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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2010
Even though I am an over forty reader, I find a lot of the YA books are just as fascinating and entertaining as the adult genre. This series of books about fallen angels is exciting and even a little sinful. I really like the fact that the main character is male. Most of the YA books deal with female angst ridden characters. Aaron is a likeable anti-hero with just enough bad-boy in him to make him seem real. The religious overtones are not too preachy or asking the reader to believe in something against their will. The pace makes it hard to put the book down. The movie adaptation is good, but veers of dramatically from the books. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
What's better than a guy with a beautiful set of wings? When he knows how to use them.

When I picked up this book (which is really two, but they flow so well together, I forgot it was two), I broke a cardinal rule. I liked the cover. But I have to say, that it was worth it. I don't read a ton of YA, but this one was indeed cool. Fallen angels, demons, and the ability to speak to animals (or at least understand them); caught my attention from page one. I felt like I was there with Aaron, learning about his heritage, and coming to terms with what he is, the son of a fallen angel and a human female.

This book was hard to put down. Why? It moves at a nice, brisk pace and there are plenty of little details that correlate (sort of) to The Bible. It was rather fun to try to figure out how the main players were manipulated to create this story, and it was totally worth the read.

Aaron, even though he's not a typical teen, is a good teen for others to read about. Talk about angst. Yeah, the guy has issues. Girls, who he is, frustration, it's all here, but with a great paranormal twist. I loved his dog, Gabriel. He's got the best lines. What got to be a bit troubling was the heavy-handed use of passive voice. Sometimes I felt like I wasn't really in Aaron's point of view where it would've been better to be. Still, it wasn't enough to detract from the story and make me not want to continue.

I'm glad I read this book. If you want a paranormal that's a little off the beaten path, then pick up a copy of The Fallen. I give it 4.5 suns.

Originally posted at Aurora Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
Alright, I had to split the difference here and give this three stars: four for The Fallen and two for Leviathan. Because of the desparity, I broke the review down into two parts.

The Fallen:
Fast paced, well written with fascinating biblical lore. A most excellent beginning! What I love about Sniegoski's novel is that the lines between good and evil are often blurred, leaving the reader to decide what and how they feel. Plus, there's a talking dog! How do you not love a talking dog?

The characters are well written and easy to empathize with, even the "bad" angels. Aaron is appropriately conflicted and reticent. Camael and Verchiel are perfectly constructed, and appropriately illustrate the ages old battle between good and evil.

I can't wait to see where this story goes!

Leviathan:
Okay, maybe I can wait to see where the story goes. Apparently nowhere.
While the characters evolve (always a plus), the story is literally a throw away. When finally I'd finished the book, I was perplexed, wondering how this particular arc factored into the series, of which there are SEVEN books. I just didn't get it and felt that I could have skipped it entirely and moved onto book three without fear of losing momentum, something I wish I had done.

This installment focuses on a mysterious little seaside town where strange things abound. Okay, groovy. But that's it. Aaron is almost immediately separated from Camael, who is a non-factor throughout much of this tale (and he was a fave of mine), and we spend 85% of our reading time following a hapless Aaron around as he tries to figure out the mystery. *Yawn*

BUT, I've read books three and four and the story has resumed its awesomeness! So don't despair, read the series, aside from book two it is really great.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2010
I couldn't agree less with the above review. I've read all four books in the Fallen series and find all the stories engaging and solid. I bought the four books when they originally came out and plan to pick up these new combined editions. Solid, fun, touching and action packed stories make for a great read! Don't pass them up! Ignore the above review you'll cheat yourself out of some great reading!
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2011
Okay so let me start by saying this book is not what it appears. What is that saying again? Oh yeah "don't judge a book by it's cover. " At first glance you see a hot guy standing there, and you know from the title it is about fallen angels, so one would assume it's a chicky YA book right? Yeah no so much. This book I think would have better received by the male persuasion. Even though a guy wouldn't be caught reading a book with a cover of a half naked guy. That being said let's get on with it shall we?

Aaron is the average 17 yr old boy except he's not.... Aaron has never met his birth parents. His mom died during birth and his dad is just another run off dead beat....or is he? Aaron lives with his wonderful foster family that he adores. It is sweet to see how much he cares for them and is autistic little foster brother. His best friend happens to be his dog. ( which just so happens to have the best dialogue in this book) Aaron starts having weird dreams and things happen to him when it all comes crashing down on his 18th birthday. I don't want to spoil anything so I'm going to get on with this review.

