Author: Danielle Jaworowski
Title: Akkad et Xai, l’ange et la rebelle (français)
This is a fascinating journey of an old soul in a child’s body and a young soul joined with her as her guardian angel. Through the angel Akkad’s journals, we travel with Xai on her soul’s journey as a human being. As a human, Xai learns about freedom of choice, even as she was given no choice in taking on human form by Mother Sofia. Her contemplation of suicide as she witnesses violence and death on a scale no child should experience, leads to fascinating and sometimes dramatic interactions with her guardian angel who fears being trapped in a vegetative body should her suicide attempts fail.
I enjoyed how you established Akkad’s inexperience as a guardian angel through his journal entries. That first year with the birth of a newborn made for a very interesting entrée into the story. The idea that young babies can return to the Creator’s source is a very interesting concept; more interesting that Xai can do it while awake!
The concept of Xai’s spirit being much older than Akkad’s and yet not experienced in being in a human body is quite intriguing and leads to all kinds of interesting conflicts and contradictions. Very inspired!
The integration of Akkad’s spirit into Xai’s body brought a new dimension to the story. Akkad being able to feel animals and smell them is a new experience, despite his past duties as a guardian angel to animals. We now have two evolving spirits. Well done!
The period leading up to and including Xai going to school was very well explored. Without ever going into Xai’s point of view, we still know exactly what she’s going through via her actions and Akkad’s chronicles.
Xai’s alignment with animals rather than humans was explored from several interesting angles: going into the forest and shapeshifting; chasing kids out of the forest; attacking the boys who would hurt a cat, etc. Interesting how you introduced suicide innocently and questioned whether such a young child would consider it, let alone try it.
The multiple drownings scene was very powerful. I too wondered why everyone didn’t leave after the first, second or third drowning. The effect on Xai – her confusion, illness, loss of interest, depression – well portrayed a young child who has seen too much death, including the children hit on the ranch road.
I waited to see how you would handle the question of God and Jesus, since Xai is already well aware of Sofia. Thought it was deftly handled.
I got such a chuckle from the scene where Xai and Akkad discuss “protestant”!
Your observations on Xai’s exposure to violence and death, coupled with moves to new homes, schools, losing friends, etc. provides a compelling portrait of what instability can do to a child. I can see why you would also market this book to women in their childbearing years.
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire section on the adolescent years. I believe you beautifully captured Xai’s budding sensuality and sexual curiosity along with Akkad’s awakening. There was plenty of room for humour, information and thoughtful advice. Very well done!
The scenes before and after Djed’s death were very disturbing. Akkad’s reactions were very human even though he’s an angel. It made me think of chaos theory, a randomness that is inevitable and under no one’s power with impacts and effects no one can predict, even an angel.
The love scene from January 1970 between Xai and Akkad was brilliantly played out with a great laugh at the end. It beautifully counter-balanced the previous scenes of depression and anger. Well done!
Xai’s descent into a drug-and alcohol-fueled world is a strong cautionary tale. Its effect on Akkad and his efforts to break free of it while still protecting her is poignantly told.
The manipulating, controlling character of Larr is, as we both know, all too real in the world, and Xai’s low self-worth made her an easy target. This is another strong cautionary tale for young adult readers.
I really liked the way you had Xai finally realize her weaknesses and work to turn her life around yet again by going to university. But I wasn’t surprised when, after her son went to live with relatives, Xai lost her grounding and went back to alcohol and drugs.
I was very interested in the presentation of Xai’s rapidly expanding energy and knowledge. I read somewhere recently that spirits vibrate at a level far beyond humans and must slow down to be able to communicate with them. Some scientists argue there are up to 11 dimensions but we are only aware of three. Your story touches on this aspect. Bravo!
The experiences of Mungu, Gaia, Xai and Ahrenn vis-à-vis their energy colours and music of the universe, the forest and even molecules were very poetic and thought provoking. It was interesting to read Akkad’s understanding of what had taken place from his own new perspective. The evolution of the souls continued.
Anio’s rebellion was certainly reflective of Xai at the same age … and then he fell in love with Adi! It was very interesting the parallels you drew between Xai at 17 and young Adi. As you wrote, the boy fell in love with a carbon copy of his mother.
Interesting how you wove some of your experience with professional documentary production into the story. Write what you know!
I found the story ending very satisfying. Akkad and Xai’s love and affection were so clear … true soul mates indeed. Very romantic!
I liked your explanations for the main and secondary characters and the etymology of their names. Very interesting and informative!
From a content perspective, the structure and flow of the story moves along well. Your quick references to one Christmas being about the same as the next worked well, as did the short observances of Xai’s birthdays. Your use of wry humour from Akkad helped to keep a lively pace and relieve some of the serious material. There were some wonderful zingy one-liners to wrap up entries. Very well done!
You mentioned in your Author Interview that your primary audience is 17-19-year-old girls. In the industry, this is called YA (Young Adult). This may be helpful as you plan your outreach and marketing. I want to congratulate you on a very fine story. It gripped me from the beginning and engaged my interest throughout. You have fine story telling talent. I do hope you will be writing more novels. You have a lovely voice. I wish you the best for your hard work to this point and to come.