My name is Isra. I am one of two remaining angels. You see, when God vanished, Lucifer threw open his gates and unleashed his macabre horde on Earth. Great fiery fissures collapsed cities and rural areas alike, the very ground roiling like a stormy sea of unbearable heat. Angels fell like burning rain from the sky, as they tried to repel the attack and protect humankind. Twisted foul demons poured from the fissures, an unending torrent of misery that corrupted all they touched. Monstrous jaws bit and tore tirelessly until the rivers flowed with blood. We failed.
TL/DR: Awesome cover, great premise, good execution. Well worth picking up.
First things first: I am not what anyone would call a religious or spiritual person. So for me to read anything about religion, or angels, or demons… well, it’s gotta have a great premise. And did Barber ever deliver with this title. Angels and demons warring on an Earth decimated by Judgement Day, fighting over the few humans left? How could anyone NOT be interested?
The book tells the story of Isra — more properly known as Israfel, the Archangel of Song — who is one of the last two angels to survive on Earth. She’s trapped, unable to ascend back to her higher plane, thanks to the loss of her wings – the handiwork of some very nasty demons. Stuck on this mortal ball of mud and fire, she fights the demons and evil humans who are left, shepherding a few lucky remaining good humans to safety when she can. Unfortunately, Lucifer has other plans for Isra and her partner, and, in the end, she is called on to make a sacrifice that no one could’ve foreseen, in order to pull everyone’s metaphorical butts out of the very non-metaphorical fire.
Barber doesn’t disappoint with her writing, hooking me immediately with her description of the heroine’s fall from grace. I felt like I was in this madhouse of a mind from the very beginning, feeling with this wingless angel as she struggled against the massive forces arrayed against her, attempting to salvage the few humans left and somehow carry out her mission, all while fighting an internal battle over her faith, too.
There were scenes that got me viscerally angry, and ones that made me feel like I’d been punched in the gut. One even got me a little misty. In the end, the best thing I can say about this book is also the most important – it made me want to keep reading, turning page after page into the wee hours and finishing it in less than two days (which, given my schedule, is frankly amazing).
Because I’m not a religious person, some of the more esoteric and spiritualistic nuances of the book were lost on me, but Barber skillfully maintained my interest through the entire book. Being that I’m also a post-apocalyptic author, I’m much more critical with this genre than others, but I found very little to fault with Fallen. Overall, an excellent read, well-edited (a MUST for any self-published book), and engaging. Two thumbs up from me!
Katie Barber is also one half of the writing duo known as J. K. Barber, with her husband Jay. Jay and Katie Barber live in Roswell, GA with their children, Maya and Gabe, as well as four rescue cats. Jay graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English literature, and Katie graduated from The University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in English creative writing. They combine their educations, writing together as a team, for projects such as the Chronicles of Aronshae. Jay and Katie enjoy being parents, table top gaming, reading, hanging out with family and friends, going to movies, mixed martial arts, riding motorcycles, and playing MMO games such as World of Warcraft.