It is a good thing this book came as a double feature. If book 1 and 2 wasn't bound together I probably wouldn't have picked up the second book. The first one is very slow and lengthy. To much filler for a first in a series. The story kinda hits the ground running. In a sense that you meet a lot of different characters. The book is told in the third person and it doesn't work for this book. You end up reading a bunch of stuff you don't really care about and buy the time you start to find yourself building ties to a character it drops off, and your on to someone/someplace new. It's a viscous cycle that leaves you not able to get invested emotionally in the characters, and mostly bored. My need to understand and like this book made me stick it out. The second book is alot better but still not great:( this makes me soooooo sad. I really had high hopes here. In the second book you find yourself kinda needing to know what happens. It is filled with alot of action but it is very bizarre. Some of it was down right gross and made me gag alittle. This was definitely a guys type of twisted, gory, sic-fiction story. There is a non existent romance to the story. Not so much as a kiss here; so if that is what you are looking for, keep looking.
In the end I have to say that I was disappointed but the author did his job and has left me wanting to read the next volumne.....eventually. ( and prolly only because it is already sitting on my shelf) I did learn a lesson here though! Never buy the entire series without reading the first book. My need to finish what I started and not wAste money is what makes me want to read the next.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
If this book had a face, I would punch it, Linkara-style.

Now, mind you, I don't want to punch this book because it's a terrible piece of tripe or something. Not at all. I want to punch this book because it has all the makings of a great novel, and does not reach its potential in the least bit.

I saw this book on a shelf in Walmart sometime in 2010 and thought it looked pretty interesting, so I snapped a photo of the cover and decided to save it for later when I had more money. Lo and behold, Christmas rolled around and I found myself with some cash so I ordered based on two factors: (1) it looked like an interesting premise (2) I am writing a novel about ghosts, angels, and demons, and wanted to research a book of a similar genre.

However, when I cracked The Fallen open, I found it mediocre for a great deal of the book, and then by the time (SPOILER ALERT) Aaron's foster family gets burned to death in front of him and he has barely a reaction to the people who raised him dying in screaming, brutal, flaming agony, I began to despise this novel with a purple passion. But alas, I will be rational and at least outline what the main problems are for me.

1) This is a plot-driven novel, not a character-driven novel. Which is fine, really. There are literally thousands of novels where the plot is bigger and more fantastic than the characters. But the problem with The Fallen is that it has such a mystical, sprawling plot that it never takes the time to develop the characters to the point where you should give a crap about them. Honest to God, (no pun intended) the only character in this novel whom I like and am interested in is the talking dog, Gabriel. Yes. You read that right. The talking dog sidekick is more appealing than the main character, who is a half-human, half-angel hybrid.

2) Aaron is, for lack of a better word, insufferable. He doesn't react to anything in any vaguely human fashion. This is a more glaring error halfway through the book than in the beginning. In the beginning, he seems to sort of act like a normal teenager but even then he accepts the strange events happening in his life--i.e. being able to understand Portuguese from out of nowhere as well as his own dog--with a disgusting amount of unbelievability. But those are minor complaints compared to the whopper of a moment that turned my interest in this book from fleeting to deader than a zombie hooker. Aaron's foster parents are murdered in front of him and he doesn't not react the way any human being would. Sure, he seems to register what just happened on account of his own stupid refusal to accept being a nephilim, but he doesn't DO anything. It's not like his parents were neglectful or abusive. The stupid kid just doesn't act like a real person! He should be more upset that his foster parents were murdered all because he wouldn't learn about his angelic side since he wanted to live a "normal" life. If this idiot kid had simply tried to learn more about Verchiel and the Powers, he might have been able to save his foster parents and his younger brother whom the bad guys later kidnap to turn into a slave. Aaron is the blandest character I have had the displeasure of reading in quite sometime. He's damn near Anakin Skywalker bland. I've gotten better impressions from a bowl of oatmeal. He's just badly written and underdeveloped and frankly, sort of a jerkwad.

3) This novel is vague, overly descriptive, and bursting at its corner with pointless scenes. It takes long, breathless chapters to foreshadow something--and it's damn near always because of the bad guys plotting something vague and stupid that has no chance of working even though they are fighting possibly the dumbest character I've ever read other than Bella Swan--that presents no tension at all. It feels like filler. Bread stopping you from enjoying the meat. I don't know about you, but I don't buy sandwiches for the bread.

