GENRES: Contemporary Fantasy, Supernatural
COVER DESIGN: Jacob Caleb
There are worse things than being crazy.
For Daniel Smith, who's been managing to keep a somewhat reliable grasp on reality through the use of copious pharmaceuticals for most of his life, being crazy is merely his everyday.
The idea that the glowing being suddenly materializing in the passenger seat next to him might actually be real. . . That's what causes him to crash his Jeep on the way back to college from his parents' house.
Daniel had seen visions before, talked to them even. But he'd never have one that felt solid, that smelled or showed concern when it realized Daniel had forgotten his medicine for the past several days.
When the hallucination blinks out, vowing to return with Daniel's anti-psychotic drug cocktail, Daniel almost breathes a sigh of relief. Until he realizes that someone or something else just blinked in and she looks really, really angry.
With the wave of a hand (not his own, sadly), Daniel vanishes from Earth and begins walking on the strangest, craziest, most insane place he's ever considered. It's called reality. And he hates it.
In "Children of the Fallen," first-time author Eve Peters does a relatively nice job of creating a somewhat relatable world within her covers. Unlike in many first-time works, Peters does a good job with the dialogue and people actually sound like people, instead of exposition machines.
Daniel, it turns out, isn't fully human. He's the son of a fallen angel and a human woman. His formerly angelic father has plans for Daniel and all his brothers and sisters. Plans that involve storming Heaven and overthrowing God. As the child of a fallen angel, Daniel and the rest have certain powers not available to mortals and it's these powers that the fallen hope to use to batter their way into Heaven.
Which, strangely, is where I have the biggest issue with the plot. We find out that God exists. Heaven is real. There is an afterlife and it is controlled by angels or demons. All of this no longer is in the realm of faith or belief, but the realm of the known.
And no one cares! It's treated as if angels and demons and half-angelic Nephilim are of a similar class of oddities as vampires or werewolves and other purely Earth-bound creatures. To me, this is a major issue, but it's never even mentioned. In fact, Daniel goes to Heaven -- HEAVEN! -- and it's not that big a deal except he gets a super-Sayen power-up.
In addition, Peters stumbles quite often over several homophones, plain and plane as well as psych and psyche, that caused me no end of distress. I know it's picky, but the rest of the book was so much better than expected, I kept stumbling over these and gnashing my teeth.
Overall, "Children of the Fallen" is a good book, with more-engaging-than-expected characters, a plot that holds together relatively well and dialogue that is convincing.
It's not going to redefine literature, but anyone looking for a light read and a few hours entertainment should check it out. Definitely worth your time and money.
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The official website: somenerdgirl.com
Richard E.D. Jones is the author of A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad's Playbook, as well as numerous science-fictionally fantastic short stories. Find out more at his website, www.byrichardjones.com.