Author: Kristina Douglas
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Fallen (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
She was just an ordinary mortal . . .
“You’re dead” is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she’s surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood—and they really don’t want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven.
. . . until death catapulted her into a seductive world she never imagined.
Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel’s orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn’t felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom’s shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness—because Allie may be the Fallen’s only salvation.
Quick & Dirty: Well written with a solid plot, Ms. Douglas delivers a unique world with an unforgiving villain and chilling danger.
Opening Sentence: I am Raziel, one of the twenty fallen angels spoken of by Enoch in the old books.
Excerpt: Chapter 1 & 2
Raziel is a fallen angel. Cursed by God, he doesn’t have many options. Raziel serves Uriel by escorting the dead to their final destination: heaven or hell. Unfortunately, Allie’s number has been punched. Raziel sets out on just another delivery assignment when he realizes that something isn’t right. Not wanting to mistakenly condemn her to hell, Raziel pulls Allie back from the deadly and fiery abyss. He never expected to feel a connection between them, let alone expose his fellow fallen brethren to danger. Raziel battles to save Allie from the forces of darkness and figure out her role in the fate of the Fallen.
I’m actually surprised that I ended up liking this book as much as I did. The beginning grabbed my attention, but the pacing of the story dragged for the first half of the book. Kristina Douglas (aka Anne Stuart) crafted a story with just enough of an edge to standout in the increasingly crowded fallen angel genre. Raziel is the first story that I’ve read in awhile where I didn’t really know what to expect from the characters. In this case, I think it worked well with the character and story development. Ms. Douglas masterfully delivers a few twists and turns, witty dialogue and sizzling sexual tension.
The story is told in first person with alternating POVs between Raziel and Allie. Not every author is successful in pulling this off, but Ms. Douglas did an excellent job. While I had a hard time connecting with Raziel’s character, I still felt he added a lot of depth to the story. On the one hand Raziel was very cold and dispassionate about his circumstance, yet he cared very much about human life and his fellow fallen angels. Even with his detached demeanor, I liked his character. His behavior and actions felt plausible. Raziel and Allie are very stubborn, unyielding and principled, so it’s little wonder that it took some time for them to really click. A few elements of the story aren’t perfect, but there’s no denying the captivating story of these fallen angels.
Allie is one of those characters that you either love or hate. For me it was the latter because I found her extremely annoying. She has some redeemable qualities that allowed me to warm up to her towards the end, but what I initially thought was cute about her in the beginning quickly wore off. I also had to suspend disbelief about the emotional connection she was supposed to have with Raziel. I think in some sort of twisted and accidental way, their relationship developed an intimate and possessive vibe, but it never really translated into emotion for me.
In addition to the writing, the worldbuilding and mythology are well crafted. The Nephilim are flesh eating monsters created by Uriel, driven solely to follow his every whim and command. I don’t want to give too much away, but the battle between Uriel and the Fallen is certainly intriguing.
Overall, Raziel is an enjoyable read. With vivid descriptions, intrigue, fearless and devastatingly handsome fallen angels, you won’t regret falling to this dark and dangerous world. The excellent writing will keep readers turning pages long into the night.
The Nephilim rose up over me, so close I could see the maggots living in its skin, and the smell of blood and death was enough to make me gag. If I was lucky, it would rip off my head – it would be quick, rather than having my stomach and intestines clawed out – and I wondered if I could get away, run far enough up the stairs to jump, as I’d promised Raziel.
The creature had a hideous open hole for a mouth, and the double sets of teeth were jagged, sharklike, made for tearing flesh, and I wasn’t going to scream, I wasn’t, even when it reached me. Its hands were deformed, more like pincers, razored and bloody, and I slashed at it, blindly, severing one of them. It didn’t react, coming closer, and its remaining claw made a horrible clacking sound. I clutched the sword, prepared to fight to the death.
The Fallen Series:
FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Raziel. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
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