Fiction Friday Round-Up – March 13, 2015

This week saw me FINALLY FINISH a series I’ve been reading for at least 4-5 years. But I only read one other book, so did I really win this week? I don’t think so.

  • The Fallen Series – Thomas E. Sniegoski: “It has a pretty good story line, though as Ro pointed out, just ONCE it would be nice if the Powers weren’t trying to kill Nephilim and were actually trying to be helpful.”
  • Playlist for the Dead – Michelle Falkoff: “Each chapter title is a song off of Hayden’s playlist[…]later, I was sobbing over “Adam’s Song” (blink-182), so it all evened out.”

The Fallen Series – Thomas E. Sniegoski

The Fallen and Leviathan
Aaron Corbet isn’t a bad kid—he’s just a little different. And starting on the eve of his eighteenth birthday, Aaron begins to discover supernatural talents. Then he learns the truth about his destiny: He must unite angels, mortals, and Powers both good and evil, some of whom are hell-bent on his destruction….

Aerie and Reckoning

Aaron’s senior year has been anything but typical. Half-angel and half-human, he has been charged to reunite the Fallen with Heaven. But the leader of the Dark Powers is determined to destroy Aaron—and all hope of angelic reconciliation.
Struggling to harness the incredible force within him, Aaron trains for the ultimate battle. With the Dark Powers building in strength and numbers, their clash may come sooner than he expects. And everyone who’s ever mattered to Aaron is now in grave danger.
Aaron must protect the girl he loves and rescue the only family he’s ever known. Because if he can’t save them from the Dark Powers, how can he hope to save the Fallen?

End of Days
The war between Heaven and Hell rages on. Aaron, half-angel and half-human, commands the Fallen in their quest to protect humanity. But evil forces gain strength at every turn. And lurking somewhere in the shadows is Archangel Gabriel’s instrument with the power to call down the End of Days.
Aaron draws confidence from the girl he loves as he struggles to make peace with his legacy as Lucifer’s son. These are desperate times, and Aaron knows the Fallen will need to forge new, unlikely alliances to survive.
With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Aaron will stop at nothing to defend civilization—and the girl who holds his heart.  Even if it means facing Hell’s darkest demons.

The war between Heaven and Hell rages on. The devil has possessed Lucifer’s body and is intent on unleashing unfathomable chaos in the world. But no matter the cost, Aaron and the other Nephilim are determined to protect humanity.
As the casualties mount around them, Aaron and his beloved Vilma’s loyalty and faith will be tested. And in this next installment of the The Fallen series, they’re out to prove that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger….

Satan is determined to create his own Hell on Earth and has unleashed unfathomable chaos into the world. Cut off from Heaven, humanity’s only hope for salvation rests with eighteen-year-old Aaron and the other Nephilim who fight by his side. These angelic warriors will protect civilization and restore God’s favor no matter the cost. But there can be only one champion—and defeat is eternal.
The battle lines have been drawn. Armageddon is here.

I’ve been reading this series for several years. The last book, Armageddon came out in 2012 but it took me a while to buy it and then I had to re-read the first four volumes because I honestly couldn’t remember much.

There will be SPOILERS here, just so you know.

It has a pretty good story line, though as Ro pointed out, just ONCE it would be nice if the Powers weren’t trying to kill Nephilim and were actually trying to be helpful.

AARON IS THE SON OF LUCIFER!! When I first read it, was a pretty shocking moment, but it was also spectacular. I think Lucifer was actually my favourite character in the series – he was so misunderstood, but really had a heart of gold.

It’s also interesting that there were a LOT of other “creatures”, not just angels. Which was amazing when they first started popping up but then honestly got a little tiresome because I felt like he was just throwing them in for funsies, so that you ended up feeling like this:


Because what the heck was even happening? Also, why are dragons always evil? Why can’t they be good? And the yetis weren’t as fabulous as I hoped they’d be (but props for including yetis in the first place!).

Stylistically, I had two issues:

1) His use of the word “upon” when “on” could have worked just as well (I remember noticing this when I read them the first time and it still grates on my nerves). It just comes across as sounding more hoity-toity than the subject matter would suggest.

2) Multiple viewpoints. I don’t mind multiple viewpoints, but I generally like them more if it’s limited to 2-3 people. When you have seven different story lines going on, it gets tedious, especially if you don’t like one (or more!) of the “main” characters. Like when what’s-his-face and the other guy were looking for the Metatron’s powers? Yeah, didn’t need their point of view. Because then I knew they had found the powers, so there wasn’t a “WOW, HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!” moment at the end.bored-clapping-hermione

I felt more like this.

That’s the worst part about multiple POVs: you have the potential to create a shocking moment, but if you’ve already told me it’s going to happen, then I feel nothing when it actually does. See also: Cassandra Clare.

Plot-wise, I had three issues (well, four, if you count the thing I said earlier about the other creatures):

1) Gabriel. Maybe it’s just because I’m not an “animal lover”, but Gabe often annoyed me. And the thing near the end when he was the “receptacle” for God…that moment reminded me of the “Harry and Dumbledore at King’s Cross” scene near the end of Deathly Hallows (minus the creepy baby thing).


“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

2) I didn’t fully believe in the Vilma/Aaron relationship (actually, all of the relationships fell flat for me). The attempt at a love triangle was awkward at best and, while romance wasn’t at the forefront of the plot, let’s keep in mind that Lucifer basically re-invented himself after meeting a woman (and knocking her up) (also all the other fallen angels who got busy with human women). So yeah, I’d say that love is a pretty big deal in their world, but you wouldn’t know it from the mediocre relationships portrayed in this book.

My favourite relationship was Lorelei and Lucifer, and they weren’t even a couple! I sort of wish they had been, though I guess that would have changed the whole last book.

3) Verchiel. Were there really no other angels that could have shown up? I get that he was helping them so that he would redeem himself for his past errors, but it doesn’t even end with him being pardoned and going back to Heaven, so what was even the point?

All in all, it was a decent series. The first couple of books were better;  the “original quartet” (The FallenLeviathanAerie, and Reckoning) were all written in the early 2000’s (2003-2004), while the last half of the series was released from 2010 onwards. I liked the way Reckoning ended, he could have stopped there, but alas, he continued. Forsaken felt like a filler book and if it had been combined (and obviously condensed) with End of Days, I think it would have avoided that mid-series slump where you’re not actually learning anything new and you’re just prolonging the inevitable. Plus Armageddon could have moved a smidge faster.

Sure, it ended well anyway with everything all nicely tied up, but again, the lackluster relationships up until that point meant I didn’t gush over it the way I would have if I had actually believed in the couples.

P.S. Enoch as a baby reminded me of this (and I’ve only seen like 2 episodes of Family Guy) only less foul-mouthed:

giphyP.P.S. These covers are soooooo much better than the originals (scroll all the way down). Yes, I’m superficial.

P.P.P.S. Kudos to him for being literally years ahead of the “diversity debate” and having a Portuguese heroine (Vilma).

Even though pretty much everyone else was white (as far as I could tell).