Cover Image: The Angel Maker

The Angel Maker

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Angel maker

Phew was this a complex book! A large cast of characters with multiple perspectives, many sub plots and timelines make this book one you have to really pay attention too. Found myself having to search back a few times to figure out who was who but it was absolutely worth it. I throughly enjoyed this one.
Alex north is def a must read author

thank you to net galley for the chance to read and review this fantastic book!

Was this review helpful?

OMFG!! What kind of childhood did @writernorth have?

This book is everything it should be, a page turner, well written, unpredictable, and will scare the 💩 out of you! It is written from many POV and has many time lines running through it. All of which I found very easy to keep clear and help unravel the story. The book is classified as a thriller but it was definitely borderline horror for me.

In a complex and engaging manner North weaves many of the characters together in unexpected ways. I didn't know from one chapter to the next what was going to happen but I wanted to. I read it as a buddy read and we were reading it in parts with dates to discuss. It was so difficult to stop between parts. It was a great book to read with a group.

The only complaint I have is that one character's involvement was not resolved enough for me and I would really have liked an answer to that one.

The Angel Maker is my first North book and it won't be my last.

Thank you @celadonbooks and @netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. And thank you as well to @thenerdybooksworms for making it a #sqafbookclub read

Was this review helpful?

I really wanted to love this one - I loved the Whisper Man - however this one left me a bit wanting. The premise is built over multiple perspectives. I truly wanted more of the serial killer viewpoint - but that was not to be. Instead I got the slow building impression that I was trying to be deceived. There were red herrings all around that were unnecessary - and in my opinion they detracted from the book. It left me feeling uninterested and uninspired, and I just wanted resolution. I may try this one again at a later date - hoping it was just my mood. Thanks to NetGalley for the early read.

Was this review helpful?

Wicked scary and thrilling. Not what I was ready for but managed to get through it. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC for the purpose of this review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers, and Alex North for allowing me to read this ARC! I honestly can’t put into words what this book did to me! Holy cow. The multiple view points and different timelines - this took me on a journey. This book really brought me in and while it was clear some of the mystery, it really keeps your gaze fixed on the book. I actually learned a lot from this book as well that I hadn’t been exposed to before. This is my first book of his, but definitely not my last!

Was this review helpful?

There are not enough words to express how much I LOVED North's The Whisper Man, so I was beyond thrilled to have been gifted an ALC of The Angel Maker to read and review. Unfortunately, this one did not work for me at all and as it turns out, is the first book I DNF this year. I had a very difficult time staying focused enough to understand the complexities of this book. This is not a book you can listen to while doing other things because you will get totally lost. I don't have any particular feelings towards these characters, so I'm not truly vested in what happens going forward. The story is moving painfully slow, so I may not have gotten to the "good parts" yet, but I don't feel the inclination to continue, so I'm throwing in the towel at 40% in. I'm sure many people might enjoy this book, but I hate that it was such a miss for me. Thanks to the author, NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for my ALC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Katie Shaw is a family woman who is haunted by her past, when her brother was attacked by a stranger. Now, her life is upended after her brother goes missing again and her daughter sees a mysterious man. At the same time, a detective has found a professor of fate and free will murdered in his home, discovering a connection to the Shaw family and a famous old serial killer. These two stories expand outward as past and present intersect, with plenty of mysteries and twists along the way.

This was an average novel that was elevated by its themes and discussion of free will and fate. It is certainly intricately woven, with one character having memories across his life and multiple characters in the present trying to solve various seemingly disconnected mysteries. I enjoyed a lot of the research North did into free will and the characters discussing how it effects their own lives. It works to elevate what otherwise felt like an ordinary mystery novel, and the finale's use of those ideas was excellent and very satisfying.

While the books short length makes the story move quickly, it also makes it hard to get situated in any of the various stories that the characters face. It also makes it hard to connect with the characters. I enjoyed the ride that I went on, but every chapter I had to reorient myself and recall everything that was happening to every character. I recommend this a little more if you are a "read it all in one sitting" kind of reader, versus "I pick this up whenever I have a moment."

Thank you to NetGalley and Celadon Books for a copy of The Angel Maker in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

A twisty, mind bending, and riveting thriller. Not my favorite from this author, but still a solid read.

Was this review helpful?

[arc review]
Thank you to NetGalley and Celadon Books for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.
The Angel Maker releases February 28, 2023

“If you could see the future, would you want to? You can’t, of course. A life is lived forward. The present is a vantage point from which every moment in the past is inevitable and every moment in the future invisible. Most of those moments won’t be important, but a handful will turn out to be pivotal—shattering, even—and you never know which until it’s too late.”