4) Canon fodder side characters clog most of the novel. Okay, so it's no secret that I don't like Aaron. Fine. This novel has plenty of characters for me to gravitate towards instead, right? RIGHT? No. Nearly all of the potentially interesting characters are either murdered (like the psychologist, who died in the same agonizing way as Aaron's foster parents and yet the stupid kid still isn't all that upset about it) or taken over by the bad guys and thus shoved out of the story, like Katie, Stevie, Vilma, Ms. P, Camael, and countless others. So many people are introduced only to get booted out of the story while Aaron continues to fail at being the prophetic savior of the fallen.

5) No explanations for any of the mystical elements. Hey, I can handle not knowing somethings and using the willing suspension of disbelief, but this book abuses it. There are several points where I shook the book in frustration, praying that the answers would tumble out, like Aaron's sudden ability to fly and handle a sword that is all handwaved by, "He's accepted his angelic side! He! Can! Do! Amazing! Things!" "But, wait, he's still a human teenager, how can he defeat angels who have spent an eternity murdering people?!" "SHUT UP, IT'S MAGIC!"

6) Angels are jerks. Seriously. I have a hard time accepting that the angels get away with genocide under God's watch, but for the sake of novel, I tried to believe them. But the one moment that truly made me give up on it entirely is when Aaron asks who is father is and Gabriel (the angel, not the awesome talking dog) just goes: "You have your father's eyes." I wanted him to be like, "THAT AIN'T WHAT I ASKED YOU, PONY UP." And you know, if Gabriel had an actual reason for not telling Aaron who his father is, I could accept that too. But no. He just floats up into the sky and doesn't tell him for the sole purpose of leaving a Sequel Hook for the next book. And because he's a jerk.

7) Aaron is the worst savior ever. This kid sucks at his job. He lets dozens of innocent people die, he refuses to find someone to help train him so he can handle his powers, he doesn't ask questions or try to get better, and he doesn't even have the decency to be entertaining while he's failing. He never gets better. He just sucks his way through this book, relying on dumb luck and sometimes just pure dumb, and continues allowing everyone else to suffer around him because he's a numbskull. Augh. I really do hope there aren't any angels who act like this or the cosmos is doomed.

In conclusion, the style of the book is not bad. It just suffers from poorly written characters and about 150 pages that just don't need to be there. You want a better book about angels and demons? Read Constantine the novelization. It's on amazon. You will be much better off, trust me.

...(punches the book anyway)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2011
I honestly was not entirely thrilled with the firs half (The Fallen). I thought it a bit slow and although I didn't hate it, it wasn't a hook either. However, after reading the second half (Leviathan), I am itching to read the next book. I would definitely suggest reading Leviathan as well before giving up on The Fallen. Below are more detailed reviews for each book.

The Fallen 3/5
Please not that this review was written before reading Leviathan

Maybe I just have bad luck with teen novels, but few have swept me off my feet (exceptions are Diana Wynne Jones, who had been placed in both youth and teen, and The Hobbit, which is in both teen and adults). The Fallen by Thomas E. Sniegoski is no exception. However, I would not call this a complete disaster either. Originally, I was quite skeptical about picking this up since I had spotted the 2 in 1 versions, which dons a good looking, young lad on the cover. However, after reading the blurb I decided to give it a chance.

As I said, it wasn't brilliant, but neither was it dreadful. I am happy to say that the plot (for the most part) was fairly original. Granted Sniegoski's writing style let this book fall flat. Although I have no problem with plot driven books, the lack of character development left me with little care for what happened to the characters, especially Aaron (but I have yet to find a main character in novel written strictly for teens that I have liked so far).

Sniegoski also needs to steer clear of the humour. Yes, I realise there is needed comedy relief, but Sniegoski fails at it miserably. The only exception to this was Gabriel, the talking dog, who had me laughing aloud. Now, at twenty-three, maybe I just don't have the same comedic tastes, but I wouldn't think twenty-three would make much difference. Teens, I would appreciate feedback on the humour in this book and what you thought of it.

On a plus note, I found it a great delight that Thomas Sniegoski actually did his homework on the angels. Much of what was in the book could be traced back to angelic lore. I know I, personally, have been turned off by many works of fiction because there was no mythos involved so kudos to Sniegoski.

So I would say that if you do spot the cover above in stores, do not be put off by it. This is no teen romance. In fact, there is plenty of action and violence, and it probably is better geared toward the male variety.

Overall, this is not a bad book, but the author's writing style makes the characters dull. The plot itself is pretty interesting though, and for those that care, plenty of research was done on the angels. The humour is a bit weak, as are the characters, but with the plot, it made for an all right read. Although I won't be recommending it to many people, teens may get quite the enjoyment out of it.

