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A Reader of Fictions: Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #27: Vigilant

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #27: Vigilant


Author: Angel Lawson
Pages: 268
Publisher: Self-published
Read: July 30-31, 2013
Source: Free for Kindle
Recommended by: Rochelle - whose info I forgot to write down. If anyone knows her, please link her up! (Note to self: BE. MORE. RESPONSIBLE.)

Description from Goodreads:
Ari Grant spends her days helping the troubled youth of Glory City, and her nights trying to feel something other than the cold numbness that has settled in her bones. For years, she satisfies this urge with trips to the tattoo parlor or late night clubbing, but everything changes when she becomes a victim of an armed robbery.

She manages to escape notice from the gunman, a former client, but only because she’s saved by Glory City’s own Vigilante. A hooded man who has impeccable timing when it comes to those in need.

It seems Ari isn’t the only one trying to save lost souls or looking for a life outside their job. She’s caught the attention of Nick Sanders, a handsome attorney at juvenile court. Solid and steady, he seems the perfect fit, but Ari has developed an obsession with Davis, the mysterious and sexy director of a local fight club that rehabilitates delinquent boys.

Each of these men fight for the less fortunate, but not everyone has altruistic motives. When Ari’s female clients begin to disappear, she can’t figure out who to trust. Soon enough it becomes obvious that while Ari watches over the kids of Glory City, someone else has taken to watching over her.

First Sentence: "What kind of person robbed a hardware store?"

Oh man, reading self-published books is always a little terrifying. Will it be edited? Will a negative review garner you the sort of attention you don't want? With Vigilant there was also another kind of pressure: would I lose the friendship of the author who I've chatted with on Twitter? Angel Lawson's been very nice to me about Cover Snark (I think that's what she first tweeted me about) and we've had some great conversations about negative reviews. I know she's cool, but I'd still just feel so awful if I didn't like her book. Thankfully, it's a Sadie Hawkins miracle (only not really, because that's not what miracles are), because I actually really liked Vigilant.

As you may know about me by now, I tend not to read blurbs, so unless the cover is seriously indicative of the book inside, I generally have no clue what's going on. As such, I was totally stoked to realize that Vigilant is about superheroes. Well, not quite, but about vigilante justice. Do you know how much I love this sort of stuff? SO MUCH. Now, the Vigilante, as he's being called, isn't dressing up in a costume. There's no cape, no calling card, and no screaming hordes of fans. It's just a guy in a hoodie, coming to help save people when the cops can't or won't.

Vigilant opens with a robbery. Ari, the heroine, is kneeling on the floor, trying to escape notice as armed men rob the hardware store in which she was shopping. The Vigilante arrives, saving her specifically before capturing all but one of the bad guys. Pretty thrilling start, no? During the robbery, Ari recognizes one of the perpetrators from her day job. No, she's not a criminal. She's a case worker for juvenile delinquents, one with the utmost belief in her charges. Ari has a really huge heart, and hopes for bright futures for all of them. Though she's not meant to, she reacts emotionally to each and every case, believing in them like no one really has before. I love this about Ari, and it's not a profession I've read about before.

Vigilant takes place in lower income neighborhoods, most of the characters are delinquents or work with them daily. This could easily go very wrong, but Lawson handles it well. In no way does anyone feel stereotyped or dismissed because of how they were born. While some of the delinquents give up on themselves, others are respectable people who didn't know what else to do in horrible circumstances. The racially diverse cast and the unique setting really make Vigilant stand out from the norm.

Ari has two sides to her: the caring professional and the wild, tattooed girl who likes to go out dancing. Even her roommate and best friend Oliver has no idea about her other self. One night, out at the dance club, she makes out with this random guy, who turns out to be significant. During the daylight hours, she's being wooed slowly (too slowly!) by Nick, a lawyer. The two men appeal to the different sides in her nature, and Vigilant also focuses on her own journey to self-acceptance and finding a way to bring the two halves of herself together. The romance sort of represents this journey, but doesn't take over. Even when she's made her choice, she remains independent first and in love second, which is fabulous.

Can we talk about Oliver a little more? How many books have a straight man and a straight woman who are roommates and best friend and aren't going to fall in love by the end of the story? NOT MANY. Now, they did sleep together once a long time ago, but they have no sexual tension now. They care for one another, they banter, and they discuss each other's romantic lives openly. I loved their friendship so much; I get tired of the whole men and women can't be friends thing, because they can, Harry. They really can.

When it comes to the plot, I saw most of the twists coming, but that wasn't really a big deal. It was well executed and entertaining whether surprising or no. There are some slight hints of possible paranormal twists if there prove to be follow up books, but that could really go either way. There's a good deal of action, as well as day to day life working as a case worker.

I can definitely recommend Angel Lawson's Vigilant. It's got a smart, practical, caring heroine, a respectful hero, and a unique setting. The book's been fairly well edited, as I only noticed a couple of significant mistakes (the most amusing of which was "marital arts" instead of martial), which I plan to report to Angel, so hopefully they'll be fixed soon. Vigilant is an all around quick and enjoyable read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote:
"'To watching our friends fall in love,' Nick held out his beer for a mock toast. 'Or crashing disastrously.'
     Ari held out her glass and clicked it to his and laughed. 'I'll drink to that.'"

Up Next:
The next Sadie Hawkins Sunday book is All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill, which I was forced to read by Lili. I have learned a valuable lesson: do not tell her until I'm done or I will get in trouble for not reading quickly enough! What a bully! :-p (Please all take this in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which it is intended.

Want to tell me what to read? Fill out the following form with a suggestion! For more details, check this post.

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Blogger Katie said...


August 12, 2013 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh my gosh, this sounds really really good! I'm obsessed with the idea of vigilantes and noirish, Sin City-like stories. I need to read this soon, b/c I'm going to try writing a "dark" book. It's great that the minor characters weren't stereotyped--that's always hard to do well and something I struggle with in my own writing. And I like that the MC has two sides to her.

August 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

fantastic! i'm glad you liked it. i did, too. ;)

August 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

YAY! You found the review! I am so glad! I felt so stupid the moment I clicked delete and realized what I'd done. Thanks for recommending VIGILANT. So much fun!

August 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm not sure if you'll love my review or not. I liked it, but...I have reservations.

August 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Stephanie, I'm fairly certain you'd really like this!

August 13, 2013 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...


August 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Glad you liked it, Christina! I love reading books about superheroes, and I remember really enjoying Vigilant as well. Yay! :)

August 15, 2013 at 1:48 PM  

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