The Angel Maker is a serial killer mystery/thriller that toys with the idea of fate and the physics/philosophical aspects of how the past and present are set in stone or balance each other out.

Split into 4 parts, and told in dual timelines through multiple character perspectives (a minimum of 6), we see how two storylines slowly merge together with less than ordinary family and sibling dynamics.

While I had no issue with keeping track of the many pov’s here, I can see how some readers might have difficulties with the back and forth and non-linear timeline.

This didn’t quite have the elements I tend to look for in a suspenseful thriller. I found the story to be highly predictable early on, and was left with an overall one-dimensional feeling.
There was a strong premise here with fate and the future, but I don’t think the philosophy was utilized or explored to it’s full potential.
But mainly, this lost me with the strong amount of God and “written by/the word of God”. As someone with little to no interest about that (especially in what I thought would be a murder mystery from reading the synopsis but turned out to be a suicide), there could have been less of that and more focus on developing the characters and plot.

cw: death, violence, some gore

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Celadon for this ARC. I enjoyed the premise of this one, but the story fell flat for me. I think the writing was done well, but the plot was all over the place. With the amount of characters and the amount of going back and forth in the timeline, it became confusing.

This is my third read by this author and I’d say this was my least favorite. I would read more from them in the future!

Was this review helpful?

This is my second Alex North and I like his style of writing. I find this book a slow burn but at the same time, kept luring me to flip the pages over to find out what was going on. There are multiple stories in the beginning, and to me, particularly this book, it was North’s good approach for me to pay attention to details — because I know it is just going to get better from that point on.

It definitely gave me the creeps reading it, and I felt I just want to keep digging for the story to finally mesh together. When I was reading it, it seems like I was solving a familiar mathematical equation where I kinda know what was happening but I’m not quite there yet. Mind you, not all books get that interesting when you encounter this feeling, lol; however, this book definitely kept me on my toes and interested until the end. The analogy would be, I hated Math but with the right teacher and approach, I get invested to learn more about it. *dork alert*

The Angel Maker is a good book club discussion as its central theme can be thought-provoking. I am looking forward to attending @thrillersbythebookclubsocal meet-up tomorrow and hear what others think about this book!

Thank you Netgalley, author Alex North, and Celadon Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

This is a fabulous book that grabs you and never let's go. It's faced paced, exciting and somewhat horrifying. Less of a thriller than a mysterywith a hint of the paranormal.

The characters are engaging. I was left wanting to know more about them and what their future holds.

****SPOILER ALERT *** However, I was left with aunanswered questions . For example, who exactly was the man who attacked Chris and then fixated on his family? What was his motive? How were Lockes' sons placed in their adoptive homes?

Thanks to Netgalley, the publishers and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC. This is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This book took me a fair bit to get into if I’m being honest. I just couldn’t seem to get myself to care enough about the characters to be fully invested. I found that there was a case of “too many cooks” when it came to the POV chapters. There were too many different perspectives and it led to me confusing who was who and what happened to who. It was a little much at times.

However, once I was into the story and fully understood what the heck was going on, I was able to enjoy the story. I did find that it wasn’t a super gripping book, it really didn’t give off too much of the stereotypical “thriller” genre niches that I wish it had. This was really more of a mystery that was playing out in a long past influenced way.

The weird religious plotline that had to do with “making the predestined happened” actually gave me chills because there are literal cults that believe things like this and will kill people - real human people - because they believe that they should never have been born or they are “ destined” for bad things. This was probably the most thrilling aspect of this book.

Overall, this is not my favorite Alex North book, but I did love gaining the understanding of why the title was what it was and why the cover had matches and fire on it. I love the symbolism coming through in the stories! Otherwise, this is more of an average mystery-esque book.

⚠️TW: murder, child abuse, child death

Thank you @celadonbooks and @netgalley for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review! All of the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Katie Shaw hasn’t seen her brother Chris in two years. She used to be his protector until an unspeakable event happened which altered his life. Now married and with a young daughter, Katie is still grappling with the guilt of that day. When her mother calls to say that Chris is missing, Katie instinctively knows that something terrible is happening. Detective Laurence Page was there the day of Chris’ accident and is now investing the murder of Alan Hobbs, a retired psychology professor. Alan’s death seems to have nothing to do with the events of Chris’ accident, but as Page continues to investigate a book stolen from Hobbs might just be the answer to everything.

I’m not going to go into detail about the story, because there is such a risk for spoilers but just know that The Angel Maker is a complex story. I’m generally good at keeping track of multiple stories and characters, but I had a hard time following the story initially. I kept having to stop and refocus on where we were in the story, as it jumps around from character to character, and time period to time period. I ended up losing a bit of interest and actually took a 3 week break, before deciding to pick it up again and even then, I felt the story was a slow burn. Around 60% in, is when the storylines start to converge together, and the pace of the story finally takes off.

