Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fallen: Review of Book One
Posted by Tiffany at 1:42 PM

The Fallen
Author: Thomas E. Sniegoski
Pages: 262 (Paperback)

Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster) 
Released: March 2010
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Price: $9.99
Rating: 3.75

I just finished the first half of my omnibus of The Fallen and thought it'd be fun to see what other covers were put out for the book (bottom of the post). All I have to say is that it's a good thing I didn't see that bottom left cover in the store. The third isn't too bad, a bit cheesy, but the omnibus cover is by far the best. It's beautiful without being too much. As a side note, I'm not sure that having an ABC Family Original Movie is something to be bragging about. Anyway, on the the actual review.

The story is very interesting, a half-human, half-angel boy who has just come into his powers discovers that there is a group of angels devoted to destroying his kind, as they are seen as a kind of blasphemy. My favorite thing about this story is that the book he looks up to learn about what's going on, The Book of Enoch, is a real lost book of the bible. Apparently it's all about this stuff: angels from heaven to be with mortal women. I love that his source is an actual book. I'm always annoyed when someone just boots up their computer and runs across a site that explains things. Especially since these sites are usually made up by the author. 

Another thing that I LOVED about this book was the supporting cast. The characters of the angels had a lot of depth and diversity. There weren't good and evil angels, per se. There were just angels with different opinions about what God wants- who, by the way, isn't talking to them anymore. I loved that it kept switching between the adult angels in the book and showing you what they were thinking. Unfortunately, the main character wasn't as amazing. 

The thing about this book that bugged me was the main character. Aaron had a lot of potential going into it, but then it just never developed. He seemed half-sketched, unfinished. His voice was also off. Sniegoski didn't talk down to you the way some YA authors do (especially 80s and 90s authors), but Aaron just didn't feel like a teen. One example that really sticks in my mind is a quote from page 183: "In that instant, he decided that not only was Vilma the most beautiful young woman he had ever seen, but also the most real." Everything was moving along smoothly and then I hit that 'young woman' and I stalled, thinking Really? A high school guy referring to the girl he had a crush on as 'young woman'? I could accept woman, girl, chick, person, lots of other things. But I don't think teens use the term 'young woman.' I sure as heck never did. There were just lots of little bits like that that felt off, mostly just with Aaron. Another problem: he was too good. It seems that the author tried to address this by throwing in random fits of rage, but they just felt abrupt and forced. A bit too much, too sudden, and then passing too quickly. I wish he'd developed Aaron more and I'm hoping that he will in the next book, but for now I just can't relate to him.

I know this has been pretty negative, but overall I liked this book. Really. The story was intriguing, the supporting characters really pulled you in and showed you different sides of the story, giving you more to think about than just "poor guy, people are trying to kill him because of his parentage." I'm excited to learn more about the war between angels and what's going to happen to both the fallen and the enforcers. Will they all be redeemed? Will the enforcers realize they're misinterpreting His will? ARE they misinterpreting? There is still a lot to be explored and explained in this series and I'm looking forward to the continuation of the series. Hopefully Aaron will be more interesting now that he's 'complete.'