A Terrible Fall of Angels Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Angels walk among us, but so do other unearthly beings in this brand-new series by number one New York Times best-selling author Laurell K. Hamilton.
Meet Detective Zaniel Havelock, a man with the special ability to communicate directly with angels. A former trained Angel speaker, he devoted his life to serving both the celestial beings and his fellow humans with his gift, but a terrible betrayal compelled him to leave that life behind. Now he’s a cop who is still working on the side of angels. But where there are angels, there are also demons. There’s no question that there’s evil at work when he’s called in to examine the murder scene of a college student - but is it just the evil that one human being can do to another, or is it something more?
When demonic possession is a possibility, even angelic protection can only go so far. The race is on to stop a killer before he finds his next victim, as Zaniel is forced to confront his own very personal demons, and the past he never truly left behind.
The first in a new series from the author of the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series.
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|Listening Length||12 hours and 9 minutes|
|Author||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 17, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #32,219 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#507 in Urban Fantasy
#791 in Police Procedural Mysteries
#907 in Paranormal Fantasy
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2021
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Unlike Ms Hamilton's many other books, I will give this book credit as not being one constant orgy held together by a couple of chapters of conquering evil. She is trying to tell a good story; she failed.
I knew the book was going to be a difficult read from the beginning when I learned the detective was a graduate of the Angel College. Yes, Angel College is the real name (try not to laugh; I failed). Next, add 5+ scattered pages of Latin names / descriptions of the various types of angels and angel speakers.
The Angel College children (as young as 5 years) are separated from their parents and raised in an ultra-conservative manner. There are discussions of how they were indifferent to gender or race. The detective experienced a traumatic event which impacted the rest of his life and makes him question the college. SPOILER: This student who thought nothing of gender became "close" enough to an angel that it assumed female form. He described how he was under her control. The angel was in the process of falling from grace when he turned them into the college. "She" was willingly imprisoned and he continued at Angel College. In addition, when a close friend went insane from a celestial encounter at the college he asked a few questions then quietly finished his degree and graduated. Instead of joining their Angel Speakers, he joined the army and later became a police detective specializing in crimes of celestial and infernal nature.
One of the largest problems with the book is the point of view from which she told the story. I have read several authors who have written from POVs significantly different than than their lifestyle/gender/mental state. Characters, books, and authors that demonstrate the ability to set aside personal POV include: the late Stieg Larson's Lisbeth in "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (absolutely amazing), Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, Emily Bronte's brooding Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights," Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (read the whole series and "Strangers on a Train"), and of course Shakespeare's shrewd Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" ... deep breath, I will stop there. I know Ms Hamilton is writing from the first person POV of a male detective; but, the character development is extremely poor. Ms Hamilton and Zaniel "Havoc" Havelock do not belong on the above list.
Zaniel explains absolutely every action he does. As with anything regarding equality and sensitivity to the differences in others, if you have to point out that you are being sensitive and how you are being sensitive then you are not naturally being sympathetic. The author gives paragraphs upon paragraphs of in-depth examples of how insightful and caring he is. Don't talk the life; live the life.
Here are a few examples paraphrased from the book:
During couples counseling, his wife says, "my eyes are up here," while he spaces on what she was explaining to the doctor. This leads to pages of how she trained him to look down, not into her eyes and other behaviors (like smearing her lipstick). I understand where Ms Hamilton is going with this - he is passive/submissive/controlled. In her Anita Blake series, the dominant/submissive theme is a constant facet of every part of the story. There might not be endless sex in this book but her fascination with that lifestyle is still here.
Another time he assures us he is just staring at the logo on the t-shirt (and why he is - it the same as the one on the cafe sign and is one he is sure his wife would think is sexist ...) He describes how embarrassed he is when the woman notices (cue one of his blushes, awww shucks). My problem with this is not the actions (everyone plays roles in their lives and relationships) those are natural; but the pages and pages of descriptions of why he did it and how it is wrong and and and ...
