Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Arty -- The Fall of Lucifer by Wendy Alec

Yes, I know. Another Tuesday review. I'm sorry - the life of an American teenager is pretty busy.

Anyway. The Fall of Lucifer. Just by its title I'm sure most people can guess what it's about - the fall of the angel Lucifer, the son of the morning, from Heaven.

His tale of woe is told mostly from the perspectives of his two archangel brothers, Michael and Gabriel. In the beginning, the three are inseparable - reflecting, as they imagine, the Triune God, three brothers in one. Lucifer, the eldest, second only to Yehovah Himself; Michael, the warrior angel; and Gabriel, the little brother who also has the gift of revelation. Lucifer is, perhaps, the most devoted of Yehovah's angels.

Then, inexplicably, Yehovah creates mankind.

This drives a serious wedge between Lucifer and Yehovah - at least in Lucifer's mind. Driven mad with jealousy over mankind's seeming theft of Yehovah's affections, Lucifer... well, falls.

I really, really wanted to like this book. Angels, Three-Musketeer-style brotherhood, and the most ancient of all betrayals - how could it go wrong?


The idea is wonderful. All the way through, the plot and characters had such potential that it was almost painful to see how it was carried out. Alec desperately needs an editor... and perhaps a refresher course in how dialogue is written. And description. And character, for crying out loud. Maybe even a bit of basic Christian theology, though the unorthodox views can easily be taken for her attempts at creativity.

It hurt my inner editor when I saw the three archangels interacting - so much she could have done! But for the most part, their conversation reads like Hamlet's inept actors - sawing the air, tearing a passion to rags, to very tatters. And the old writers' rule of Show Don't Tell? Out. the. window.

I was never really sure about the setting. Most of the time, it's in Heaven - which, of course, is beautiful beyond compare. But Alec never really gives a concrete description - it's all flowery, vague ideas of rushing water and gem-covered castles and... complex laboratories. Yes, laboratories. Heaven has laboratories. And mad-scientist angels. Who knew, right? (Yes, I found it a bit disconcerting that the angels created mankind from Yehovah's DNA. God has DNA? Oh well.)

If Ms. Alec is reading this, I hope she isn't offended, because I really wanted to like this book. There were some truly striking scenes - and when it came to Lucifer's agony over his paranoia of mankind, I actually felt sorry for the guy (though whether it's appropriate to feel sorry for Satan, I'll leave to more knowledgeable minds than mine).

So, if you're an angel enthusiastic or if you like a light Christian fic that doesn't take much to follow, I'd say pick this one up. Otherwise, find something more engaging (and well-written) to read. (My alternative would be the Dragons in our Midst series by Bryan Davis or The Prophecy by Dawn Miller.)

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