Friday, February 3, 2012

Review of BECOME

BECOME  by Ali Cross
Series  Book 1 in the Desolation series
Summary taken 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.

My Review:  4/5
I looked at the cover of this book and thought, "Pleasepleaseplease, let this book be as good as it looks on the cover."   The cover is so telling.  You see beauty, power, sadness, heartache and desperation.  You look closer still and you see light mixed with darkness, fierceness mixed with frailty, Heaven mixed with Hell.  Like I said, telling - because this is what you'll find in the story as well.

The story is about and told by Desolation Black, daughter of Lucifer.  Desolation, or Desi, as she prefers, is a girl who is bound to a destiny dictated by her parentage.  A destiny she loathes.   Knowing full well who her father is and what his expectations are, she puts up as much resistance as she dares, as she is groomed and trained by her father's most-trusted ally, Akaros.   What is she resisting exactly and why?  Lucifer and Akaros push Desi to embrace her inner demon and Become, so that she can be used as a instrument to further her father's agenda and bring more souls to Hell.  But, Desi finds herself at odds with this.  She's resistant and she can't explain why.  Why does she care what happens to humans?  Why does her conscience bother her?

Life in Hell is cold and lonely, but Desi much prefers it to life on Earth.  She had a brief stint on Earth that left her shaken and more damaged than anything she's experienced in Hell.  She won't be going back there if she can help it.  But thinking she has any choice in the matter is a fantasy.  Before she knows what hit her, she finds herself being sent right back.  The only thing she may have to look forward to, is the possibility of seeing someone who showed her kindness last time.  Other than that, another visit to Earth can only mean pain, sorrow and a massive amount of guilt.......and that's no less than she deserves, if you ask her.

Desi takes up residence, again, with her father's minion, Daniel, and his oh-so-sexy and mysterious son, James. Desi and James have a little thing I like to call C-H-E-M-I-S-T-R-Y.   Whew!  But, Desi is intuitive and knows she can't and shouldn't trust James, no matter what effect he has on her.  He is his father's son, after all.  I'll confess right now that James is my favorite character in the book.  I found him intriguing.  And no, it's not because he's smokin'!  He's complex, with some unexplored depth, fighting some of his own figurative demons.  James is a definite presence in the book, but I would've liked to have spent a little more time with him, figure out what really makes him tick.  There are some GREAT scenes between Desi and James too, ones that will melt your heart.  She's also having dreams about another guy, someone she's never met.   So why does he feel so familiar?

Ali Cross has a talent for phrasing and description. I found myself sucked in from page one because of lines like this, where Desi is describing her dread and anticipation of seeing James again: "The part where I'd have to see James, and act like his smile didn't feel like a stake through my heart.  Or how I'd drive it through my heart myself if only he'd kiss me again."  Wow, nailed it!  How do I know?  Been there.  Haven't most of us??  Desi's voice is simple, sarcastic and carries attitude.  My kinda girl!

Desi not only finds herself surrounded by the depravity and sin she knows to expect from this world, but also by the best of what humanity has to offer; love and forgiveness.  Despite everything she struggles with - her father, Akaros, Daniel, James, Michael, her inner demon, her past, her future - the toughest battle is with herself.   Discovering that she is MORE than her father has led on and that she can CHOOSE her own path in life, upsets everything she thought she knew. 

A testament to her creativity, the author uses an intricate interfusion of several belief systems (that I could pick out) that work together to support her story and the plight of her characters.  She's blended Norse Mythology and Catholicism along with other modern Christian beliefs.  My knowledge of mythology is pretty minimal, but I easily kept up.  Those of you who are a little more scholarly will probably be able to draw more lines than I was able to.  I thought it worked really well together and made the story interesting.

This story is about choice and exercising our free will.  Although Desi is Satan's daughter, she's faced with the same conflict humans face on a daily basis.  Do we use our power, influence and gifts for good or for evil? That, like the rest of us, she is not entirely bad and not entirely good.  It's a decision to made every second of every day 

This was shared by a relative on facebook and I thought it was fitting for this review....
An old Cherokee told his grandson, "My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.  One is Evil.  It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies & ego.  The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy & truth."
The boy thought about it, and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf wins?"  The old man quietly replied, "The one you feed." - Author Unknown

0.99 on Amazon!  See links below!
ali cross, author of BECOME
BECOME, YA urban fantasy


  1. Arla, thank you so much for this excellent review!

    1. Thank you for the story! I look forward to the sequel!

  2. Nice review. You got my attention!

  3. Great review! And I love that quote. :)

    1. Thanks! And yeah, me too. As I read it I got tingles up my spine.