Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Fallen Series by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Okay, so to begin, I just want to point out that I have been reading a lot of books lately in the Paranormal/Supernatural genre.  Many of these books have Angels in them, along with Nephilim and some destiny that needs to be fulfilled in order to save the world and also the balance between good and evil.  I don't like normal reviews, where the whole book or series is explained... I mean seriously, I want to read the book not just someone else's review. 

Sniegoski does Angels differently.  He still keeps most of the mythology on Angels and Nephilim that you will read in other YA novels, such as The Mortal Instruments series; however, small distinctions between Hell and the Devil create a more complex world.  Aaron Colbert is our main character, who just happens to turn 18 as the series opens, which in turn is the catalyst for his Nephilim transformation.  Being adopted, Aaron does not know what is happening to him.  One minute he is your average senior in HS and the next minute he can understand and speak to his dog and various other languages.  This is not the only issue in this series, the Nephilim are being hunted down by the Choir of Powers (a specific group of Angels), who want to rid the world of this abomination, for the sake of their Lord of Lords.  Unfortunately for Aaron he is not just any Nephilim, he is part of a prophecy that the Powers will do anything to see unfulfilled. 

There are 3 things I loved about this series, thus far:

1) The characterization of Angels.  Most of the time Angels are depicted as acting higher than humans.  They do not like human beings, because they feel as though the creation of humans was an insult to the creation of Angels (lets just say it is not always a friendly case of sibling rivalry).  So in short Angels = Snobby.  Sniegoski's angels are just god awful, imagine the Taliban... but with wings.  As a human you start questioning them, why do you think it is okay to kill mass numbers of children because of the sins of their fathers (literally)?  Does your God wish for this?  Even when this is brought up to many of the Powers, they still don't see what is wrong and also confess that God does not communicate with them anymore (they don't know how to take a hint.)  Okay, so what I like is that Angels are not these divine beings, they make mistakes, they envy, they are vengeful and most certainly get God's wishes wrong.

2) Talking Dog.  Okay, this isn't even that awesome, but really it is.  After reading Patrick Ness' Walking Chaos series I love the idea of a smart animal companion.  It adds to the whole man's best friend thing.  Gabriel is awesome as far as dogs go and like he and many others state he is special.  Due to Aaron's saving him with his powers during a life/death experience, Gabriel now has distinct qualities to him.

3) LUCIFER.  That's right one, if not the, of the best things about this series is Lucifer's characterization.  I have lost hope of seeing God as a character in many series and books ( I don't know if people are nervous of being smitted by the Lord), but Lucifer is always ready for a role in books and movies. 

This Lucifer is not only important to Aaron's cause but he is depicted completely opposite of pop culture.  What if he was truly repented about his actions?  What if he was just a fallen angel and not the Devil?  What if his banishment and imprisonment to Hell was metaphorical?  For fans of Milton and Dante, do not fret, this is still a pretty bad ass character.  He is still witty and scary (when the moment arises) but he is also different in a good way.  I first started to think of Lucifer and his plight while reading the Fallen series by Lauren Kate.  Sure it's not the best literature in the world, but her concept of Lucifer was semi-unique.  Lucifer wanted to be loved by God and to have freedom of choice, much like human beings.  His pride was wounded when God let him and other angels know that only human kind would be allowed to question their faith in God and love others as much as God.  Is there a problem questioning authority?  I think not, actually we are raised in this country and in general to question the acts of leaders (if not aloud, then internally).  For this God let a war rage between Angels? Lucifer is such a complex character, one that is more connected to humanity than God himself, because we feel pride, we feel betrayal and we feel jealousy.  That being said, I find Lucifer's journey of being forgiven a truly inspiring one, is it ever to late to be forgiven?  I guess we will find out in the last installment coming this month!

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