Kristen Douglas's first novel in the Fallen Series, "Raziel," was pretty much what I thought it would be--with a few twists thrown in for good measure to make it outshine against other fallen angel series that are out there. Unfortunately, no matter how much I liked the premise of this book, it fell short of where I was hoping it would go.
First off, the book concerns the characters Allie and Raziel, one of the Fallen Angels that hold an uneasy truce with Uriel, God's right-hand-guy. In order to keep this truce, and basically keep Uriel from wiping them off the face of the planet like he so badly wants to do, the Fallen tend to act as Uriel's very own Reapers, picking up dead souls and moving them on to the afterlife. This is how Raziel meets Allie. She dies, he takes her soul, he saves her from eternal damnation against almost every instinct he has, and so begins the book, as he takes her to his home where he lives with the other Fallen, and things move on from there.
So let's begin with the pros of what I thought was fabulous about this novel:
The main plot. Having read other fallen angel type books, where all the fallen were pretty much evil for having disobeyed God, this was pretty cool to see the twist. See, the Fallen aren't evil. The only thing they're guilty of happens to be loving humanity, having fallen in love, wanting to make the world a better place by offering it everything they have an are. Well, the big guy upstairs didn't really like this, so he banished the angels who dared to love. Pretty different, right?
Secondly, I liked the fact that the Fallen had two enemies, Uriel working through the Nephelium, and one a little closer to home. There was a definitive sense of who you didn't want to be locked into a room with for 24-hours, because you would most likely get eaten alive.
Douglas's twist on Lucifer. Interestingly enough, he's not the bad guy, and he might be the only one who can help the Fallen fight against Uriel.
Lastly, what I thought was absolutely fabulous about this book, happened to be the scenes when Allie and Raziel were getting on each others nerves and basically going back and forth trying to irritate the other just because the other was irritating them. It was fabulous and, whether I'm the only person who thought so, it was funny. I mean, who hasn't done that to another person just to see what would happen?
Now for the cons:
Though I liked the scenes between Raziel and Allie, I couldn't connect with them beyond what was right in front of me at the moment. Raziel is hard and cold and, and though te author gives reason for his being this way, it didn't quite relate off the page. There didnt seem to be any depth to him aside from his reasons for being cold. And Allie. What can I say about Allie aside from the fact she annoyed the hell out of me? At times she was stuck-up, others she was whiny, others she didnt really seem to know what was going on but rather riding through the waves of the story. Not to mention she was shallow. I mean, wow, though I completely agree that white is not a color.
Secondly, the writing and characters didn't seem to live up to this amazing story line. Disappointing to say the least, and it could have been so much better.
Third, and perhaps what bothered me most, things that kind of just seemed to show up in the story because Douglas's felt like putting it in there. (Spoiler) Basically, when I say this, I'm talking about when Allie and Raziel finally admit, hey, we're into each other, and he brings up that she KNOWS HIM, like she's seen him before and knows him soul deep 'cuz they were meant for each other, and Allie suddenly remembers, oh, yeah, I do know you. Really? Where the hell did that come from? Like, all of a sudden she remembers that though she says she had never seen a man as handsome as Raziel before in the beginning of the book, she remembers seeing Raziel himself when she was younger. It didn't do anything but pull me out of the story at the inconsistency of it.
Anyway, overall, I rated this three out of three because the good and the bad even out, in my opinion. I'll probably pick up the next book in the series, "Demon," not because I'm looking forward to it but because it will give me something to read while I'm waiting for other books to come out. I'm hoping Kristen will fall more into her stride and really make the characters in her future novels seem more real and less 2-dimensional.