The Fallen

Warrior (The Fallen #3) – The best of the series so far

Warrior The Fallen 3 Kristina DouglasIt looks like Kristina Douglas has finally hit her stride in The Fallen series.  Warrior is the best yet. What a difference adding more plot and featuring a better romance dynamic can make.

Raziel and Azazel have settled and found happiness with their human mates, but now it’s Michael’s turn. He’s the fiercest warrior of The Fallen, shying away from love as much as he possibly can, even to the point of only drinking blood from The Source to avoid a deeper connection to his partners.  However, his practices and beliefs are challenged in this installment as he is must marry the reincarnation of Victoria Bellona, the Roman Goddess of War.

Throughout history Victoria (“Tory”) does not live past her 25th birthday, which is convenient as the prophecy states that in order for The Fallen to win against Uriel and his plans for destruction, Michael must fight with her by his side as his wife…and she must die.  Knowing her fate ahead of time should make this process easy.  However, as Tory and Michael grow closer they realize this is more difficult than they were expecting.

This series is not the best and it’s not my favorite, but yet I keep coming back for more. I did enjoy this book quite a bit.  Tory is actually a cool heroine this time around.  Who doesn’t like a character that kicks butt? It certainly ups the action factor which this series needs to add interest and excitement.  I like that she is so skilled and even gives some of the angels a run for their money.  All but Michael of course, though I’m not complaining because this is where I felt their chemistry was the strongest.  They feel like a well-matched pair so I enjoyed seeing the relationship flourish.  It has an angst factor, but I was a lot less bothered by their situation compared to Azazel and Rachel in book 2.

I also enjoyed what was going on around Michael and Tory.  Characters from the past still get attention, especially Ally who has been experiencing a sickness that no one can identify.  I predicted her issue early on, so I felt that it was dragged out for too long, but the possibility of Sheol evolving shows that Douglas is only getting started with this world.  I look forward to what comes next. Each book is better than the last and the preview of book 4 makes me believe this trend will continue.

 


Demon (The Fallen #2) – Improved from the first, but I’m actually confused as to if I even like this book

Demon the fallen #2 Kristina DouglasSo going by my usual pattern I’ve decided to read Kristina Douglas’s angel series back to back.  While the first book, Raziel, wasn’t the best, I thought the world was fairly interesting and I was willing to give the second book a go.  On the plus side, Demon (The Fallen #2) definitely provided me with an unexpected experience.

While book 1 focuses on Raziel and Allie, in typical paranormal romance fashion its sequel switches to Azazel, the former leader of the Fallen who has relinquished that title after the demise of his wife.  But there’s no true rest for a Fallen; he must prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled that would bring the demon, Lilith, to his arms. Throughout times she has proven herself to be the siren of sirens and defines what it means to be a man eater.  This coupling could prove to be the end of the world as they know it, and its up to Azazel to end her before it begins.

Reincarnated as innocent and unassuming Rachel Fitzpatrick, Azazel attempts to lead her to the slaughter, though it becomes increasingly difficult as Rachel has no memories of her past life as the Queen of Demons. He faces a test of character and will.  Will he pass? How will his ever growing feelings for her factor into the equation? Can he truly love a demon, his kind’s most hated enemy?

All of that and then some are explored in this book, which is already more than I could say for Raziel.  There is certainly more action than in the prior novel and the world expands to new territory.  We’re introduced to new and interesting characters that aren’t two-dimensional, which I liked.  There were moments when I was emotionally invested in what was going on.

So while that’s a sign of a good book I found that my biggest issue involved the love story itself, which is really the heart of the book considering its genre. I’m a fan of a slow build more than anyone else when it comes to couples that start out as enemies and then become lovers (ie: The Hollows and my favorite ship), but this pairing’s interactions are so unappealing and he treats her so badly (even if he has feelings inside that he tries to deny), that I found it hard to actually root for them.  The dynamic didn’t work for me at all since the development was far from an endearing.  I just feel like this would have needed a series of books to be a natural and acceptable evolution.

While I had that issue, I do have to admit that it wasn’t a boring read. There are definitely plenty of steamy scenes, too.  Angels are hott, especially ones with fangs.  And no, they are still not “vampires” (though you could have fooled me).  This series isn’t the best but it has a certain quality and uniqueness about it that makes me want to keep reading.  Adult angel series are hard to come by, but this adequately fills the quota for me for now.  So at this point, I plan to keep up with the series.  Oh, and the cover is lovely! Better than the first there, too.


Raziel (The Fallen #1) – Not bad, but it could be better

Raziel, the fallen #1, kristina douglasSorry guys, I know that Firelight won the poll, but Raziel was a quicker read and I was able to finish it before the week was out. I wanted to start Firelight on a fresh note this week.

So my quest to find a fulfilling adult angel series continues, which heavily factored into my decision to read Raziel, Book 1 of The Fallen series.  Allie Watson, a modern working woman in the city, bumps into a handsome stranger during her morning commute.  All is well until she steps off a curb…into the path of a bus.  She next finds herself in a different land and confronted once again by this stranger.

It turns out he is Raziel, a Fallen angel who guides the souls of the newly deceased to heaven or hell as ordered by the supreme being, Uriel.  But once it comes to Allie, everything goes according to plan until the gates of hell surprisingly open for her and Raziel instinctually pulls her back, though he doesn’t really understand why.  Lost with nowhere to really take her, he brings her to his home in Sheol, a land for other Fallen angels and their mates. It may not be safe for her there either as the other angels blame her for the inevitable consequences that will befall them for Raziel’s disobedience.  They must fend off Nephilim, demonic monsters from hell that are working to break down the gates of Sheol and wreak havoc.  And day by day Allie proves herself to be less ordinary as she breaks down the barriers of Raziel’s heart, much to his chagrin.

This was a short read, but it’s another book where not a lot ends up happening.  I felt like it had a lot of potential with the world building, but they spend a lot of time merely discussing how Uriel and the Nephilim will be a problem. There was just too much talk and not enough action until the tail end.

The angels must drink blood in order to sustain themselves, but they consider themselves “bloodeaters” as opposed to “vampires” though Allie can’t really figure out the difference.  I found this overlap amusing, if not convenient to subtly offer something that vampire fans might connect with if they aren’t strictly into angels.

Raziel and Allie have decent chemistry, though it isn’t smoldering and you shouldn’t expect much out of the starting gate.  The relationship manages to build throughout the book fine enough though.  We do see some focus shift to Raziel’s friend (a fellow angel) and his mate, Azazel and Sarah.  That was certainly an interesting dynamic since the angels age much slower than their mates.  Sarah looks like she could be Azazel’s mother, so there is some shock value there.  Sarah and Allie develop a good rapport with one another and I enjoyed their fraternizing (or is it sororizing?) throughout the story.

So all in all, not a lot happens yet I’m still sort of interested in the world and where things can go next.  It’s an ongoing series that does change the central character from book to book.  It looks like Azazel is up next; hopefully that promises a better read.  Considering the short length of these books, I actually feel pretty good about continuing on with this series since it’s not a huge investment of time.


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