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and Falling, Fly Paperback – March 2, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

White's debut is a trippy urban fantasy, an esoteric battle between myth and science told in floods of evocative prose. Olivia, a fallen angel cursed to eternity without pain or pleasure, feeds on the blood of those who desire or fear her. Dominic is her polar opposite, a skeptical scientist explaining away the paranormal as mental illness. He immerses himself in neuroscience to seek a cure through selective memory removal; haunted by images of his past lives, he begins experimenting on himself. Looking for research subjects, Dominic finds Olivia. She longs to be set free by love and returned to heaven, but at what price? Reeking of blood and sex, the swaths of atmospheric text sometimes overwhelm the story. Despite the story's enormous plot holes, longtime paranormal fans will appreciate White's willingness to take chances and try something new. (Mar.)
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Review

"Wow, what a mindf*ck ... an ending that satisfies and yet leaves the reader's brain buzzing." --Fantasy Literature

"A curious and interesting mix of philosophy and myth which takes it a step beyond the ordinary paranormal." --Dear Author

"A wonderfully strange novel ... among the best vampire writing I have read in years. [She'll] have a cult following in a few years ... I can see fans of unconventional fantasy writers like Tanith Lee appreciating what White is doing." --Mondo Vampire

"The perfect novel for hopeless romantics, sinners, saints and those in the mood for a completely different vampire novel. Highly recommended!" --Fatally Yours

"Rocked my imagination ... Ms. White put the vampire legend on its ear. I love her world and insight to the mythology we know and love ... I am Joyfully Recommending and Falling, Fly in all its dark and wonderful glory." --Joyfully Reviewed
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425232344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425232347
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,117,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Skyler White writes angels and scientists, demons and revolutionaries, secret societies and sacred sex to play in the places where myth and modernity tangle.

The child of two college professors, Skyler grew up in an environment of scholarship and academic rigor, so she naturally left high school to pursue a career in ballet. She's been dancing around research and thinking through sprains ever since. She has a master's degree in theater and work experience in advertising, has won awards as a stage director and appeared on reality TV. She is mother of two, married to a Mohawk-wearing inventor, and lives in Texas.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By VampFanGirl on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
AND FALLING, FLY is not an easy read. Its a twisted, layered plot that has you continually questioning the sanity of its characters. Are they really fallen angels turned vampires? Does the hero truly recall dozens of lost lifetimes and lost loves? Or are they all as delusional as they claim to be? Am I delusional for believing them? Am I being tricked? All these are questions I asked myself repeatedly from page one to the very last sentence. And one question still lingers: Was any of it even real?

Also, this book takes commitment with a capital C. On numerous occasions I dropped the book, willing to give up and walk away from this supposed "novel". I couldn't connect to the characters. I couldn't even figure out what the hell was going on! But I stuck with it, determined to figure out the confusing mystery laid out in this complex pattern of words and phrases. The author wanted to convey something to me. And while I don't claim to be smart enough to know for a fact that I took away from AND FALLING, FLY exactly what the Ms. White intended, I do believe that I took at least one thing from her incredible imagination and that is that love can, and does set us free.

Olivia Wright is a vampire, cast from heaven to be the angel of desire - desire in corporeal form for others to covet but never desire for herself. Molded and shaped into a being to satisfy other's appetites, Olivia is sickened by their lust-fulled gaze that forever keeps her from seeing her true native face. All she sees it what they want and while their cravings allow her to momentarily fill the void of her everlasting numbness with their blood, it does not provide for her the love that she seeks and that of which would ultimately set her free.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dark Faerie Tales on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Quick & Dirty: A complex, intriguing and atmospheric read that will have you thinking.

Opening Sentence: The angel of desire is damned.

The Review:

Olivia is a vampire and fallen angel of desire. She goes through the motions, but in reality she's dead inside. Olivia feeds off the fears and desires of others while she herself derives no pleasure. Trapped in hopelessness, despair, and unable to feel pleasure or pain, Olivia is on the hunt for love. She wants to get her wings back so that she can return to Heaven. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist battling his own demons. He's haunted by memories of suffering and loss and struggles to separate reality from delusion. They both end up at the Hotel of the Damned in search for answers.

"and Falling, Fly" is a philosophical journey that delves into desire, life and death. Ms. White certainly did an excellent job of setting the mood of the novel, making it very atmospheric. In addition, The Hotel of the Damned especially is a fascinating concept/place. Olivia has pretty unique abilities that intrigued me, but I don't want to give too much away.

I had a hard time writing this review. This dark tale of despair, desire, damnation left me a little frustrated as a reader. Ms. White switches between narrative POVs, which at times pulled me out of the story. I was never able to really establish a connection with Olivia, and as a result I didn't like her character. She never felt sympathetic to me. I also found the pace of the novel to be a bit off at times, and certain elements of the story confusing. I did enjoy many elements of the worldbuilding, but sometimes I thought that the mythology was a bit dense.

Overall, lovers of dark fantasy should read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Wible on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
To say this book will keep you thinking is an understatement. It will have you spinning like a splinter of sense in a tornado of confusion. The unnecessary dialog of mindless ramblings questioning whether the characters are sane, damned, cursed or even exist is detrimental to the story of love. Not only is it virtually impossible to connect with the characters, but the story itself is broken and hard to follow. The ending is as unsatisfying as having the lead character waking up from a dream.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fiendishly Bookish VINE VOICE on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
3.5 Stars
The most striking aspect of "and Falling Fly" is Skyler White's language, which is simply put...artful and graceful. It highlights the rift between the mythical and the contemporary realms, it gives succor to the ethereal mood that is ever present from start to finish, and it poignantly illuminates the heartrending relationship between its two main characters as they journey the corridors of Hell. But in many instances this same beautiful language works against the fragile foundation of the plot and tears it apart like tissue paper.

As other reviewers have mentioned, "and Falling, Fly" is a challenging read, mainly because of its presentation, and what White is actually presenting to her readers...some very thought provoking ideas about reality, continuity, sacrifice, science, love, and the existence of God and Hell. These philosophical battles slow the pace down considerably while wondering is the real quest for truth the only tangible issue pushing the plot...or has it been character angst all along?

In a world where the masses have mostly forsaken God and forgotten the Devil, what are the Damned, the Cursed, and the Reborn to do? Are they still Damned? Are they Damned because they choose to be that way? Do their immortal lives have any meaning anymore? Has Hell lost its meaning?

This cultural sea change has led some of Hell's ilk to believe that they were never damned or cursed to begin with or at least question the roots of their damned nature. In this, White has managed to recombine the eternal debate between age-old mysticism warring with science and reason. And she has drawn her readers into the battle. At the end of book, you will definitely question over and over again whether the characters were really damned begin with.
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