This week we have Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell. Though Ms. Terrell is no stranger to the writing world, this is her debut Young Adult novel.
I picked this up at my local Chapters bookstore, since switching over to a Kindle, I’ll admit I haven’t purchased as many paper-books as I should be. However, when you find yourself in a bookstore it’s hard to leave empty handed. So, this brings us to the review.
First off, I must say the cover is okay. It’s not as attention grabbing as other novels on the shelves, which is in part why I picked this one up. I chose to read the back cover because I wanted to know just what this book was about since the cover was just plain and simple.
Staying true to my word and reading as many clichéd romances as possible I felt this one would fit the bill.
Ellie was never particularly good at talking to boys—or anyone other than her best friend and fellow outcast, Ruth. Then she met Michael.
Michael is handsome, charming, sweet. And totally into Ellie. It’s no wonder she is instantly drawn to him. But Michael has a secret. And he knows Ellie is hiding something, too. They’ve both discovered they have powers beyond their imagining. Powers that are otherworldly.
Ellie and Michael are determined to uncover what they are, and how they got this way . . . together. But the truth has repercussions neither could have imagined. Soon they find themselves center stage in an ancient conflict that threatens to destroy everything they love. And it is no longer clear whether Ellie and Michael will choose the same side.
In this electrifying novel, Heather Terrell spins a gripping supernatural tale about true love, destiny, and the battle of good versus evil. –Quoted from Goodreads
Ellspeth has the looks and brains to be popular. Instead she hangs out with Ruth her slightly overprotective best friend, hiding behind her in order to seem normal. But Ellspeth knows she’s anything but. With a simple touch Ellspeth can see a snippet of a person’s past so naturally she does all she can to avoid any contact with anyone, even boys.
However, when Michael comes to town claiming to have spent a summer with her abroad—did I mention her parents are gunning for humanitarians of the year—only Ellspeth doesn’t remember him and can’t figure out why.
But the would be soul-mates have their first tiff when Michael claims he’s just like Ellspeth, that together they are something more than just simple teenagers, they can fly and have visions.
This is where Ms. Terrell throws us a curve ball, one that has my stomach churning. When a kiss turns from romantic to just plain gross—Michael trying to get his point across that they may be vampires—blood is exchanged between Michael and Elspeth resulting in a very intimate and confusing vision exchange between them. The problem I have with this, right off, is just how gross blood exchange is. In many books I read the character already knows they are vampires, so it’s not so bad when they drink the blood of another. I just don’t see any right minded person thinking it’s okay to go around slurping blood without thinking about the consequences, which these two don’t. They just suddenly accept the idea that they are vampires because they like the taste of blood and not once do they question how unsanitary it is, how many diseases one could contract and so forth.
Okay, so vampire blood sucking aside the second problem I had with this novel is the title. I went into it assuming the obvious, Ellspeth and possibly Michael were angels, so for me the hundred or so pages where they run around kissing and exchanging blood just seemed a little pointless to me and could have been better spent actually getting to the point of the novel.
Which we soon find out has more to do with Ellspeth and Michael’s parents, who know the truth, that she and Michael are not vampires, but yes, big surprise a spawn of angels and humans with even more of a complicated plot line. Because the parent’s just don’t come out and be honest about it, they flit around the truth, only telling them small snippets, and go on about the timing and how it has to be right.
Fair enough, but I just felt the novel never really got started, and when it ended sure I was interested, I wanted to read more but not because it was just that good, because I just felt a lot of time was wasted and I was left with too many questions. The ending action drew us in, but in my opinion some of the answers we got just might have been a little too late.
The characters are never explored enough for me, Ellspeth just doesn’t have enough depth, she hardly has a fun voice and is a little on the plain side. Michael, though ever the gentlemen get's a taste for being a bad guy for a few chapters but we never really get to see his true personality.
Now that being said, I know this is sounding like I really disliked the novel, however not entirely the case. There was enough good, Terrell’s interesting take on fallen angels, her eloquently slung together sentences and the image she created through those words made the read, quick and for the most part enjoyable.
I’m going to give her a second chance and pick up Eternity one of these days, because though this book wasn’t full of awesome-sauce I really can see the underlining potential this Author has. With a bit more thought, planning and digging deeper into those characters she wants us to love I think her next book could just make up for this one.