A Terrible Fall of Angels

Laurell K. Hamilton. Berkley, $28 (400p) ISBN 978-1-984804-46-4
With this ambitious but disappointing series opener, bestseller Hamilton (the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series) conjures a world where Heaven and Hell are all too active on the mortal plane. Det. Zaniel “Havoc” Havelock is part of the City of Angels’ Metaphysical Coordination Unit, a specialized team dedicated to handling supernatural crimes. As a graduate of the secretive College of Angels and former Angel Speaker, Zaniel is an expert in Heavenly matters. So when an angel feather is found at the site of the rape and murder of a college student, Zaniel is called in—only to be swept up in a dangerous investigation involving a murderous, demon-possessed teenager who represents an unprecedented union between the mortal and the infernal. Meanwhile, Zaniel attempts to piece together his fractured personal life and reunite with his estranged wife and son. Hamilton’s intense, sometimes heavy-handed focus on the spiritualism and metaphysics of her premise proves a drastic departure from her usual supernatural soap opera fare and doesn’t always work. Zaniel is a protagonist straight out of any procedural—experienced, jaded, juggling a mysterious past and a messy present—but underdeveloped. The worldbuilding has potential, but slow pacing and clunky, exposition-laden dialogue undermine the potential. The author’s fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/29/2021
Release date: 08/17/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9848-0448-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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