Published 2011 384 pages
Reviewed by Ania Tyburska
Summary (from the book jacket)
'You're dead' is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she's surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood - and they really don't want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven.
Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel's orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn't felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom's shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness - because Allie may be the Fallen's only salvation.
Beware the romance. That is my word of advice to unsuspecting readers. If you are looking for any other qualities, say, action, interesting setting, some psychological inside into the working of different minds, you will be surely disappointed. Raziel is all about smooches, heated arguments and never-ending heartache.
The Fallen is a new paranormal series by Kristina Douglas. The initial idea is pretty simple. God, who is more of a shadowy figure, than an actual ruler of the heaven and earth, banished the angels who got too chummy with humans to live in Sheol, the mythical land suspended somewhere between Canada and USA. Why there? One of the mysteries of this book. They are forever sentenced to eat blood of their beloved wives (still they despise the term vampire), mortal women, who being mortal and all, eventually die, leaving them in need of another wife. Additionally they have an agreement with Uriel, the last of the archangels, who does not exterminate them as long as they agree to act as a kind of winged Haurons and escort souls to the other side.
That is where our heroine Ally comes into the story. She is to be escorted by the Fallen, Raziel, but for some strange reason, he hesitates and pulls her back from the fires of hell. Then they got surrounded by Nephilim, who are flesh- eaters and as such want to eat them. If it all sounds confusing and a bit murky about the mythological edges, do not worry – the setting is perfectly insignificant to the love story. Ally and Raziel would follow exactly the same clichés, even if they were a normal, suburban couple from Florida.
They fight, than they have sex and bum, they instantly fall for each other. I know it is supposed to be a romance, but these kind of literary devices are just insulting to readers intelligence. Women do not fall for the first man who gives them an orgasm, unless they are sixteen, hormonal and prone to confusing sex with affection. Even in a romance story there should be a grace period where the characters adjust and their feelings develop. Otherwise it is just porn with a wedding in the end.
What made me even angrier was the notion that Ally, a sworn career girl, feels a sudden urge towards motherhood and white picket fences, when Raziel is deep inside her. (Sorry for the expression. The wording from the book was that she wanted him to put a child where his you know what was, which, biological precision aside, just grossed me out). Women start to want children at different times, but surely not because they have got thoroughly shagged. I really hoped we were long past the scenario when all the man had to do was drag a woman to his cave and than she became his willing, docile slave.
As I mentioned before, Raziel is only the beginning of the series and the lack of a proper conclusion is more and more visible towards the end of the book. And, while I usually love to meet characters from other stories in the next parts, I really don’t want to hear about Ally and Raziel ever again. In this case my total dislike towards the main characters colored my whole perception of the book, so my rating is going to be shamelessly low. But I am ready to eat my words if someone else can read this piece of literature and point to me the qualities I missed.
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