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Released: August 17, 2021
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Zaniel Havelock #1
“A Terrible Fall of Angels will intrigue new fans, long term fans, and returning fans of Laurell K. Hamilton.”~ Under the Covers
In A Terrible Fall of Angels, paranormal bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton invites readers into a new world full of angels, demons, and magic all around.
Detective Zaniel Havelock spent his youth at the College of Angels, training to be an Angel Speaker, primed to spend his life interacting directly with angels. But when he sees the grim reality of the College of Angels, Havelock does the unthinkable and leaves. Joining the local paranormal unit of the police department, Zaniel uses his angelic sight to help civilians with their Guardian Angels. When a demon starts acting out, and survives when he shouldn’t, Zaniel is drawn into a physical and mental battle unlike anything he’s ever experienced before. As old friends return and long-kept secrets are revealed, Zaniel finds his faith tested like never before.
I’ve been a huge fan of both the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series, so I was very excited when I learned that Laurell K. Hamilton was embarking on a new series, this one full of angels and demons instead of vampires, shifters, and fae. It was refreshing to meet all these new characters and learn about new abilities and situations. Hamilton, I think, has a nice way of world building; she doesn’t lay everything out at the beginning and make things too detail-heavy right from the start, but allows her readers to explore her fictional world gradually and make discoveries right alongside the main character. I do think there were some questions that could have been answered or explained earlier in the novel, and there are definitely some unknowns that will likely be focal points for future books in the series, but overall A Terrible Fall of Angels had great world building with intriguing characters and an engaging plot.
Hamilton has had faith play interesting roles in her previous series, and some of those elements pop up in her newest work. I loved that, in a book centered around angels and demons, Hamilton features Wiccans, witches, and totems so heavily. There was fantastic allegory behind a team of various faiths supporting each other as a team and being stronger together. And as with any other Hamilton story, the main character discovers a lot about himself and everything he thought he knew about his allies and enemies, all while pursuing the bad guy.
Being the first book in the series, Zaniel still needs a bit of fleshing out; he can easily come across as a bit flat when compared to the dynamic characters that Anita and Merry have become throughout their series. As readers, we’re still learning who he is as a character by the end of the book. Despite bits and pieces from his marriage and fleeting mentions of his youth at the College of Angels, there is still a lot to learn about our main character and I look forward to seeing more of Zaniel’s character in the future.
A Terrible Fall of Angels is very reminiscent of early Anita Blake books in style and character development. Since I know one of the larger complaints about Hamilton’s writing involves her including too much sex, especially in the later books in her series, A Terrible Fall of Angels will be a nice reprieve for anyone who enjoyed the early Anita Blake stories for their characters and plots and found themselves turned off by all the sex.
Incorporating both new and familiar story elements, A Terrible Fall of Angels will intrigue new fans, long term fans, and returning fans of Laurell K. Hamilton.
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