They Who Fell, a review

I’m not big on reviews.  To be honest I don’t think I do it well.  Still, from time to time I make an effort.

They Who Fell is a rarity:  a book I purchased based on a paid advertisement.

There has been another revolt in heaven.  A new crop of fallen angels has been cast down to Earth.  Generally of the traditional winged human form, the fallen angels are of surpassing beauty except where scars from their fall mar their features.  Not just their bodies are marred, but also their hearts.  A fallen angel can appear gentle and kind one moment, and fly into a rage the next.  Other’s are driven by cruelty or paranoia.

The fallen angel–strong, fast, many with powers, many armed with swords of flame–have become the overlords of the Earth.  Cities are largely deserted wastelands.  If I was reading the population figures correctly, more than ninety percent of humanity was slaughtered.  Some of the remaining people serve the fallen, hoping to avoid their wrath.  Others still eke out an existence in the countryside, always fearful that the fallen might come across them and use them for “sport”.

Jana is one of the servants of the fallen in their primary “Tower” in New York.  Her first task is serving table at a dinner party of the fallen, terrified that any slight misstep, even the noise of a plate tapping another, might draw the fallen’s ire.  Hoping for withdrawn anonymity she instead draws the attention of two of the fallen and is called up to be the personal servant for one of them, but it is the other who seems to have her interest.

Holt leads a cell of partisans, an assassination team.  Angels are extremely hard to kill.  A Stinger, anti-aircraft missile merely stuns one.  Yet a sufficiently strong electric shock can kill one.

As Jana faces dangers and intrigues within the tower, Holt leads his cell in a quest for the means to effectively fight the fallen angels.  These two threads of story remain mostly separate until the very end of the book.  Along the way we get hints of the reason for the angels’ rebellion; a promise broken by “The Maker”.  In the end, when that is explained, well, it was one of the fallen who related the story and the story might have been more self-justification than truth but it does give motive to their actions more than just a lust for power.

To be honest, the beginning of the book read a little slow and there were several times I considered dropping it.  However, it did pick up and I was glad I stayed with it.  The book had a good, solid ending, completing the current story while leaving hooks for the continuing series.

In the end, I used the “Buy the next book” option at the end to get the next book of the series so I did consider it worth continuing.

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