).

I couldn’t seem to eat up the second book quickly enough. I took the kids to McDonald’s for lunch just so I could read while they played in the playplace for 2 hours.  When we came home, everyone had to have “quiet time” so mommy could read. When it was time for dinner, I put down the book long enough, in intervals, to turn the oven on to preheat, pop in frozen pizzas, take them out and slice them up for the kids. Yeah, I’m mother of the year. Hmph, I don’t even think I ate dinner. Did hubs? Oh well.

At the end of Hush, Hush, Patch has given up his chance for a human body in order to save Nora. (Cue the BeeGees: “If I can’t have you, I don’t want no-body baby”). They’re together and happy. So you know in book two all hell’s gonna break loose. There’s now a brewing war between 2 species with more than superhuman strength, the fallen angels and the Nephil (offspring of fallen angels and humans, who’ve been forced for hundreds of years to give up control of their bodies for two weeks every year to fallen angels’ possession). Crescendo begins with a flashback in time to the night Nora’s father was murdered. Of course, things were not as they seemed in Hush, Hush, and we’re taken on a roller coaster of action-packed scenes unraveling the truth of Harrison Grey’s untimely demise … and how Patch played a role in it.

I recall just finishing the first few pages detailing the night of Mr. Grey’s death and thinking to myself, “Oh, please don’t say Patch did it!” A little later in the story, Nora receives information that a man known as the Black Hand killed her father.  Even later in the story, when she and Patch are separated by forces beyond their control … you know, the usual: lies, anger, jealousy, all-knowing archangels hell-bent on keeping them apart … she attempts to elicit information from the only other person she knows to be a knowledgeable source, Rixon, Patch’s best friend and fellow fallen angel. Rixon replies “I haven’t heard that name in a long time. I thought Patch didn’t like to be called it.”

At this point, I shot up from my lounging position, shut the book and called MorganMorganMorgan. In hopes of conveying the magnitude of this, I must tell you three things: (1) I’d been gasping audibly at several points during the book already, both at McDonald’s (which may have drawn looks from other customers but I was too absorbed to notice) and at home (even getting shushed by the 8yo who said I was gonna wake everybody up). (2) I shut the book in the middle of a chapter, mid-page even; that’s not something my “hello my name is OCD” personality will typically allow me to do. I always, always, always pause reading at the end of chapters … if the powers that be felt those to be good breaking points, who am I to argue? And (3) I never, never, never call anyone. No one. I have a smartphone that can text, email, Facebook, Twitter, whatever, but it never calls anyone. I love to be connected to people but I don’t like talking on the phone. I haven’t talked to my mom since Christmas (when she was at my house). My sister is constantly harping at me for never answering her calls (I always tell her, “it’s not you, it’s me”). I’ve had text conversations with hubs that have gone on for a crazy number of 2-word messages back and forth simply because I refuse to dial the phone. So, you see how big this was (and, potentially I’ll admit, how sad; though I won’t dwell on that)? MorganMorganMorgan certainly understood, as she laughed (with me, not at me) at my enthusiasm over the book and exclaimed, “you never call me!”  She, of course, wouldn’t spoil the book for me, simply saying “it’ll be okay.” Yeah, that might be a spoiler to anyone actually thinking Patch killed Nora’s father, but I really truly refused to believe it … so “it’ll be okay” was enough for me to calm down (mostly) and finish the book.

So, yes, it turns out that Patch is not the Black Hand, but rather Rixon led Nora to believe that to further his agenda … to sacrifice Nora and get a real human body for his own big self. Deja vu again? He’s mostly able to do this because of the estranged status of Nora and Patch’s relationship in the second book. Early on she becomes tired of what she believes are lies or at least not-the-whole truths that Patch is feeding her (and because of her general lack of confidence in their relationship, which is exaggerated when he does not reciprocate her “I love you”). The situation escalates until she tells him she doesn’t want him to be her guardian angel anymore, wanting him out of her life all the way around. Of course, she almost immediately regrets saying this, but, wouldn’t you know it, the archangels were listening. Patch gets reassigned to Marcie Millar, Nora’s arch-enemy since childhood (and, bombshell!, potential sister?), but doesn’t know it at first and just thinks that Patch has moved on with Marcie. Lots of jealousy and brooding ensues.  The worst part about this is that there are some times when Nora flat out needs Patch and he’s just not there … you learn later that, because he’s a reassigned guardian angel, he’s physically incapable of intervening in Nora’s life (thanks a lot archangels).

There’s lots of twists and turns in Crescendo, including that Mr. Grey was not Nora’s biological father; that Hank Millar (Marcie’s dad) is, and that Hank, a first generation Nephil, is the real Black Hand. After almost losing Nora a second time, Patch decides to disavow his obedience as a guardian angel to the archangels and be with Nora.  Despite everything that’s happened, she hears his explanation (and likely just looks at him) and forgives him completely for any of the Marcie crap. The book winds up with Patch, who finally reveals his real name and where he lives to her, and Nora together for some serious make-up work … at least that’s what you’re thinking until it gets cut short by none other than the Black Hand and his goons. The end. Cliffhanger for book 3, Silence, which is scheduled for release on October 4th.

That sucks. The cliffhanger. The over-a-month-away release date. The short-changed make-up scene. It all sucks. At the risk of sounding like a crazy person (which is really nothing new), I love Patch. Oh to be a teenager again … in a novel … with a smokin’ hot guardian angel … who takes his bodyguarding very seriously. Yes, to be Nora. Hell, I’d even settle for being Marcie at times.

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