Title: Raziel (The Fallen)

Author: Kristina Douglas

Redonk Nutshell: Fallen angel falls in love

Official Synopsis: Raziel is part of a group of fallen angels cursed to drink blood and ferry the dead to heaven and hell for all of eternity. One thing they aren’t supposed to do is interfere, and when Raziel rescues Allie Watson from hellfire at the last minute, he is injured and must rely on his brethren for help. After the Fallen carry both Raziel and Allie off to their remote compound, they inadvertently set off a chain of events leading to a rebellion against the last archangel and his evil, flesh-eating sect of minions called the Nephilim. Now, Raziel and Allie must restore the balance of power between the forces of good and evil—and only their love can save them.

I had noticed this cover a few weeks ago and when I read the premise I thought, “hm…has potential,” and added it on my TBR stack.  Then a few days ago I had read that author Kristina Douglas is actually a pseudonym for Anne Stuart, who’s books I really enjoyed. I grabbed it and gobbled it up within a day.

I really, really liked this book.  The previous novels I’ve read by Anne Stuart (The House of Rohan) were all regency romances with fairly dark stories.  And of course I eat that up.  Writing as Kristina Douglas, Stuart takes on the urban/paranormal fiction genre, and she does it with panache.  The Fallen is going to be a series about the fallen angels, and Raziel is the first book.  The world Douglas creates involving the fallen, the nephilim, heaven and hell is just…wonderful.  The fallen are a sort of cross between vampires and angels, having been cursed by the creator when they succumbed to temptation.  They periodically ferry the dead from the world of the living to their final destination (be it heaven or hell).  Their enemies are the Nephilim, 2nd generation unfeeling angels the creator made to extinguish the 1st generation of angels that had fallen.  Only the Nephilim ended up falling as well, cursed to wander the earth with eternal hunger for human flesh.  Yep…angel zombies.  And then there’s the angel Uriel, who’s sort of stepped up for God, the absent creator that hasn’t really been around for awhile.  Uriel is supposed to be the good guy, but lately things have been going down that haven’t been so…good.  When Raziel is tasked to take Allie Watson from her death to her afterlife, he accepts with no question.  But when the abyss opens for her and its burning hellfire, he instinctively snatches her back, knowing that Allie had not been destined to hell.  His rash decision starts a snowball effect of disaster, and he’s left figuring out what to do with a dead but not dead human.

The angel premise felt refreshing to me, which was a nice surprise.  If it’s not vampires or faeries it’s angels.  But Douglas did a great job making this world her own.  The characters were well fleshed out, and I really enjoyed Allie with her no-bullshit attitude.  She’s snarky without being abrasive.  Raziel starts out as stone and ends as something softer – they compliment each other in a wonderful way.

I really liked this book – so glad I read it.  I look forward to more in the series (due out summer 2011).

What I loved about this book: it’s dark, sexy, and extremely well thought out

What I didn’t like:

Rating: B+

Romance: 2.5/5              Raunch: 4/5

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