Another interminable scene has Zaniel stepping through a coffee line in a cafe, sitting down with a companion, and drinking a cup of tea. This simple journey becomes similar to Homer's Odyssey. This trip also felt like it lasted 10 years. First, he observes how careful he has to be to not meet male/female eyes so he does not seem to be flirting. The exception to this is of course the couple wearing wedding rings, he met their eyes and smiled. He also detailed how careful he must be not to seem aggressive; he is male and over 6 feet tall. He makes a point of explaining how his shorter male companion was able to push through the line without any apologies or problems. This was because his friend is short and cute. Zaniel finally approaches the table; but wait he is not done. An "older overly made up honey blonde" (the hair can't be a natural color; his wife has explained how makeup could take a woman from a 5 to a 10; but really his wife is a 20 without makeup if she would just listen) eyes him hungrily/voraciously so he blushes and flashes his wedding band; she smiles even more hungrily .... Was that sentence hard to read? Yes? Imagine it written out with endless descriptions over about 3 to 4 pages. Have I mentioned he has not even sat down yet?
Then he sits, savors his Earl Gray latte with a long explanation of exactly how they learned to worship food and the simple things back in the old Angel College, seriously I can't say that without laughing. Finally I was presented with an insurmountable irritation. A 3-4 page discussion on guardian angels; totem animals; co-walkers; past family members who might appear as imaginary friends; reincarnation; worship of the Goddess; worship of the God mentioned in the Bible, Torah, Quran (all three treated as symbolic of one faith in this book); and ... I lost it laughing/choking and shut the book.
Over the years, Ms Hamilton's books have become (literally) a series of orgies held together by maybe two chapters of story. I will give her credit for writing unique sex scenes (jaw dropping comes to mind). Her uber powered main character (no longer the scarred woman who hugged a penguin, avoided Jean-Claude, and raised zombies) triumphs over the "big bad." This main character, Anita Blake, is a spiral-curled petite brunette (whose description is remarkedly like the author's photo) has evolved from a one-relationship near-virgin to a sex vampire (ok yes that deserves laughter also). She has to engage in various activities usually with multiple people generally multiple times a day. Yet she still whines how she has no clue why people find her attractive. I mean how could they? She is not blonde and short. Really Anita, after 25 books, numerous short stories, and having your way with nearly every male and female that crosses the pages of your books might clue you in that you are at least passably pretty. My burning question is: how she is able to engage in all these um activities and still be able to walk so she can conquer the "big bad"?
Like I said, this book is not one long orgy; but it is the first in the series. Let's give Ms Hamilton time to wipe the blush off his face. Anita Blake started out blushing also ...
But this series is it’s own and I recognize the writing style, some phrases and the love of firearms but otherwise it’s a whole different ballgame. Honestly I find it kinda cool as I’ve watched the author evolve as a person through her writing and this book is no different . Even in the early Anita books, the author explores Anita a hang ups and transformation regarding religion and relationships. I believe that this is the current result and now it is an advocate for tolerance of different types of people and religions. Which I support fully. I still am not sure of the characters of story though. I like the message. At times I feel it’s a little much, but I get where she’s going and support it. I am waiting for more of this series to really make up my mind. I feel this book is really setting the stage, introducing characters and such but it didn’t go in depth enough for me to really tell if I will continue to read the story. I did read this in a day and that is a good sign. I’ve also loved all the other series and expect to enjoy this too. I feel that these characters are intense and have too much going on for the first book to fully represent the rest of the series and I am anticipating the next book. I hope to fall in love with it as I did the others but I don’t know enough yet to know if I’m quite there. This series has potential to be great though. I’m rambling and I am not good at reviews but I felt since it is a new books going on such a different direction, it needed some sort of review. I read a lot of bad reviews about the direction the Anita Blake books went midways and I feel those fans will love this series. But who knows what will happen next. But I see several more books in this series needed to really get it started as the characters all have depth and they are well introduced. The writing was superb. I had to give it another star as I wrote this as I realized it was a better book than I thought. But it definitely feels like a set up to much much more.
Top reviews from other countries
My only hope is that this doesn't take away from Anita, because I'm still pretty stuck in there.
What drew me to the novel was the Angels etc and Hamilton has her own great take on the world that exists with them in it. So I brought the book. Now I'm annoyed. Everything is just conversation and banter between badges that mean nothing to "us" the reader.
This may have worked with the Anita Blake series, but she was a complex and developed character. Here we have an unknown an we couldn't care less for banter for so many chapters, 25% of the book so far.
just let me say that I have all of LKH books and read them time and time again and order year before due
out. nice for a different story line but PLEASE PLEASE get back to Anita and jean claude. i realize that to write 25 books with Anita is a lot of work but they are your best and you should do what you do best. following you for the next anita. make my day.