The Fallen (and Leviathan) by Thomas E. Sniegoski

August 5, 2010

The stark simplicity of the black and white photo and the singular title is what captured my attention as I scanned the book racks looking for another interesting read….a quest for redemption and a mystery… to me this became an irresistable combination and a must have read!  I was NOT to be disappointed!!

The Fallen 1 and Leviathan are the  first two books in a four- book series by author Thomas Sniegoski.

Usually I am a little leary of books that have angels in the forefront….but this author truly surprised me !   The angels in these series of four books are like no angels that I had ever read about.   Angel mythology and prophecies…and very potent combination in my opinion!    

As an onlooker you see how over time human vices such as jealousy, prejudice, indecision, anger impact upon the ‘Fallen Angels’ and this then sets the stage for conflict and possible resolution. 

Orphaned since birth, Aaron Corbet has finely found a measure of security with the Stanleys and their autistic son Stevie.    Aaron has just turned 18 and is plagued by intense, vivid and often violent dreams — that upon waking leave him disturbed and shaking.  It is the power of these unsettling dreams that have Aaron begin to question  his sanity and he tries to dismiss the heavy foreboding feelings that begin to plague him.  He wants to confide in someone, like Vilma the cute girl in his class, but his fears keep him silent.  He copes by working at his after school job, the  West Lynn Veterinary Hospital and talking to Gabriel, his attention craving yellow retriever. Then two  mysterious strangers approach him, telling him that he has a destiny like no one else…. that he is the chosen one …  the one that was prophesied  millenia ago…that his role will be as a liaison between angels, mortals, and Powers both good and evil ….  it is not a destiny that he wants and he fights to remain a normal teenager! 

 Sniegoski skillfully keeps this wonderful  plot moving by sprinkling great action scenes throughout.  I was really connecting with Aaron and Gabe and definately ‘boooing’ Verchiel, the angel that put himself incharge of hunting Aaron down.  I am very glad that I had the the two-in-one version of the book — and am almost finished with the second two-in-one “ The Fallen 2 : Aerie and Reckoning “!   

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants  to read about angels in another light… so to speak!!

Author Wedsitehttp://www.sniegoski.com/fallen/

Added Reviews and discussions:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7171880-the-fallen-2

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The Black Book of Secrets by F.E.Higgins

June 18, 2010

Macmillan Children’s Books c2007;  288p

isbn: 9781405089791

Torment, fear, revulsion,suspense, mystery, action…all this within the first few pages of F.E. Higgins debut novel!

The Black Book Of Secrets was shortlisted for the Bolton Children’s Book Award in 2008. It is the first book in  the series Tales from the Sinister City

I have to agree with Eoin Colfer’s comment that this story does “grab at the reader with hooked talons!”  I don’t know of too many stories where in the first few opening pages we see the main character , in this instance a young lad named Ludlow Fitch , being strapped down in a dentist’s chair just as he is going to have his teeth extracted without the benefit of  any numbing drug! Ludlow fights off the Dentist and his gin-loving parents and escapes falling into their clutches by ‘catching’ a ride on a carriage into the country.  He jumps off at a remote town called Pagus Parvus and meets up with a  questionable stranger called Joe Zabbidou. Mystery and intrigue surrounds Joe and Ludlow suddenly finds himself with new occupation — an apprentice to this ‘pawnbroker of secrets’.  Now the transcriber of the ‘Black Book’  and of  the town people’s stories as they swap their secrets with Joe, for money, Ludlow is privy to many of the town peoples’ secrets. Listening in on these extremely private conversations, (at times almost feeling like a peeping Tom!) I became as intensely interested, just as Ludlow was, as to how the problem of the town bully would be solved!  This debut novel by Higgins had me glued in my seat until the last page!  Even though the majority of the time is spent with adult characters, does not detract from appealing to the young reader that enjoys a twist or two the macabre, bizarre and strange !!

I definately will be looking forward to reading The Bone Magician and The Eyeball Collector!  Highly recommended!!!!

Reading Level:  Grade 5,6,7

Genre:  Mystery; Fantasy

Authors Website: http://www.fehiggins.com/