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OK, I'm going to start this review out with a warning. This is Book Two of the Blood and Feathers series. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, read this if you haven't read the original. Why? Well you'll have missed not only one cracking book, but the development of characters that continue to grow within this, the second outing that will leave you not only demanding more but preparing to storm the bastions of Solaris' offices in order to get more.

As with the original the story its action packed, the author knows how to twist the readers emotions and when you add solid politicking between factions into this really leaves you on a high. All round this is a series that really does put Lou on the map and if you're looking for an urban fantasy angel series that will keep you glued then really get onto Lou's wagon now.
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on 27 May 2014
Oh Mallory, Mallory, Mallory.

There just isn’t any other way to start this review. Alice, Vin, Mallory, and the rest of the angels are back in the sequel to the excellent Blood and Feathers, and things are getting a whole lot worse: kicked out of hell, the Fallen have nothing to lose and everything to win and have taken the battle to the humans, pulling strings behind the scenes whilst Earthbounds and Descended alike struggle to keep the balance at the very least even. Tipping it back in their favour seems all but impossible.

Alice is feeling the same about her life. Left alone now that Mallory has his wings back, and with little to nothing to her name, she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Apart from the fact that that’s not quite true. Alice just doesn’t know how to find a day job when she knows Hell is being unleashed on Earth, and when she fights alongside the Earthbounds every night to drive back the Fallen. Gifted as she is, Alice is a powerful ally to them, but she fails to make the difference she herself desires.

Everything changes for her, however, when she gets hired to work at a funeral home by the Angel of Death himself. There she starts to get the frustrating impression that something more is going on behind the scenes, which is only strengthened when she sees Descended appear in the midst of a riot, Mallory in their midst.

Morgan builds on the excellent character development of the first book with simple grace and ease. Characters have changed but not, the circumstances surrounding them obviously affecting their world whilst they struggle to remain who they are. Alice in particular is torn in between her human and angel nature and Morgan does a very good job of showing her struggle to remain herself despite the chaos around her. Mallory, wings or no wings, is still Mallory, sarcastic, gun-wielding, and with a tendency to drink more than he should. Vin hasn’t changed much although the betrayal from the previous book still haunts him and has pushed him to actions he would never have usually considered.

We also get to see a whole lot more of the Archangels, with Michael being arrogant in thinking there is only one way to win this war: his way. No matter the cost. Or perhaps, by the end of the book (and one hell of a heart rending scene I still haven’t forgiven Morgan for), not so much. Gabriel is there too, making amends for past mistakes, working for Michael, searching for something that would help them put Lucifer back in his body so they can kill him.

Morgan maintains the brilliant characterisation and dialogue of the first book and adds even more fast paced action, mystery, and heart stopping moments. She has all the perfect ingredients in her hands, and damnit, she knows what to do with them. This book made me laugh out loud (I’m sorry Mallory, I’m far too much like Vin), brought a few tears to my eyes, and made me angrier at a certain character than I have been at anyone in a book in a long, long time.

Blood and Feathers Rebellion is an excellent book, well-written, funny in the right places, with brilliant pacing, and shows what modern UF has in stock for us. I finished the book wanting for more: more of the characters, more of the writing, and more of the story. Because holy hell (no puns intended…okay maybe a little), Morgan knows how to leave us hanging right at the end!
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on 28 November 2013
This review contains spoilers for both "Blood and Feathers" and "Rebellion."

The war in Heaven has ramped up a notch in the sequel to Lou Morgan's debut, "Blood and Feathers." The Fallen have escaped from Hell and are running riot on the streets of the UK, manipulative archangel Michael has Satan's body in chains, but his mind is still loose amongst his followers, and Alice has a new job. As a receptionist. In a funeral parlour. Working for the Angel of Death. Like you do.

Well, like Alice does, anyway. Because Alice is more than human, and in her down-time she hunts and burns the Fallen in the warehouses and back-alleys of a deeply troubled London. But the balance between the angels and the legions of Hell is tipping, irrevocably, in favour of the Fallen, and no one, not even her closest allies, can really be trusted. Not even Michael. Especially not Michael.

Our favourite bickering angelic twosome, Mallory and Vin, are back, and their sarcastic affection for each other provides much of the humour at the core of the novel. The book might be about theology, faith, free will and corruption, but it's also stonkingly funny and crammed with action and a pace that rarely falters. At the same time, it's also a thought-provoking read, especially when it comes to Alice, forced at one point to choose between saving Mallory, or saving an unknown human who, at the crunch point, turns out to be a good friend of hers. Being half-angel, Alice suddenly finds she doesn't have quite the free will she always thought she had, and it's an unsettling revelation. Especially when you consider the psychotic bastards who are giving out the orders. On both sides of the war.

This is the middle book in the trilogy, and it manages to deftly avoid mid-trilogy slump with some fiery apocalyptic action, while leaving itself wide open for a sequel which implies that everything will be cranked up yet another gear (Not sure how that's even possible...) Whatever the outcome, heavenly or hellish, it's going to be quite a ride.
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on 4 September 2013
Rebellion is the second book in the Blood and Feathers series. I reviewed Lou Morgan's debut novel last year and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was really looking forward to reading this second instalment in the series. The novel picks up six months after the ending of the first one and we find Alice in a much changed situation from her previous life. Struggling to learn to control her new-found powers, living in Mallory's old home in the sacristy and she's quickly running out of money. Meanwhile, the Fallen have escaped Hell and are moving to take over the Earth. Humanity is largely powerless against them and it's all the angels, led by Michael, can do to keep the balance from tipping over too far. Until the balance doesn't just tip over, it does a double somersault and lands in a belly flop with its tongue between its teeth. And yeah, that story is as cool as I had hoped it would be.