Character wise, North does a fantastic job of creating a diverse set of characters. A few characters in particular he’s created so well that you can feel the ‘evil’ radiating off the pages of their story.

Alex North has certainly delivered an intricately woven story. I’d say this one is creepier than his previous 2 novels. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 just because I think North is incredibly talented to be able to weave such different storylines into one. But the slow beginning, the added philosophical theories, and one unresolved subplot keep this from being a 5-star read for me. I will say that the audiobook was excellent, and that really helped me to get back into the story, so highly recommend that.

The Angel Maker comes out February 28, 2023. Huge thank you to Celadon Books for my advanced physical copy and Macmillan Audio for my audio copy. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.

Was this review helpful?

I was so happy to be granted an ARC of the new Alex North! I started it immediately.

This one focuses on serial killers and determinism - the idea that everything is preordained.

The book begins with Alan Hobbes thinking about the lives that are connected to his as he waits to die:
1/ Katie Shaw, who feels overprotective of her daughter and guilty because of something that happened to her little brother when he was a kid and she left him alone.
2/ Christopher Shaw, who is Katie's younger brother and has a history of drug use amongst other things resulting from what happened to him as child.
3/ Detective Page, who will be assigned Alan's death and discover that it is linked with 2 cases he previously worked.

My only real complaint about this book was that it took me awhile to figure out the cast of characters and whether they were supposed to be good or evil. We get some past instances in Alan's life mixed in to the story following his death as well. I wasn't sure how it would end and I can definitely say I've never read this story before. Another big winner from Alex North!

Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for the opportunity to review this book ahead of publication. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

Was this review helpful?

Katie Shaw is haunted by a decision she made as a teen that changed the lives of her and her brother, Chris, forever. Chris is attacked and Katie is haunted by guilt and paranoia. Years later, Katie is still grappling with her long ago choice and then, Chris goes missing.

Alan Hobbes, a well-respected philosophy professor, is brutally murdered. Chris Shaw seems to be a link but how and why?

Alex North weaves a suspenseful and complex story, told through the eyes of multiple narrators and timelines. I loved the elements of theology and philosophy that enriched the narrative.

Thanks to NetGalley and Celadon Books for the digital arc!

Was this review helpful?

I have been waiting rather impatiently for another Alex North novel and I was beyond thrilled to receive this as an audiobook through NetGalley!

I gotta say though, I didn’t love it as much as the previous novels. I try not to compare but it’s hard when the others are easily in my Top 20 overall reads and this one just isn’t. I have a theory about that and I plan to test it when the book releases.

The theory: I didn’t listen to the others - I read the physical books. Perhaps the narrator just isn’t what I need from these books. Perhaps I need my own internal narration.

Anyway - there are many tales of Angel maker serial killers out there. I gotta say I did enjoy the route this book took with that story. We follow Katie as she tries to figure out how much current events connect to her past. She struggles with what is reality and what is in her mind and it’s interesting to watch the story unfold. Especially since we seem to have two stories competing for prominence in her life.

I’m gonna go a neutral ⭐️⭐️⭐️ for now and see how I feel later.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advanced copy!

Was this review helpful?

*Thank you Celadon Books and Netgalley for my gifted eARC for an honest review*

If you could see into the future would you want to?

It's hard to even describe what went on in this book because there was so much to it. Yes, it was action packed but had many characters and many different timelines it was just kind of hard to understand. It had so many different puzzle pieces that made absolutely no sense until I got to the end of the book and things were explained, so really I had no idea what I was reading. In a small way this book reminded me of The season of Dexter with the Doomsday killer. This book had some religion and God references due to why some of the actions of some of the characters were committed. All in all this is my least favorite book by North and I personally would not recommend, but I'm excited to see what other people thought.
2.5 stars rounded up to 3

Was this review helpful?

I was lucky enough to be able to do the LFL drop off for this book, and it was so cool to watch my community freak out about it just as much as I did.

Alex North can seriously write. This book was atmospheric, scary and believable. It made me think!

Highly recommend if you like his previous works.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Celadon Books and NetGalley for this advanced copy of The Angel Maker. I loved Alex North’s Whisper Man and was anxious to read this one. The Angel Maker is a unique story about determinism (serial killer style). I loved all of the interconnections between the characters and the story had me creeped out (in a good way). I find Alex’s take on thrillers to be so fresh. I think this book is best read in as few sittings as possible because the characters and their interconnections can be hard to keep track of if you put them away for too long. The last 100 pages of this book were so captivating that I didn’t want to put it down. The cover is also gorgeous!

Was this review helpful?