Leviathan 4.5/5

Whereas The Fallen felt slow and cumbersome, Leviathan is much more fast paced. Although I am still not a fan of the main character and few are close to being well rounded, I still found myself enjoying this book immensely. This is definitely a plot driven book, and if that is not your cup of tea, I would not bother picking this series up. Now, I did find the climax battle to be a bit repetitious after a while (god knows the word behemoth was repeated too often), I still found most of the reading to be quite enjoyable, and there was definitely a creep factor when I found out why the people of Blithe have an oddity about them.

Now, anyone who has an inkling of Christian and Jewish lore will know what the leviathan is. However, even with this knowledge, I was entranced by the originality and vulgarity of the beast, along with the other unique creations that Sniegoski brought to the page. I only hope that the rest of the series proves just as good and interesting. So far, this is a series I would recommend for both teens and adults, and if you are into angels and/or action driven plots, this is definitely worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2010
I picked this book up on a whim and decided to give it a try. I had seen previews for the miniseries on t.v. and never knew that it was a book series. I was surprised at how much I liked the story. Angels are not my favorite mythological creature to read about, but I found myself liking the story regardless. I found Aaron to be likeable and a relatable character. I really enjoyed this book and found it entertaining and a good story line.

*Spoilers*

If I find myself emotionally connected to a character than I will cry at a part in the book that is sad and I found myself crying at "The Fallen" when his parents are killed right in front of him. I found it to be a good read and can't wait to find out how it ends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
The Fallen contained the first two books in the series: The Fallen and Leviathan. A teenager in high school, Aaron, was bounced around most of his younger life from foster home to foster home. He was taken in by his current family and has been with them is whole teenage life. These people have become his family along with his dog, Gabriel. When Aaron begins experiencing strange dreams among other weird things, he thinks he's going crazy. What he doesn't know is that in a very short time "weird" will be an understatement. Aaron will meet two different men at separate times and will find out the truth about himself that he could never have dreamed in his wildest of dreams.

Leviathan continues the story of Aaron's destiny, he suffers major losses, and starts on a journey that could potentially end very badly. Gabriel, Aaron'd dog, plays a much bigger role in this book along with his new found "friend", Camael.

My opinion on this book is as follows:
I found this book to be different from your average fallen angel story. I want to make clear that if you're expecting romance of any sort this is not the book for you. This book is all action, no love. I finished this book because I started it and that is the only reason. I found it very hard to get into, and it wasn't until the middle of the second book that I actually felt engaged and was excited to see how things transpired. The author is a talented writer, it's a shame, really, because I probably won't read the next book in the series, which is saying something because I am the type of person that finishes what I've started. Frankly, I found the book to be quite a bore and I hope this author uses his talent to write something worth reading in the future. If you're the type of person that enjoys a good action flick, this book may interest you, but other than that I wouldn't recommend this novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2012
THE FALLEN 1 is composed of two short novels, THE FALLEN and LEVIATHAN.

An old boy turns eighteen and becomes a young man who, like it or not, gets caught up in a feud between angels. Centuries ago these angels lost the Great War in Heaven. Exiled to Earth, they mingled sinfully with humans and came to be known as the Fallen. The boy, Aaron, survives as one of their offspring.

The plot progresses in our world of hamburgers and french fries and computers, and Thomas E. Sniegoski displays professionalism by streamlining his prose of excessive detail. Do we need descriptions of clothing worn by cashiers at fast-food joints? No, and Sniegoski doesn't give us any. But we are immersed into the lives of the characters, and Aaron's Labrador retriever, Gabriel, adds to the fun.

Unfortunately, as too many authors do, this author bogs himself down in long, drawn-out action sequences, one in THE FALLEN and one in LEVIATHAN. The effect is just the opposite of what is intended. Instead of making the books exciting, they make them boring. In LEVIATHAN, about fifty pages drag on and on with Aaron's battle against an ugly monster. For the sake of action, a more ambitious, complicated plot is sacrificed, and the story is spoiled.

Sniegoski has another weakness, which might be expected of a comic book writer: During fights, both good guys and bad guys have the unconvincing habit of making wisecracks.

The non-action sequences make for worthy reading, balancing out my rating to three stars. The cover art and the angel theme attract us, but the wisecracks and the long action sequences do injustice to the medium of a novel.

I decline to read the sequel, THE FALLEN 2.
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