This time we stay on Earth and we discover where Alice actually lives: London. In this book Earth is not just a stage Alice moves over to get from wherever to Hell, but it's the backdrop against which the narrative actually plays out and in fact the places the story visits even play an important part. The story starts in London and Morgan cleverly incorporated the London riots of 2011 into her plot; the riots were perhaps not kicked off by the Fallen, but they most definitely fanned the flames and transformed the streets into a hellish pandemonium where the mindless mob rules and anything can and will be used as a weapon. In contrast, most of the second half of the book is set on the idyllic, and iconic, Mont Saint-Michel - yes, named for that Michael - which the angels have made their headquarters on Earth. And while there was plenty of fighting here as well, it didn't seem quite as visceral and chaotic as the riot scenes. Grim, yes, unrelenting, most definitely, but far better organised and also less messy. It's as if the peace that can be found on the mountain in the sea pervades everything and anything there, making even conflict seem cleaner.

Despite the big battle scenes, it's the quieter, smaller moments where a single decision is made, that have furthest reaching impact and pack the greatest punch. The novel looks at choices: how we're free to make our own, the difficulty of having to make a choice and then having to stick to it. Your choice is your own and the consequences are yours to bear, even if they are unexpected and affect people other than yourself in ways you didn't mean to. Something which is reinforced in Alice's case, since Michael makes the others abide by her choices as well. But it's not just Alice who makes choices, it is all of them. It is Florence choosing Xaphan, Adriel choosing his successor; it is Gabriel choosing to act as he does and Toby as well. They all make choices, choices influenced by those of others, choices made ages and eons ago, but whose ripples only know come back to haunt those who made them.

I had a great time getting to know the various angels better and even meeting new ones. I loved Adriel and his successor and I found Zadkiel, Castor, and Pollux a fascinating trio, whose complete story I hope one day to find out. Morgan writes quick, snappy dialogue, with a wry sense of humour and enough bite to thoroughly engage me. Alice continues to grow, to master her dual nature and to discover how to just be Alice, instead of having to be either human or angel. I really enjoyed her development and the roles Mallory and Vin play in it. Surprisingly, both Mallory and Vin change and grow as well - surprising, because hey, eons-old characters should have the wisdom of Methuselah, right? You'd think they'd have learned it all by now. But no, they still have plenty to learn - though in this book it's more Vin than Mallory who has to do most of the growing. And it's Alice who needs to help them and all the others grow by shaking them up.

Lou Morgan has firmly placed herself on my auto-buy-list of authors with her second book. Blood and Feathers: Rebellion is a great sequel to Blood and Feathers and it has raised the stakes for Alice, the angels, and humanity considerably. I'm looking forward to the next - and presumably concluding - volume in the series and seeing where Morgan will take us next. We have seen Hell and Earth, will the next stop be Heaven? Whether it is or not, I know I'll be along for the ride. Won't you catch up and join me?

This book was provided for review by the publisher.
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Review: After the end of Blood and Feathers, Alice knows the angels will want her again, but for now, she just wants to be able to get back to a normal life. she then gets ropes into working for an undertaker, who is also the Angel of Death. Then riots involving Descended and Fallen tip the balance in the ongoing fight for control, and Alice and the angels have a lot to lose.
I left Blood and Feathers thinking “this is so good!” I started the next book in the series literally ten minutes after finishing it, which is something I have never done before. The world and writing is addictive, which is why I couldn’t wait to start this.
All my favourite characters return. Alice, Mallory and Vin. Then there’s new favourite, Adriel, angel of Death, who, form his introduction, I envisioned as Undertaker from Black Butler and he lived up to coolness expectation. Not sorry. Vin and Mallory are once again sarcastically funny at times with a lot of darkness at others. Marllory, I felt so sad for him when we were told what’s in his books. Zadkiel is awesome and we start falling in love with him and then that happens to him and Lou Morgan is evil. Can we just talk about how great Mallory, Vin, Alice and Adriel are? The relationships are so real it’s great spending time with the characters. My love of Lou’s portrayal of angels and demons is on par with that of my love for Supernatural’s, so that’s pretty big (extra points to Lou vs Supernatural for the lack of awful women treating!).
Plot is great. There’s more of the angels vs the fallen, with things getting worse and worse, and an angelic betrayal and things moving on quickly. at the end, I’m left wanting a lot more.

Overall: Strength 5 tea to a great second book. I have made the decision to read ANYTHING Lou writes.
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on 5 August 2013
The struggle continues and the characters evolve further. Another pacey, spine chilling, but laugh out loud novel. The battle between heaven's angels and the fallen continues, dragging into it all those in between. Characters are exquisitely drawn and the dialogue is real and funny.
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on 28 August 2013
In the second part of the blood and feathers Lou Morgan really had given herself a tough act to follow, the first is easily one of my top 3 of the year so far. Luckily this one follows on perfectly where the last left off and the quality of writing on display is, yet again, second to none.
This book would make absolutely no sense as a stand alone just because of how much was put in place in it and in `Rebellion' builds even higher. The politics and factions in place are delivered flawlessly, each character present has a role to play, and play it well. I really can not find one single fault with the Blood and Feathers series, this is yet another example of why Solaris have become my go to publishers and why Lou Morgan is held so high in my regard.
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