They Who Fell has major problems, but also, some pretty sick angels

They Who Fell has major problems, but also, some pretty sick angels

★★★★☆

(4 stars)

(Book one. Book two is here, book three is here.)

Good, well written, except for the parts where it wasn’t. Vastly better if there weren’t breaks every other chapter to spend time with four cardboard cutouts of soldiers who mission I ultimately do not care for and root against actively. The Perch is interesting though. And I really wanted Jana to mack on some vaguely evil, untrustworthy angels, so there’s that.

I should really do plot roughs for reviews. Angels all came down from Heaven, but they suck. They enslave humanity and live in fancy towers. Main character is Jana, who is taken as the servant to a higher angel and gets involved with a greater plot to bring the angels down for good.

Oh and there’s some boring lame human soldiers for half the book. I started skimming their chapters, it does cross over in the end, but not for a while.

Writing

Sometimes, mostly with the soldiers, dialog goes into huge paragraphs vaguely trying to make a political point or social commentary. Fancy words were used pretty commonly, once or twice wrongly. There’s some good scenes of tension, mystery, worldbuilding, environment. So he’s not awful. But the plot also has some cliche ideas (spoilers: later books take a too christian tone) and the characters are pretty flat.

But goddamn do I love me some angel makeouts.

Characters

This is a book that you can clearly tell was written by a man. Odd to admit, but super duper obvious. It’s not like his lady characters were god awful- kinda everyone was a little, sans maybe Rhamiel, Nefta, and Ecunus.

But it just showed. Jana is a little problematic, also, and I wish we spent more time with her so that she wouldn’t be- there’s something vaguely offensive about how passive she is, even when backed by canon, and how little she speaks as the technical main character. And the fact her feels towards Rhamiel are described at one point as the feminine attracted to the masculine. listen. I GET IT. he’s hot. But she isn’t really even feminine, and I hope in the second book we learn he had some ulterior motive, and his attraction to her wasn’t entirely sincere.

But as it plays out, Jana is a silent, scared servant. She has very little power or will. This makes sense, but then means she (one of ~three female characters) is completely reliant on Rhamiel, her love interest. Other female characters include Lady Solider (the most caring of the soldiers, duh), and a sociopathic lady angel (who is mildly a villain/rival to Jana).

And as mentioned, everyone is kind of flat

Worldbuilding

I loved the Perch. I loved the angels, their weird quirks and personalities. It plays with traditional angelic concepts and combines them with new ideas. The angels are obsessive over beauty, they are covered in scars, they are complete assholes… the relationship between the human servants and the angels is well done and interesting. The outside world lacks the same nuance the Perch does, which is why the soldier half of the book is so boring. Humans run around trying to resist, etc etc. Not really as neat as complex social structures and motherfuckin’ angels.

Motherfuckin’ angels

I mean, Rhamiel was kind of cool at first, but he is pretty lame. But still, it is cool. I love angels, love their awesome fire swords, love the action scenes and the dynamic between Rhamiel and Jana. I did like the build up to their relationship, but the actual end note was… a bit of a let down. I was so glad when they finally kissed, but then they have sex, and then they are like bonded-forever. It’s like once the tension broke, everything leapt forward to ‘established relationship’ point.

The inter-relationship angel stuff is also cool. I love their dynamics and perspective. If you know me…. I love angels.

Overall

They Who Fell is fun, cheap, and has some neat angels/worldbuilding. Spoilers: the sequel is even better, though begins to fall into more tropes I’m… worried about (haven’t read book three yet). It’s on my list as a good angel book though, and I did read it and the sequel in two sittings.

Anyway, maybe it isn’t a full 4 star book, but it is good, and I would rec it to people. It is just saved by my weakness for cool angels and the gals that bang em.

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